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Michelangelo Sabatino’s scholarly background makes him feel right at home in Columbus, a city where extraordinary examples of modern architecture are part of everyday life. Sabatino is one of the four co-chairs of "Foundations and Futures,” the 2016 inaugural symposium of Exhibit Columbus. He is chairing the session titled Modern Art and Life, which will feature presentations by Jochen Eisenbrand, Ron Henderson, Alexandra Lange, Marleen Newman and Eeva-­Liisa Pelkonen.

Sabatino comes to Columbus as a scholar with wide-ranging interests in the fields of architecture and the built environment. He is a professor and director of the PhD program at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture in Chicago. His education has included earning a Laurea from the Università di IUAV (Venice, Italy) and a PhD from the University of Toronto.

Sabatino’s journey to Columbus begins with his research on the relationship between vernacular buildings and modern architecture in both urban and extra-urban settings. He explains, “vernacular buildings can be thought of as ‘ordinary’, but that does not mean that they are not sophisticated.” He investigated this relationship during his time at the University of Houston, when he wrote one of two books on the topic: Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy.