Defining the everyday in the city of extremes Speculative designs for Sobornaya square in Magadan
Extremely East: 59°34′N 150°48′E / Extremely Recent: 1930 Extremely Cold: −18.5 (Average Low. Jan.) / Extremely Isolated: 2.000km away from nearest city (Yakutsk).
If public spaces are stages of the everyday, how to design an urban square on such extreme city? Participants are invited to work in teams and elaborate speculative design attempts in order to foster new processes of space appropriation. The aim of the workshop is to avoid deterministic and over-designed solutions but, instead, to create the conditions for unexpected and open-ended dynamics, where daily life takes central stage and users transform into performers. The definition of conditions (e.g. spatial definition, climate comfort, accessibility) is key to empower people to live public spaces as theirs, fostering improvisation rather than control.
We live in a planet which is globally urbanized, where cities have become metropolitan areas, where natural sites are exploited to support human lifestyle, where commodities are extracted and even the wildest areas are suffering of urbanizations effect. In this context, nature cannot be divided anymore from the artifice. The artificial is shaping the planet, influencing the climate, threatening the existence of living species. Nature is not natural, anymore.
A Geological Tale
Granite is an intrusive rock, formed by the cooling of magma, and pushed upwards, creating continents, islands, archipelagos. Man has exploited the granite, extracted in quarries has become a refined building material. Other Natures is a speculative set of devices, that position themselves within the geological history of granite. Other natures can be seen as wrinkling of the territory of La Maddalena. Intrusive –as the rock they are made of- they offer themselves to view and comprehend the unnatural landscape of the Archipelago. Devices are instruments to connect different natures: the underground, the water, the atmosphere, the outer space, the supernatural.
Geography vs Geometry
The ambiguity of the Anthropocene is here rendered with the geometrical shapes of the devices; geometries in sharp contrast with the natural forms of the landscape they are positioned in. Geometries clash with the geography of the Islands, escaping any risk of biomimetic and becoming uncompromised actions of humans.
Macro, meso, micro
The devices can be read in three different scales; a large one: the geographical scale it interferes with and the million-years’ time span it belongs to; a middle one: the refine complexity of the stone’s texture; the small one: the microscopic dimension of the granite, which is in-fact a landscape on its own, where geometries can be found. Surprisingly, it is in the smallest, where Other Natures devices can be rediscovered, becoming natural, once again.
The proportions of the devices, their geometrical simplicity, their relation with the surrounding landscape, their mineral appearance aim to create a timeless aesthetics. Some have a defined function, some are mere shapes without a function. Some are of human scale, some others are geographical traces. The devices become tools to imagine possible futures, they might attract with their appearance and repel for their dimension or intrusive positioning. They are not good nor bad, they are a product of imagination and at the same time an instrument to trigger possible imaginative scenarios.
Between 5th and 9th May, 2017, we have carried out a workshop within the framework “ConnectingCity | Mediterranean Landscapes and UrbanLab” (an itinerant landscape and architecture lab that aims to discover and link the multiple identities of Mazara del Vallo, a city in the middle of the Mediterranean where stories and culture, landscapes and architecture meet).
Our scope is to re-imagine the railway corridor, once the train traffic will be moved North, overcoming a great amount of urban and social issues generated by the infrastructure which literally cuts the city in 2 halves.
Our proposal, starts from the unique character of the city: a multicultural city worldwide renown for the fishing industry and its agricultural inland. By reinterpreting the main features of Mazara del Vallo in a new-linear public space that provides the value of privacy that both the local and the Arabic culture share, in one truly Mediterranean intervention.
“Sustainable cities: achieving efficiency in the city” aims to create a space where it would be possible to progress in sustainable local management, exchange successful experiences, as well as address the challenges that the cities that have had a vertiginous development assume, with the goal of developing proposals to return more efficient urban centres.
Prioritized areas of the local management agenda: Sustainable construction, Regional and urban planning, Mobility / Transport, Environmental quality (Air, Soil, Water) and urban and industrial waste, Water resources, Energy efficiency, Green areas / Urban biodiversity, Information and communication technologies.
In occasion of the ‘Filbo’ International Book Fair of Bogota, we are invited to present the office and relevant work of our practice on a presentation format, and take part in the workshop ‘New ways to develop Cities’ where the public sector will give us a “challenge” that needs to be solved by the participants and local developers and decision makers. These events will take place in the Dutch Pavilion, between April 25th and May 1st 2016.
‘It Doesn’t Take Much!’ workshop aims to prove how minimal interventions can change the perception of spaces and the their usability and how we can trigger spontaneous use of the space with low-cost and easy to implement measures. The workshops intent is to directly intervene in the public space of the historical center of Genova, observing and documenting with documentary film technique, how the interventions effect people’s behaviours.
Rotterdam | Milan firstname.lastname@example.org | +31 (0)619 307 938 Oostkousdijk 12A | 3024 CM | Rotterdam | The Netherlands