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反相城市

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Paracity

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

反相城市 文/巫祈麟 Nikita Wu 来自芬兰的建筑团队 Casagrande Laboratory 主事者马可卡 萨格兰(Marco Casagrande 长期关注自然与人为城市互为 影 响 之 议 题, 近 年 来 提 出「 第 三 代 城 市 」(3rd Generation City)、「都市河流学」(River Urbanism)、「都市针灸术」 ( Urban Acupuncture)等崇自然尊天地之新种都市规划创见, 他亦是 2013 年欧洲建筑奖的得主。

现时台北寸土寸金的条件下,在澹水河道中间两座往来台北 市和新北市忠孝桥和中兴桥之间,存在着这座会依河水涨退冲 刷或淤积时大时小的沙洲岛,其土地面积约为一公里宽三百米 长, 三十多公顷。因地界和产权会随自然条件改变,使得这岛 有着全台北最为廉宜的地价。岛上现有二十一名岛主,因其岛 位于洪水平原一级管制区限制开发,仅能在岛上种菜 。 在本次参与北京中央美术学院美术第二届 CAFAM 双年展。 他以本座沙洲岛做为设计标的以〈反相城市〉(Paracity)为 名,因袭「开放形态」(Open Form) 建筑的操作手法。构建开 放平台,尊重个体使用者需求,自主营建内容。使无人闻问被 城市发展遗忘的沙洲岛成为有机生态岛。

〈反相城市〉以源自欧洲新型木建筑材料「交错层压木材」 (cross-laminated timber 简称 CLT)做为主要建材,突破传 统木建筑之规模及型式。在岛中以 6×6×6 米的空间模块为基 本架构单位,构造出有机网格。此基本空间模块能抗震抗火及 洪涝,亦能在建于防洪区、山间、废置工业区或是贫民窟等跟 不上工业城市发展而被人们抛弃的城市区域。主木结构之上, 居民们能 DIY 自建房舍, 社区自主农耕,建立花园和大自然 共相习气。在共构可持续发展有机生态平台中,还加载高端先 进环保科技技术模组机具,能淨化污染的河水,生产生质能 源,回收岛民有机灰水废物与处理淤积污泥之再利用 。不但 能就岛上居民所需灵活设置,更能同步淨化台北城中因工业发 展所产生的污染源。

马可反思人类进代城市发展历程,千百年间世界各民族透过 中央集权分配城市土地利用,以城外农村周边自然资源支持城 内居民生活所需,作为延续人类文明巩固既得利益当权者便宜 行事的解决方案。这时期的城市和大自然连接并没有消失, 甚至是因为依附大自然所给的优势条件下,城市得以延命存

续,他称之为第一代城市。工业革命之后人类向资本主义 靠拢,资本的本性便是无理性的追逐扩大化,提高生产力 刺激人们消费拜金拜物,城市以摧毁自然为手段无限膨胀 城市疆界与自然争地,农村的农民们嚮往所谓城市的繁华 喧嚣现代摩登。以为无穷尽的“开发”是值得庆贺的“进 步”现象。这正是我们现在面临到最大的城市发展议题, 非理性疯狂资源竭尽开採,人口密度爆炸土地超负荷利 用。不仅全面断开和自然环境的连接,乃至藐视自然以为 人可胜天足能驾驭自然。马克思在资本论曾谈到“异化”, 便是我们所处时代的城市悲哀,人类在资本的无限扩张 中,被城市机器异化贻害深远。这便是他所谓之第二代城 市。

〈反相城市〉提供人类对第三代城市的想像,或者说幽 微地提示了与现存工业城市相反的发展愿景。回归第一代 城市和自然安好共存, 进一步修补第二代城市人为工业 建筑对自然的污害。意图变身成为台北城中一隻正面积极 的寄生虫,吸取工业后的废料化作成洁淨肥料和大自然和 谐共生,祈达天人合一的精神境界。


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PARACITY Text: Marco Casagrande

PARACITY / TAIPEI

Paracity is a biourban organism that is growing on the principles of Open Form: individual design-build actions generating spontaneous communicative reactions on the surrounding built human environment and this organic constructivist dialog leading into self-organized community structures, development and knowledge building.

The pilot project of the Paracity is growing on an urban farming island of Danshui River, Taipei City. The island is located between the Zhongxing and Zhonxiao bridges and is around 1000 meters long and 300 meters wide. Paracity Taipei is celebrating the original first generation Taipei urbanism with high level of illegal architecture, self-organized communities, urban farms, community gardens, urban nomads and constructive anarchy.

The growing organism the Paracity is based on a three dimensional wooden primary structure, organic grid with spatial modules of 6 x 6 x 6 metres constructed out of CLT cross-laminated timber sticks. This simple structure can be modified and grown by the community members working as teams or by an assigned Paracity constructor. The primary structure can grow even on neglected urban areas, such as river flood plains, hillsides, abandoned industrial areas, storm water channels or slums. Paracity suites perfectly to flooding and tsunami risk areas and the CLT primary structure has a high standard of earthquake performance. People will attach their individual self-made architectural solutions, gardens and farms on the primary structure, which offers a three dimensional building grid for the DIY architecture. Primary structure offers the main arteries of water and human circulation, but the finer local knowledge nervous networks are grown by the inhabitants. Large parts of the Paracity is occupied by wild and cultivated nature. Paracity’s self-sustainable biourban growth is backed up by off-the-grid environmental technology solutions providing methods for water purification, energy production, organic waste treatment, waste water purification and sludge recycling. These modular plug-in components can be adjusted according to the growth of the Paracity and moreover, the whole Paracity is designed not only to treat and circulate its own material streams, but to start leaching waste from its host city becoming a positive urban parasite following the similar kind of symbiosis as in-between slums and the surrounding city. In a sense Paracity is a high-tech slum, which can start tuning the industrial city towards an ecologically more sustainable direction. Paracity is a third generation city, an organic machine, urban compost, which is helping the industrial city to transform into being part of nature.

Paracity Taipei will be powered mostly by bioenergy that is using the organic waste, including sludge, taken from the surrounding industrial city and by farming fast growing biomass on the flood banks of the Taipei river system. Environmental technology components are mounted on barges that are plugged into the Paracity maintenance docks. Barges can be modified according to the needs of the growing biourbanism. Paracity is based on free flooding. There are no flood walls. The first 6 m level above the ground is not built, but the whole city is standing on stilts and thus providing the whole ground floor for community actions, nature and space requiring recycling yards. Paracity Taipei will construct itself through impacts of a collective conscious as a nest of post-industrial insects. Paracity is estimated to have 15.000 – 25.000 inhabitants. Casagrande Laboratory Centre of Urban Research / Paracity: Marco Casagrande, Menno Cramer, Katie Donaghy, Niilo Tenkanen, Nikita Wu, Joni Virkki, Ycy Charlie, Sauli Ylinen


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Paracity

Paracity Picture: Niilo Tenkanen

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014


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Paracity

Open form In its growth Paracity is following the organic design methodology of Open Form (Oscar Hansen, Svein Hatloy), in which community level design is viewed as an open dialog with design actions generating spontaneous design reactions within the surroundings. Open Form is close to the original Taiwanese ways of developing the self organized and often “illegal� communities. These microurban settlements are containing a high volume of Local Knowledge, which we also believe will start composting in Paracity, when opening up the community development to the citizens. Centralized architectural control is opened up in order to let nature including human nature to step in. The life providing volume of Paracity is 11, existence maximum, highest possible life in the given conditions, and more.

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014


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CLT Skeleton Paracity provides the skeleton, but citizens bring in the flesh. Design should not replace reality, Flesh is More. The skeleton, the primary structure of Paracity is constructed out of 6 meters long (50x50 cm profile) cross laminated timber CLT sticks which are used to form 6x6x6 m cubes, that are piled up to 16 stories high (8 cubes). The CLT primary structure has a fine earthquake performance and it is fire resistant. The structural elements / sticks with wood joints are prefabricated and transported to the Paracity Island on barges. The construction work – the growing of the Paracity primary organism can be manually done by residents in teams of by professional parasite constructors. The CLT structure is just a landscape on which citizens will attach their own houses and gardens.

Pictures: Joni Virkki


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Paracity

Enviromental technology The biourban growth of the Paracity is supported by high environmental technology which is mounted on barges. These modular bio-vessels are attached to the Paracity service harbour and can be adjusted according to the needs of the evolving urban organism. The post-industrial fleet of bio-vessels can travel along the Taipei river system and is ready to start the biourban restoration process also from other hot-spots of the river city. The environmental technology barges provide solutions for: • Waste water treatment of Paracity and of the surrounding Taipei • Water purification. The infrastructural water circulation is originated from the polluted Danshui River.

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Existence Maximum Paracity is a seed of the Third Generation City, the organic ruin of the industrial city (2G). The modular biourban organism is designed to grow following the rule of nature: existence maximum. The primary structure can be grown by people and after Paracity has reached the critical mass, the life providing system of the CLT structure will start escalating. It will cross the river and start rooting on the flood plains. Then it will cross the 12 meters high Taipei flood wall and grow gradually into the city. Seeds of the Paracity will start rooting in the urban acupuncture points of Taipei: illegal community gardens, urban farms, abandoned cemeteries and waste-lands. From these acupuncture points the Paracity will start growing following the covered irrigation systems, such as the Liukong Channel and eventually the biourban organism and the static city will find a balance, the Third Generation Taipei.

• Sludge treatment for fertilizer and bio-energy. • Closed circuit aquaculture. • Recycling of construction waste. • Recycling of organic waste for fertilizer and bio-energy. The barges have no problem with the flooding river.

Parasite Urbanism

Bio-energy

Paracity is living off the material streams from the surrounding Taipei. Even the polluted river is a resource for this biourban intestine. Paracity is Medieval medicine: using leaches to cure the circulation. Paracity is letting off the bad blood of Taipei and it uses it a resource. In fact it makes money out of the process. Officially 37 % of the Taipei City waste water goes untreated to the river. Paracity wants it all. And it wants all the other materials which the industrial city is regarding as “waste”. Paracity and modern Taipei live in a similar kind of a symbiosis as a slum and the city: the urban nomads will clean the static city from its “waste”; only in Paracity the cleaning and recycling process is boosted up by high environmental technology. In a sense the Paracity is a high-tech slum.

The main energy source for the Paracity is bio-energy, which is using both treated organic waste and sludge from Paracity and surrounding Taipei and especially biomass that is harvested around Paracity and on the flood banks of the Taipei rivers. The fertile flood banks, flood plains and storm water channels provide ideal cultivation areas for fast growing biomass plantations. The vegetation will be harvested by boats and then shipped to Paracity Bio-Energy Facility. The growing of the biomass on the river banks will also benefit on the natural river restoration through root cleansing of sediment pollution and the biomass will have a positive impact on the Taipei micro climate and urban ecology.


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Chemical water treatment on the root layers Purified water will be pumped up

The gardens on the upper levels purify water biologically The water will be oxidized while draining

The purified water can be used on the fields

The city will flourish This really is an organic machine

Picture: Niilo Tenkanen


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014


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Picture: Niilo Tenkanen


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Mediator

Bioclimatic Architecture

After rooting on the riverside and gaining a critical mass the Paracity will climb over the 12 meters high reinforced concrete flood wall which is separating modern Taipei from the rivers and nature. The flood wall will remain in the guts of the Paracity, but the new structure enables Taipei citizens to fluently reach the river. Paracity will reunite the river reality and the urban fiction. Paracity is a mediator between the modern city and nature.

Paracity has a lot of holes, gaps and nature in-between houses. The system is ventilating itself like a large scale beehive of post-industrial insects. The different temperatures of the roofs, gardens, water bodies and shaded platforms will generate small winds between them and the hot roofs will start sucking in breeze from the cooler river. Also the individual houses should follow the traditional principles of bioclimatic architecture and not rely on mechanical air-conditioning.

PARACITY


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Free Flooding

Biourban Restoration

Paracity is based on free flooding. The whole city is standing on stilts allowing the river to pulsate freely with the frequent typhoons and storm waters. The environmental technology of the Paracity is mounted on barges, which have no problem with the flooding either. Actually the Paracity is an organic architectural flood itself, ready to cross the flood wall of Taipei and spread into the mechanical city.

Paracity is a positive organic tumour in the mechanical tissue of Taipei. While it is leaching and processing the industrial and organic waste of the city, it is gaining momentum in its growth and becomes more and more important to the static industrial urbanism. Paracity is an alternative reality within the industrial development and will start treating the city the same ways as the urban acupuncture points of illegal community gardens and urban farms of Taipei do today. Paracity has the ability to become a network of biourban acupuncture tuning the whole industrial city towards the organic, ruining the industrialism on its way to become part of nature, the Third Generation City.

“DICTATOR’S WALL”

TAIPEI CITY

Picture: Joni Virkki


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Danshui River Potential biomass growing area Paracity


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Paracity, Plan Number of overlapping blocks

Nerves, alleys, lanes, passageways, streets...

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Paved areas

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Wild areas

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Fields

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Growing of biomass

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Urban park

6-8

Bioplant Bargesv

1:2500

100 m

PLU

G-IN

HAR

BOU

market

R


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Organic Layers

Adaptability

The biourbanism of the Paracity is as much landscape as it is architecture. The totalitarian landscape-architecture of Paracity includes organic layers for natural water purification and treatment, community gardening, farming and biomass production as an energy source. Infrastructure and irrigation water originates from the polluted Danshui river and will be both chemically and biologically purified before being used in the farms, gardens and houses of the community. The chemically purified water gets pumped to the roof parks on the top level of the Paracity, from where the gravity will circulate the water into the three dimensional irrigation systems.

The pilot-project of the Paracity is designed in Taipei, but the solution is developed to work in different locations around the world. Paracity offers an alternative for the Chinese strategic urban planning to start ecologically harmonizing the growing river cities of China. And Paracity can be used as urban acupuncture for the emerging cities of China and elsewhere. Paracity can grow along the Oshiwara chain of slums in Mumbai providing better living conditions, cleaning up the Oshiwara River and more effectively treating the urban waste that is flooding in from the surrounding city. Paracity can parachute into Nairobi and start growing from the fertile top-soil of the slums. Paracity should grow into the favelas of Brazil and start celebrating the local knowledge of these organic communities. Paracity is organic, adaptable and welcomes local knowledge. The city is built by hands of a high diversity of different people.

Picture: Niilo Tenkanen


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Picture: Joni Virkki Picture: Niilo Tenkanen


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Local Knowledge Paracity is inspired by the Local Knowledge of Taipei, the original Taiwanese urban elements that include a high level of self-made “illegal” architecture, self-organized communities, extensive networks of self-organized community gardens and urban farms, fluid nomadic ways of using the city, communicative collective subconscious in community and urban scale, feeling of dominating the no-man’s land by human nature and other forms of constructive anarchy. The Paracity basically only provides the primary structure, the three dimensional landscape for the Local Knowledge to be attached and grow. The primary structure and the environmental technology solutions will remain pretty much the same no matter in which culture the Paracity starts to grow, but the real human layer of DIY architecture and gardens will follow the Local Knowledge of the respective culture and site. Paracity is always site-specific and it is always local.

Treasure Hill, 2003


by Marco

TRAKTORFAN

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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Rumours


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After reaching the critical mass the organic Paracity will start gradually growing into the industrial city and

sending over seeds of future Paracity growth into selective points of urban acupuncture.


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

COMMEDIA DELL’ARCHITETTURA Text: Marco Casagrande Picture: Niilo Tenkanen (this page), Marco Casagrande (next page)

Architecture gives the commands and architects listen. Actually nature gives the commands and architecture takes form. Architect is a design shaman that communicates with this reality. Design cannot replace reality, nature. Human control must be opened up in order to let nature step in. Architecture must be ruined. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. To be present is the key of all art. Architect is a site-specific instrument through whom the great voice of architecture starts to resonate and find form. This great voice is weak and needs great presence, sacrifice and sensitivity to be heard. Architect is one of the sensitive beings to hear this voice and protect the sound. Architecture either is or it isn’t. It cannot be speculated. Architecture is a real reality. “What really happened to Porcupine?” “One day he came back from the Zone and became amazingly rich, amazingly rich. The next week he hanged himself.” – Stalker, Tarkovsky People live in space and this connection can be art, a higher thing than what could be designed. Architecture is an accident, which is a higher thing than human control. In order to understand the accident and to let life run through it one must be present. To be present is the key of all art. This crack in human control is the acupuncture point through which the organism of architecture can grow. Biourbanism is the city of cracks. Architecture is a mediator between man and nature, connecting human nature with the rest of nature, reality. Architecture is the art of reality.


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Land(e)scape, 1999


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Third Generation City Marco Casagrande

First generation city was the human settlement in straight connection with nature and dependent on nature. The fertile and rich Taipei basin provided a fruitful environment for such a settlement. The rivers were full of fish and good for transportation and the mountains protected the farmed plains from the straightest hits of the frequent typhoons. The second generation city is the industrial city. Industrialism granted the citizens independence from nature – a mechanical environment could provide everything needed for humans. Nature was seen as something unnecessary or as something hostile – it was walled away from the mechanical reality. Third Generation City is the organic ruin of the industrial city. The community gardens of Taipei are fragments of the third generation urbanism when they

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

exist together with the industrial surroundings. Local Knowledge is present in the city and this is where Ruin Academy focuses its research. Among the urban gardeners are the local knowledge professors of Taipei. Third Generation City is true when the city recognizes its local knowledge and allows itself to be part of nature. The way towards the Third Generation City is a process of becoming a learning and healing organization and to reconnect the urbanized collective conscious with nature. In Taipei the wall between the city and the river must be gone. This requires a total transformation from the city infrastructure and the centralized power bureaucracy. Citizens on their behalf are ready and are breaking the industrial city by themselves already. Local knowledge is operating independently from the official city and is providing punctual third generation surroundings within the industrial city and by doing that providing self organized urban acupuncture for the stiff official mechanism.

knowledge based transformation layer of Taipei is happening from inside the city and it is happening through self organized punctual interventions. These interventions are driven by small scale businesses and alternative economies benefiting from the fertile land of the Taipei Basin and of leaching from the material and energy streams of the official city. This acupuncture is making the city weaker, softer and readier for a larger change. RUIN ACADEMY The Ruin Academy (Taipei 2010-2012) is set to re-think the industrial city and the relationship between the modern man and nature in the urbanized Taipei Basin. It is looking from the local knowledge for the seeds of the Third Generation City.

Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. This is the subconscious desire of the industrial city and the collective trauma of the modern man. Taipei is currently presenting the most advanced industrial co-existence of a The weak signals of the unofficial collec- modern city and uncontrollable organic anarchy; nature, including human nature, tive conscious should be recognized as the futures emerging issues; futures that is pushing through the industrial surface are already present in Taipei. The official and turning the city towards the organic city should learn how to enjoy acupunc- according to a post-human design and ecological sensibility. To understand ture, how to give up industrial control in this force, the reinforced and divided order to let nature to step in. The local


反相城市 academic disciplines are of no use. Neither is centralized politics providing any tools. Communication needs to find another way. Ruin Academy has focused its research on the unofficial life-providing systems within the official mechanical city. These spontaneous and citizen-generated systems are constantly ruining the official Taipei. These are systems that are, through punctual interventions, fermenting and composting the city. From the organic top-soil produced by these composts will emerge the Third Generation City, the organic ruin of the industrial city, an organic machine. In Erik Swyngedouw’s terms: ”Nature and society are in this way combined to form an urban political ecology, a hybrid, an urban cyborg that combines the powers of nature with those of class, gender, and ethnic relations.” The smelliest parts of unofficial Taipei contain the highest level of energy and life still in connection with nature; at the same time, the official industrialism aims for a sterile and fully controlled condition. This brings to mind Andrei Tarkovsky’s maxim in Stalker: “When a tree is growing, it’s tender and pliant. But when it’s dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win.” These urban composts are the corners that are maintaining the essence of the Local Knowledge, a constructive interaction of nature and human nature in the built human environment. This local knowledge is suggesting the ways of the ruining processes for Taipei towards the Third Generation City. Different disciplines of art and science are meeting in the Ruin Academy following the multidisciplinary research + design methodology of the Aalto University’s SGT Sustainable Global Technologies centre. Cross-disciplinary knowledge building has proven vital on the research of the Third Generation City. Ruin Academy co-operates with the architecture department of the Tamkang University, sociology department of the National Taiwan University and with the SGT centre of the Aalto University. Besides these, teams and individuals have been joining the work from various different backgrounds. Ruin Academy is unofficial, pliant, and weak, in contrast to academic strength and hardness. The Ruin Academy is a basic shelter for academic squatting, stripped down from disciplinary focusing and institutional strength. Most important is the connection to the Local Knowledge, the site-specific wisdom of sustainable

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human presence in the Taipei Basin. This knowledge seems to be in straight connection with the collective memory of the First Generation City, when the built human environment was dependent on nature and dominated by nature. The Local Knowledge is the driving force for the organic penetrations through the industrial layer of the Taipei Basin today. Local Knowledge is the force tuning the city towards the organic. Our communication center is the public sauna on the 5th floor of the Ruin Academy building.4 We are looking for the seeds of the Third Generation City: What are the processes that are ruining the industrial Taipei turning it towards the organic third generation city? What are the systems that are bringing life into the modern machine? What is the life-force / Chi that keeps the city alive and how can this Chi be negotiated with by means of Urban Acupuncture? THE ELEMENTS OF THE THIRD GENERATION TAIPEI 1. Urban Acupuncture Urban acupuncture is characterized by punctual interventions through the official surface of the city which aim to establish contact between the urban collective conscious and the life-providing systems of nature, including human nature. The networks of illegal community gardens and urban farms of Taipei present a fine example of urban acupuncture. These gardens are the urban acupuncture needles that manipulate and manifest the collective underlying organic Chi of the industrial city and turn the mechanical city towards an organic machine. The spontaneous, unofficial and self-organized community gardens are strong representations of anarchy through gardening. The collective gardens are reflections of life world vs. the surrounding city as the system world. 2.Illegal Architecture The Instant Taipei is self-made architecture using the official city as a growing platform and energy source,attaching itself like a parasite in order to leach electricity and water. The illegal architecture is so widespread and deep rooted as a culture in the Taiwanese cityscape that we could almost speak about another city on top of the “official” Taipei, a parallel city–or a Para-City. This DIY built human environment is tied directly to human nature and motivated by basic human instinct and mandated

only by desire and availability. Paradoxically, the illegal settlements such as Treasure Hill are living in a more balanced relationship with the natural environment 2. Urban Nomad The urban nomad is the antithesis of Walter Benjamin’s flâneur, who is numb and absent in the capital-driven urban surroundings. The urban nomad is on the move, harvesting and trapping in a city that he views as a landscape wherein seasons and energy concentrations are constantly changing. The urban nomad can operate alone or in larger camp-like concentrations, such as the night markets. He is faster and lighter than the official control mechanism of the city, which tries to prevent him from operating. Besides trading, the urban nomads are also harvesting the city of its trash and left-over goods for recycling. This hit-and-run unofficial economy is leaching on the steady material streams of the structural city and is presenting a form of street-level anarchy through business exchange. A series of activities are on the move or popping up and disappearing in Taipei, these include the night markets, underbridge activities, street vendors, spontaneous karaoke, gambling, puppet theatre, massage, barber, monks, beetle-nut booths, and even moving gods–all very sensitive to the urban energy flows and hot-spots of urban acupuncture 4. River Urbanism Taipei (1G) exists because of the river and the fertile flood plains. The industrial city (2G) claimed independence from nature and turned the river into an industrial sewage site. A reinforced concrete wall 12 meters high was constructed in-between the built human environment and the river nature. Third Generation City aims to reunite the river and city through the natural restoration of the river environment. The river shall run as an ecological corridor through a city that is pulsating together with its hydraulics. The city will be re-developed from the view point of the river. Local knowledge still remembers the time when the water of the rivers was drinkable and people washed themselves in the rivers. Every family had a rowing boat and the river was full of harvest. This is still a living memory for some in Taipei, but for the industrial generations the river has become a fiction. The Phoenix bird has not yet come and the River has not yet revealed its divine nature: this is the end of me. - Confucius


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5. Ultra-Ruin Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. The ruining processes of Taipei are keeping the city alive. A weed will root into a crack in the asphalt and eventually ruin the city. The crack is the acupuncture point and the weed is the needle. The mechanical surface of Taipei is dotted with ruins and holes reflecting a larger vision of an organic machine, the organic ruin of the industrial city. People are constantly ruining the totalitarian control architecture of the industrial mind, which they subconsciously feel as a threat to the human nature. To understand the dynamics of the ruining processes of a city is essential for the growing of the Third Generation built human environment. Treasure Hill is a high-density ruin, a fragment of the Third Generation City. In the settlement, the same space is shared by people and jungle and the complex three-dimensional power balances between the different species, including humans, is delicately changing day by day. Treasure Hill also lives on a flood bank and does not view the river as a threat. It is inhabited by urban nomads who are harvesting the surrounding city. The whole settlement is an urban acupuncture needle for Taipei. Local knowledge is an element that is pushing through all the layers of the 3G City, a connection between the modern man and nature. Following Fritz Lang in Metropolis: “The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart.” Local knowledge is the mediator that is tying the Third Generation citizen with nature and which operates as the subconscious natural agent on the collective conscious of the civilized man. BIOURBAN ACUPUNCTURE Urban acupuncture is an urban environmentalism theory which combines urban design with traditional Chinese medical theory of acupuncture. This process uses small-scale interventions to transform the larger urban context. Sites are selected through an aggregate analysis of social, economic, and ecological factors, and developed through a dialogue between designers and the community. Acupuncture relieves stress in the body, urban acupuncture relieves stress in the environment. Urban acupuncture produces small-scale but socially catalytic interventions into the urban fabric. This strategy views cities as living, breathing organisms and pinpoints areas in need of repair. Sustainable projects, then, serve as needles that

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

revitalize the whole by healing the parts. By perceiving the city as a living creature, thoroughly intertwined, “urban acupuncture” promotes communitarian machinery and sets localized nucleus ―similar to the human body’s meridians. Satellite technology, networks and collective intelligence theories, all used to surgically and selectively intervene on the nodes that have the biggest potential to regenerate. Originally coined by Barcelonan architect and urbanist, Manuel de Sola Morales the term has been recently championed and developed further by Finnish architect and social theorist Marco Casagrande, this school of thought eschews massive urban renewal projects in favour a of more localised and community approach that, in an era of constrained budgets and limited resources, could democratically and cheaply offer a respite to urban dwellers. Casagrande views cities as complex energy organisms in which different overlapping layers of energy flows are determining the actions of the citizens as well as the development of the city. By mixing environmentalism and urban design Casagrande is developing methods of punctual manipulation of the urban energy flows in order to create an ecologically sustainable urban development towards the so-called 3rd Generation City (post-industrial city). The theory is developed in the Tamkang University of Taiwan and at independent multidisciplinary research center Ruin Academy. With focus on environmentalism and urban design, Casagrande defines urban acupuncture as a design tool where punctual manipulations contribute to creating sustainable urban development, such as the community gardens and urban farms in Taipei. Casagrande describes urban acupuncture as: [a] cross-over architectural manipulation of the collective sensuous intellect of a city. City is viewed as multi-dimensional sensitive energy-organism, a living environment. Urban acupuncture aims into a touch with this nature. And: Sensitivity to understand the energy flows of the collective chi beneath the visual city and reacting on the hot-spots of this chi. Architecture is in the position to produce the acupuncture needles for the urban chi. And: A weed will root into the smallest crack in the asphalt and eventually break the city. Urban acupuncture is the weed and the acupuncture point is the crack. The possibility of the impact is total,

connecting human nature as part of nature. Casagrande utilized the tenets of acupuncture: treat the points of blockage and let relief ripple throughout the body. More immediate and sensitive to community needs than traditional institutional forms of large scale urban renewal interventions would not only respond to localized needs, but do so with a knowledge of how city-wide systems operated and converged at that single node. Release pressure at strategic points, release pressure for the whole city. The theory of urban acupuncture opens the door for uncontrolled creativity and freedom. Each citizen is enabled to join the creative participatory planning process, feel free to use city space for any purpose and develop his environment according to his will. This “new” post-industrialized city Casagrande dubs the 3rd Generation City, characterized by its sensitive citizens who feel the calling of a sustainable co-operation with the rest of the nature, sensitive citizen who are aware of the destruction that the insensitive modem machine is causing to nature including human nature. In a larger context a site of urban acupuncture can be viewed as communicating to the city outside like a natural sign of life in a city programmed to subsume it. Urban acupuncture focuses on local resources rather than capital-intensive municipal programs and promotes the idea of citizens installing and caring for interventions. These small changes, proponents claim, will boost community morale and catalyse revitalization. Boiled down to a simple statement, “urban acupuncture” means focusing on small, subtle, bottom-up interventions that harness and direct community energy in positive ways to heal urban blight and improve the cityscape. It is meant as an alternative to large, top-down, mega-interventions that typically require heavy investments of municipal funds (which many cities at the moment simply don’t have) and the navigation of yards of bureaucratic red tape. The micro-scale interventions targeted by “urban acupuncture” appeal to both citizen-activists and cash-strapped communities. Jaime Lerner, the former mayor of Curitiba, suggests urban acupuncture as the future solution for contemporary urban issues; by focusing on very narrow pressure points in cities, who can initiate positive ripple effects for the greater society. Urban acupuncture reclaims the ownership of land to the public and emphasizes the importance of community development through


反相城市 small interventions in design of cities. It involves pinpointed interventions that can be accomplished quickly to release energy and create a positive ripple effect. He described in 2007: “I believe that some medicinal “magic” can and should be applied to cities, as many are sick and some nearly terminal. As with the medicine needed in the interaction between doctor and patient, in urban planning it is also necessary to make the city react; to poke an area in such a way that it is able to help heal, improve, and create positive chain reactions. It is indispensable in revitalizing interventions to make the organism work in a different way.” Taiwanese architect and academic Ti-Nan Chi is looking with micro urbanism at the vulnerable and insignificant side of contemporary cities around the world identified as micro-zones, points for recovery in which micro-projects have been carefully proposed to involve the public on different levels, aiming to resolve conflicts among property owners, villagers, and the general public. A loosely affiliated team of architects Wang Shu, Marco Casagrande, Hsieh Ying-chun and Roan Ching-yueh (sometimes called WEAK! Architecture) are describing the unofficial Instant City, or Instant Taipei, as architecture that uses the Official City as a growing platform and energy source, where to attach itself like a parasite and from where to leach the electricity and water… [The Instant City’s] illegal urban farms or night markets is so widespread and deep rooted in the Taiwanese culture and cityscape that we could almost speak of another city on top of the “official” Taipei, a parallel city – or a para-city. WEAK! is calling urban acupuncture depending on the context as Illegal Architecture, Orchid Architecture, the People’s Architecture, or Weak Architecture. The theory of urban acupuncture suggests that scores of small-scale, less costly and localized projects is what cities need in order to recover and renew themselves.

27 References Adorno, Theodor & Horkheimer, Max, Dialectic of Enlightenment, New York, 1944 Adorno, Theodor, Negative Dialectics, London, 1973 Bardauskaite, Guoda, Compost City, Sustainable Urban Design Journal # 1, Lund University, Sweden, 2011 Beekmans, Jeroen, Farming in a Ruin, The Pop-Up City, 2011

– The Leo Kong Canal, Aalto University, Finland, 2012 Kang, Min-Jay, Confronting the Edge of Modern Urbanity – GAPP (Global Artivists Participation Project) at Treasure Hill, Taipei, paper presented in the Asian Modernity and the Role of Culture Cities, Asian Culture Symposium, Gwangju, Korea, December 4 - 7, 2005 Kaye, Leon, Could cities’ problems be solved by urban acupuncture?, The Guardian, 21.7.2010 Kubric, Stanley, A Clockwork Orange, UK, 1971

Benjamin, Walter, The Arcades Project, New York, 2002

Kurozawa, Akira, Dersu Uzala, Mosfilm, Soviet Union – Japan, 1975

Benjamin, Walter, The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media, Belknap Press, 2008

Lang, Fritz, Metropolis, UFA, Germany, 1927

Brezar, Zas, Ruin Academy, Landezine, Slovenia, 2010

Lehtovuori, Panu, Experience and Conflict. The Dialectics of the Production of Public Urban Space in the Light of New Event Venues in Helsinki 1993-2003, Espoo, 2005

Casagrande, Marco, Guandu: River Urbanism, Taiwan Architect, Taiwan, 2009

Lévi-Strauss, Claude, Tristes Tropiques, France, 1955

Casagrande, Marco, Cross-over Architecture and the Third Generation City, Epifanio, Estonia, 2009

Pajunen, Mia, A Man from the Woods, Wastelands Magazine, Finland, 2012

Casagrande, Marco, Taipei from the River, International Society of Biourbanism, 2011

Parsons, Adam, Urban Acupuncture: Marco Casagrande, University of Portsmouth, 2010

Casagrande, Marco, Ruin Academy, Epifanio, Estonia, 2011

Richardson, Phyllis, From the Ruins, Taipei to Detroit, Archetcetera, 2011

Casagrande, Marco, Illegal Architecture, Egodesign, Canada, 2011

Staffans, Aija, Vaikuttavat asukkaat, Espoo, 2004

Casagrande, Marco, Taipei Organic Acupuncture, P2P Foundation, Dec 2010 Casagrande, Marco, Urban Ecopuncture, La Vie, Taiwan, Oct 2011 Casagrande, Marco,邁向第三代城市 - 廢墟建築 學院􀃑􀃑 安那其園丁, ACT, Taiwan, Oct 2011 Casagrande, Marco, Biourban Acupuncture – From Treasure Hill of Taipei to Artena, ISBN: 8890892315, 9788890892318, International Society of Biourbanism, Rome 2013 Campbell-Dollagham, Kelsey, Illegal Architecture in Taipei, Architizer, 2011 Clement, Gilles, Emergent Alternative IX, Architectural Theories of the Environment: Post Human Territory (edit. Ariane Lourie Harrison), Routledge, 2012 Coulson, Nick, Returning Humans to Nature and Reality, eRenlai, 2011 Delana, Urban Ruins: Abandoned Building Houses Architecture Academy, WebEcoist, 2010 Grotowsky, Jerzy, Towards a Poor Theatre, Warsaw, 1964 Harbermas, Jürgen, The Theory of Communicative Action, Beacon Press, 1985 Horkheimer, Max, Eclipse of Reason, Oxford University Press, 1947 Inayatullah, Sohail, Questioning the future: Methods and Tools for Organizational and Societal Transformation, Tamkang University Press, 2002 Kajamaa V., Kangur K., Koponen R., Saramäki N., Sedlerova K., Söderlind S., Sustainable Synergies

Strugatsky, Arkady & Boris, Roadside Picnic, USSR, 1971 Swyngedouw, Erik, Metabolic Urbanization, In the Nature of Cities, New York, 2006 Tarkovsky, Andrei, Stalker, Moscow, 1979 White, Richard, The Organic Machine, New York, 1995 Wu, Nikita, Cicada, Shenzhen Hong-Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism, 2009 Wu, Nikita, Anarchist Gardener, Ruin Academy, Taiwan, 2010 Wu, Nikita, Anarchist Gardener II, Shenzhen Hong-Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism, 2012 Yudina, Anna, it’s anarchical   it’s acupunctural,   well it’s both / marco casagrande, Monitor Magazine # 68, Berlin, 2012


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Rigid fabric Text: Menno Cramer Picture: Joni Virkki

The empowerment of novelty, flexibility and change will create an environment in which humans can grow and live in a natural manner. They will not be constrained by the current rigid fabric of urbanised areas that doesn’t allow for natural growth to occur.

Many of the issues urban societies are facing are caused by the lack of provision of life afforded by current cities. The rigid urban fabric of urbanized areas does not allow for natural evolution to occur. Natural evolution within and amongst human beings is crucial for a truly sustainable society. The redesign and re-evaluation of urban areas can alter and improve the provision, however this will only be a temporary solution as for a new rigid fabric a new static state is induced. It is not natural for humans to be in such a rigid dead fabric. We are forced to move around in order to fulfil our basic needs. Natural evolution only occurs in places where the speed of urban sprawl exceeds the planners or governments influence on where society starts to fall apart and from within the ruins life can spread. Negative aspects of the current city structure are caused partially by the inflexibility of urban areas, whereas a river moves over time cities are snapshots of pathways frozen in time. Whereas tribal structures were in place to increase the social well being of a group the current urban metropolis seems to have lost this function. User experience design and human centred design flourish more than ever. However, where are these views amongst the planners and architects? Humans are and should be the center point of any architectural design. So what does the concrete giant do for me? What does it bring me? Studies have shown that city life is positively correlated with increases in depression, burnout, health problems, obesity, economic disproportions, racism and a steep increase in negative social interaction. The current urban fabric has managed to evolve into a framework for a relatively sustainable capitalistic individualism; where humans mutually agree to ignore each other and avoid any major human interaction.

However society as a whole is suffering from this. Urbanization allows for the cohabitation of multiple social classes and groups however it does not encourage natural social and individual well-being. Survival of the fittest has been eliminated in the physical terms, however the battle for mental and physical space is even more ruthless. Causing social discomfort and e.g. increased stress, which is a dangerous threat to life in current society. We all strive for superiority over other human beings. Let it be economic, physical, physiological or mental. We have constructed an urban fantasy of social cohabitation without ever intending to acknowledge the society one is a part of. The discrepancy between personal well-being and social admiration is larger than ever. Humans are biological, they come from nature, and they are nature. Humans need a space to live in because they can’t exist without being. The current place present in a space where most of the earth’s human population inhabites is what we call urban areas. An urban environment does not have the same qualities as a natural environment. Today’s society and social class has evolved from the neanderthalers and therefore we do not feel like caveman and women anymore. However everyone has neglected the fact that the current exposure to a non-natural environment will harm us as human beings. We have noticed negative consequences as listed above however thus far they have not outweighed the benefits. Seeing as that urban areas are growing more rapidly than ever I believe we need to re-evaluate the urban fabric as such and propose a biological solution for urban growth. It is this biological solution which will host a new way of life which will address some of the issues presented above in a natural biourban manner. It is the way the issues are addressed through a this non-rigid structure which will aid society to develop and look at a new way of life. The social interactions which are forged are there purely to emphasize the individual. We work hard and network to grow personally in a paracity this is the city and we can grow from it around it with it and within it.


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Paracity Katie Donaghy A paracity is an organic structure which can encompass a large number of human individuals. It has some things in common with our current urbanised areas however a paracity is not bound to space. It can live off a currently existing city and inhabit the same space. It can be seen as a second layer on top of a society. A paracity lives off another city like a parasite off its host. How will a paracity affect the city it is leaching from? If you imagine an actual leech and how it sticks onto your leg and sucks from your body. Not only does it take away a resource from your body it can also pump actual parasites back into it which will harm your body. However, if you imagine it as a structure leeching onto the main city it will pull resources from the city but also provide to the city and will grow through these actions. Local knowledge can spread through the fabric and infiltrates the city. The resources it takes from the city will however depend more on what the city is able to provide rather than what the paracity wishes to take from it. This will then develop into an organic relationship providing a physical structure where a community may begin to form. The paracity would ideally be where old is combined perfectly with the new without having to be old but simply by acknowl-

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

edging the old. The paracity can do this as it attaches onto it and takes from the city what is no longer desired.   The structure of a paracity is unique in its construction method but also in the way that it chooses to move away from conventional traditional planning and architecture. It offers a personalized architectural identity in which individuals may develop their own space and transform a structure into a place. The paracity as a space is interesting similar to nature which grows around what is built a paracity will grow according to what is already present and what can be found to add onto that. Where nature may struggle a paracity will find innovative solutions to incorporate something into the structure or simply build around or on top of it. It is this biourban approach to design which allows for the development of a unique structure in which individuals will form a community. These individuals will naturally come together as they have the will to create something which is their own, which they can appropriate and share with others. In a growing society one must also consider access, provision and capacity. How will the design of a space cope with something which is completely unpredictable. The answer is found in how nature copes with growth and change in provision. The paracity has no limits which are not defined by nature itself.  The paracity offers a place with new aims and thoughts. With a new system of thought we can forge a new place which creates the space for a new

society to combine with what already exists and the organic growth of nature. The structure must offer organic growth and thereby give access to as much as it can. The structure may fold itself around what is currently present and thereby incorporate it in its design. How will individuals travel through this structure once it has become more than just a structure? The paracity seeks to be a point of play between the individual and the structure. As Foucault has said as humans we need this play to help us enhance who we are and what we deliver. This play will feed the structure as well as relationships between the individual and the structure and others living in the city. This play will form at the moment where the individual becomes a part of a greater picture, when an individual has invested in the city is the point where they will form a relationship which is constantly changing in order to accommodate others as well as the change in nature. A crucial aspect for the success of a paracitic society in my view depends on how quickly a society will form and the pace at which it will grow. Societies and relationships form organically over time and are dependent on the detailed design of the structure. If one would put a very large number of strangers together the chance of success at forming a society will be lower than when a group naturally forms to subsequently slowly expands. This will be dependent on the initial structure present but also

Ruin Academy, 2011


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on what comes readily available from the city. If there is too much available for the paracity to leech on then there will be more chance for a fast growing structure which will not accommodate the natural growth we are seeking. A place will also depend on growing organically in order to function as a society. Places have rules and community engagement. Elders often play an important role in being in charge and enabling a community to grow around them according to unwritten rules like in Treasure hill. In a paracity it is necessary for this hierarchy to form itself in order for the rest of the society to treacle down from this in such a way that there is no room for altruism and only co-dependencies. This allows a society to grow organically mimicking natural growth. Where in nature a tree will not grow under another tree or too near another tree because they would be fighting for each others light, ground and water in society we must live according to similar innate rules whereby we prove selfless and show an interest in the well-being of others. A paracity must therefore grow according to need rather than desire. When the city needs new labour or when relationships become complicated we must envisage that new people will come and help to form a greater community. A community network often refers to an online form of community whereby individuals become linked through interest and other personality traits rather than according to location. This changes the way our day to day society works. If you

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think of a city no matter the scale we often do not interact with those in our close proximity. If we are lucky enough to live in an area where people spend a lot of time we may get to know some familiar faces however we still won’t often reach out for help or offer help as easily as we would if we were a part of a defined community network or living in a small village where everyone knows each other. As individuals we have the innate trait to want to help others whether it be because we care or simply because it makes us feel good. This gets lost in an individualistic city where we find it more difficult to extend help to a stranger but also where there is often no one to recognise and praise your efforts. The paracity offers a solution for this which is rooted in its design. The paracity offers a communication which lies beyond the current systems whereby the city itself becomes a form of communication. Those living in the paracity will communicate through the design and what they can offer to it. The paracity defines itself in its origin as reliant on another living structure in order to forge its existence. Without another living structure it is unable to survive. It leaches off society in order to make its own. Through this act of leeching off another society it becomes to a certain extent dependent on it. This dependency is what creates a community network in the paractiy as individuals become reliant on one another to develop this complex structure. The structure of this paracity will depend on what is readily available and how different users come together and assemble

these unique pieces. It is this act of coming together which will help different users to become more assimilated with one another and begin to develop a network. This network will then create a community with co-dependencies. In such a society where we are dependent on others it is more natural for individuals to form a society where they come in aid to one another. The society will then evolve naturally according to this pattern and what nature makes available to them. It is expected that the actual structure of the paracity will play a significant role in how the community interacts and creates links between one another. Dependent on the structure and how easy it is to create links between different sections will depend on how easy it becomes to forge relationships across different sections of the design. Living in a close environment it becomes necessary to hold contact with one another as we are so dependent on what another individual chooses to do. How someone else chooses to expand or build their structure will directly affect those surrounding that structure. Whether it be through sound, changing of available daylight or access. All these things will come into play with the changing structure of the paracity. A strong community network will help individuals to form a social structure in which they aid one another to create a friendly more organic place to live. It is this friendly more organic structure which will then allows the community to continue to live according to parasitic rules and not to revert to the destructive ways of a traditional society.


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

Casagrande Laboratory —

Bug Dome


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— Selected Works

Ruin Academy


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Treasure Hill

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014


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Ultra Ruin


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Floating Sauna

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014


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60 Minute Man


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Potemkin park

Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014


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Marco Casagrande, Finland Architecture, Principal

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Joni Virkki, Finland Architecture, Structural engineering

Niilo Tenkanen, Finland Landscape architecture, Visualization

Copyright: Casagrande Laboratory / Centre of Urban Research CURE 2014, Edit. Niilo Tenkanen

Nikita Wu, Finland / Taiwan Project management Katie Donaghy, Great Britain / France Sociology

Sauli Ylinen, Finland Project management, Civil engineering Ycy Charlie, Taiwan Architecture, Local knowledge

Menno Cramer, Great Britain / Netherlands Brain research


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Casgrande Laboratory — 2nd CAFAM Biennale, Beijing 2014

THIS NEWSPAPER HAS BEEN PRODUCED FOR THE CHINA CENTRAL ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS THE 2nd CAFAM BIENNALE 2014


Paracity