E astern P r o m ises Eastern Promises
Plan 1st f loor
Plan 2nd f loor
Plan 4th f loor
Plan 5th f loor
The RUIN ACADEMY ... is an experimental platform for knowledge building on the way towards the Third Generation City – the ruin of the industrial city. The Academy offers a public sphere for cross-disciplinary communication within the general field of built human environment, city. We don’t focus on the different disciplines of art and science. We focus on local knowledge, nature, human nature, people and stories. The Academy is more like a Pub than a University – or like a public sauna in Finland, where everybody is stripped naked from the President to the Police. The Ruin Academy is an independent and free platform where the different student groups and other players can meet. The Academy is a simultaneous construction site and a ruin. We don’t know what we will find but the first step is to break the box, ruin the city. What comes to the academic control, we will give up in order to let nature step into our ruin. There is no other discipline than nature.
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Plan 3rd f loor
ᔒᔪㇹᆨ䲒 ᔒᔪㇹᆨ䲒ᱟ⹄ウᔪ・ㅜйԓ䜭ᐲ⸕䆈 ᔪΏᡰᡀ・ሖ傇ᙗᒣਠˈѫᰘ൘ᯬ㾱ሷ⨮ᆈ ᐕᾝᐲᔒॆǄᆨ䲒ԕӪ᮷⫠ຳ઼䜭ᐲ ⛪⹄ウѫ億ˈᨀ䐘么ฏӔ⍱઼ޡޜ䄆ฏⲴ オ䯃Ǆнሷ䄆䘠❖唎᭮൘ࡕػ㰍㺃઼、ᆨ么 ฏˈᆨ䲒㪇䟽ൠᯩ⸕䆈Ⲵ㍟ぽǃᑨӪⲴ⭏⍫Ც ភ઼▋ኔⲴ䁈៦᭵һǄᴹࡕᯬᮉ㛢ᡰˈᔒ ᔪㇹᆨ䲒ᱟ38% Ⲵරˈаᓗሽཆ䮻᭮ޡޜ ᇒᔣǄᡆ㘵ᴤۿ㣜㱝഻␜йⓛ᳆ˈ❑䄆䆖ሏ ᡆᱟ㑭㎡аᖻᗇ㝛ᦹཆ㺓ˈ㜭䙢ޡޜޕẁ 䯃❑㍶ӛਇˈӪӪⲶᒣㅹǄ ᇊ㾱൘ᔪㇹᆨ䲒ㇹᓗޡޜйⓛ᳆Ǆ ⛪ᴤ㖾ྭⲴ䜭ᐲǃӪ≁઼བྷ㠚❦ˈᔒᔪㇹ ᆨ䲒䶒ੁབྷˈᗥ䳶ሽᐲ⫠ຳᵚֶⲴ 㾻Ǆᔒˈᱟ⮦Ӫ䙐Ⲵᡀ⛪བྷ㠚❦Ⲵа䜘࠶Ǆ ᡁف䴰㾱ᴤ䙢а↕⨶䀓ਠेᔒॆⲴ䙾 〻ǄӪف㯹㪇൘ൠ⸕䆈ሷᐕᾝᐲᔒॆǄ 䃠ᴳᱟਠे൘ൠ⸕䆈ሸᇦᮉᦸ˛Ԇֶ⮦៹ف ᔒᔪㇹᆨ䲒ڊ䞂؍Ǆ ᔒᔪㇹᆨ䲒ᨀ㠚ѫ㘼⦘・Ⲵᒣਠˈ䇃ֶ 㠚н਼么ฏⲴᆨ⭏ൈ億઼ᴹᘇ਼ᗳ㘵ӂӔ ⍱Ǆᆨ䲒ᵜ䓛ቡᱟ⸕䆈ᔪΏⲴ䔹億ˈ䙉㼑ᱟ ᓗᐕൠҏᱟᔒˈޙ㘵਼ᱲіᆈⲬ⭏Ǆ䴆ቊ н㜭乀⸕ᡁفᴳⲬ⨮օぞᯠ凞һˈնሷᐲ ᔒॆˈ༎⨮ᆈᯩⴂオ䯃ᴳᱟᔪΏᆨ䲒Ⲵ ㅜа↕Ǆᡁفн㇑ᆨ㺃⨶䄆Ⲵ㎡ࡦ㑡ˈফ 㾱䚰䃻བྷ㠚❦㠚⭡ޕ䮰ˈ൘ᔒѝᴹˈ⭏ޡ བྷ㠚❦ᱟୟаⲸⲴⓆǄ䙉㼑ᱟབྷՉⲴނ ᇒᔣˈᡁ਼ف൘Ⲵ38%Ǆ
mensch The Ruin Academy (Taipei 2010- ) 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 modern city and uncontrollable organic anarchy; nature, including human nature, is pushing through the industrial surface and turning the city towards the organic according to a post-human design and ecological sensibility. To understand this force, the reinforced and divided 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 citizengenerated 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 sitespecific wisdom of sustainable 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.
Urban acupuncture is an urban environmentalism theory which combines urban design with traditional Chinese medical theory of acupuncture. This process uses smallscale 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.
Urban Organism This strategy views cities as living, breathing organisms and pinpoints areas in need of repair. Sustainable projects, then, serve as needles that revitalize the whole by healing the parts. By perceiving the city as a living creature, thoroughly intertwined, â€œurban acupunctureâ€? promotes communitarian machinery and sets localized nucleus similar to the human bodyâ€™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. Traced to 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 (postindustrial city, more writing p9). 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: cross-over architectural manipulation of the collective sensuous intellect of a city. City is viewed as multi-dimensional sensitive energyorganism, 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.
Third Generation Taipei is the organic ruin of the industrial Taipei. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.
Organic bamboo dome Cicada providing Urban Acupuncture to mechanical Taipei.
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Organic Knowledge The current massive urban immigration movement in China brings people from every areas of the country to the megalomaniac cities, that all are the same. These farmers’ hands are constructing the new anonymous cities. The same hands that know the rural Local Knowledge through physical labor and passing of traditions through generations, are ending up to grease up “modernization” of China. I was working with a couple of illegal immigrant workers from Guanxi province in Shanghai, and asked them to build up fast a community center for migrant workers and this came up in a couple of days: The Bugdome (http://bugdome.blogspot.fi/ WEAK!) I ask myself, if we really understand and utilize the potential of the movement from the Chinese countryside to the cities, and the local knowledge that is pouring into the cities right now. Can we interpret this volume of organic knowledge? What kind of cities could we really build, with the help of these people? Maybe we should build an illegal city? Architects’ and designers’ position about organic knowledge is tricky. We are not the ones who carry this collective genetic memory on, but we are in a better
position to interpret and negotiate with it, step by step, like a shaman getting answers from the organic side. This can easily go very wrong, when architect starts copyrighting fragments of local knowledge under his ego. I guess often it would be enough to create a platform of accidents for the organic knowledge to surface, start cooking, and finding its own forms and dynamics. Design is not necessarily needed in here, and design should not replace reality – while organic knowledge is close to reality, nature. In the East Taiwanese town of Yilan there is a fantastic natural pond and cloth washing place, which has become a community center for women. They have developed this place into a roofing structure that grows into the water. All the pieces of the structure are very small, size of one woman to carry along with her cargo of dirty clothes. These small sticks are then tied together with stripes from worn out clothes, and this insect architecture has grown to be in lovely harmony with the site, the water, the sun circulation, and the trees. A local architect spotted this, and built an “ecological cloth washing center” just 50 meters from the original women’s architecture. In fact, I was brought to admire this concrete and steel made washing station, and just
incidentally I did found the original washing space. There were nobody on the architect designed place, whilst the women’s self-built structure was full of happily chatting ladies and their children. Same kind of thing happened with Treasure Hill (p9). First I was fighting alongside with the local community to avoid the destruction coming from the official city. When we succeeded, the place became a very famous reflection of organic knowledge and soon the city, after spotting this fame, sneaked in and gradually changed the whole real settlement into “Taipei Artist Village”, and the organic knowledge disappeared. Has it all to do with abstraction in design? During the process, when the work is becoming itself, I need to create a kind of perimeter, or even a vacuum around it. Inside of such boundary I can nurture the kind of environment that starts up the composting process of the site. The work starts growing out of this compost. It can very likely be so, that the “smelliest” places of the city provide the most fertile top soil when composted. Things are very simple and pleasing to work with when they are going towards nature. Other people, passersby, and truck drivers instinctively also feel this kind of a level of energy and they don’t hesitate to get close to the work, the working process or the author – which is not necessarily the normal case with “fine-arts”. Nature is not considered as art for fine people. The barbarian savage, the “native” is closest to this art. Only the natives can use abstraction in the powerful way – all the others are just imitating. They don’t feel the general resonating behind the birds’ singing. I was raised up in Finnish Lapland, in a small village called Ylitornio on the border between tundra and taiga. My father was the chief of police, my mother a teacher. Therefore we were living in the “official building” of the village, inside of which government officials, postoffice, telephone center, fire brigade, police station, jail, and jail for escaped hunting dogs were settled as well. All the rest of the village was about modest farmers, fishermen and hunters. But nomadic Sami people were used to come to our one-street village to buy milk and beer, and the care taker of our house was a professional hunter. I started to go with him when I was 5 or 6 years old, and thus basically grew up both in the forest and in the government house. I was equally close to the Sami people as to the police officers. When I moved to Helsinki I didn’t feel much of this kind of connection anymore, but I strongly found it again in Taipei, when I found the urban nomads harvesting in the official city. They are the care-takers of the third generation city and we have to force the official city to contemplate this wisdom. Taipei has a change. Maybe even China has a change, but the feeling of the organic knowledge is the key to survive – in Lapland like in Shenzhen.
Images of Ylan’s women architecture, after Marco Casagrande & Tamkang University students: This is this and this ain’t something else but this is this (http://casagrandetext.blogspot.it/2009/01/taipei-wasideal-place-to-build-up.html)
T H I R D GENERATION C I T Y Casagrande’s intervention at Treasure Hill addresses the concept of the third generation city as an alternative to aggressive urban development. At Ruin Academy (p4), architectural research, workshops and projects also seek to establish the ecological principles of the third generation city. If in Casagrande’s terms, the first generation city refers to modest urban development respecting the topographical and geological constraints of site, and the second generation city is an industrial city that exploits natural resources to drive its expansion, then the third generation city operates on ecological rather than economic imperatives: “the third generation city becomes the organic ruin of the industrial city.” The third generation city is envisaged to be an organic layer that promotes alternative modes of living as well as narratives, or "urban rumors," with the potential to erode the productivist mentality of the industrial city. Existing in the fragmentary organization of which the community gardens managed by "anarchist grandmothers” of Treasures Hill serve as the paradigm, the third generation city mirrors Clement's third landscapes. In Casagrande’s unabashedly utopian conception, we find echoes of a resistance to capitalist regimes described by Clement, who writes of "a global consciousness developed out of environmentalist thought [that] upsets the balance between companies and individuals: a form of mandatory
solidarity, inherent to the conditions of life on earth, anchors our minds beyond conventional conflicts of interest.” Clement's theoretical propositions for landscape provide an important conceptual framework for understanding the implications of Casagrande’s third generation city. Clément’s Manifesto of the Third Landscape stresses the alignment of the concept with the Third Estate (the common people as opposed to the nobility or clergy) as an ideal collective. The biological and social diversity implicit in the third landscapes echoes the precepts of the third generation city and its informal community gardens, which stand apart from the ordered, industrialized city. Casagrande locates evidence for this burgeoning sensibility in the informal community gardens that proliferate in Taipei along river flood banks, in abandoned construction sites and other plots of land the ownership of which is complex or unresolved. He notes that these informal gardens may be transient yet may represent decades of urban farming traditions, for example on the island inbetween Zhongxiao and Zhongshing bridges. These informal gardens operate outside of official urban planning as the “voids in the urban structure that suck in ad-hoc community actions and present a platform for anarchy through gardening.”
Ariane Lourie Harrison, Yale School of Architecture, ARCHITECTURAL THEORIES OF THE ENVIRONMENT: POSTHUMAN TERRITORY, Routledge, New York, 2013
camera all stars
film and the view will be captured 6 x 6 square shape that might come from tidy Germany disposition. Of course printed images are so beautiful with blur zone. It will surprise you, I promise.
Next camera is Asahi Pentax SV, made in Japan. This camera can trigger M42 mount lens, which were designed hundreds different varieties all over the world. Of course this camera has comfortable weight and well designed simple mechanics inside, and it does not carry an exposure meter and battery. That is why users must adjust exposure and shutter speed, seeing brightness and spacial movement.
nalists. Its shape is huge, strong and heavy like a lunch box. The good point is it suits individual situation. For instance, there is bellows behind body as old cameras have. It allows you to control perspective view of buildingâ€™s lines.
Rolleiflex series, which have been produced in Germany for about 80 years, have two To use old cameras, people needed to read charming lens on front face. Down lens natural context. You may enjoy having a transmit the seeing view to film inside, and walk with this camera. top lens reflects the view to finder screen on top side, which you can see the opposite image of real view. Luckily I bought this camera in a shop in a countryside of Switzerland. I remember I was watching that opposite view of running landscape via window in train, and I became carsick. The simple mechanics gives us a little surprise in good and bad ways. Well, actually this old camera, its shape and touch of leather bring special atmosphere for the trips. It needs 120 size
Pentax SV Mamiya press series is designed for jour-
Thus, those cameras I present are designed with primitive but clever systems. They are not only to get photos, and also convey good chances to touch your environment. by Hiroki Oja
Have a look your storage !!
mensch BURNING PASSION: LAND(E)SCAPE A dramatic architectural installation designed to draw attention to the plight of the Finish countryside. Our most unusual finalist was the wonderful architectural installation in Finland by Marco Casagrande and Sami Rintala. It is (or was) both a celebration of the traditional Finnish landscape and farming practices and a protest against the endless growth of the low density suburbs which now surround every Finnish settlement.
Land (e) scape
Modern agricultural methods have ensured the demise of many of the traditional wooden buildings seen on the edges of the meadow clearings of the forest all over the country's flat landscape. In these grey little barns, hay was stored, and animals chosen to live through winter were gathered in from the ferocious cold -- their less fortunate herd-mates being slaughtered since there was not enough fodder to keep them. Now that new industrialized farm structures and new agricultural techniques have made the old buildings redundant they are destroyed or simply allowed to fall down. Three of these abandoned barns 'were driven,' the architects explained, 'to the point where they have had to break their primeval union with the soil. Desolate, they have risen on their shanks and are swaying toward the cities of the south.' Their structures were put together again and reinforced internally. Then they were raised 10m high each on four slender legs of unpeeled pine trunks braced with steel wire -- and they began to march towards the cities of the south. The humble had suddenly been given majesty, even a degree of the sublime. They were marching to their deaths. In early October, cords of dry wood were assembled round their legs, and all was set on fire -- just at the time when the beasts they housed would have been slaughtered too. The whole was in many ways a contemporary interpretation of monument, poetic, moving, its only remaining presence on film and video. It is to be hoped that the heroic march of the three on the nation's memories and its attitude to its agricultural past. All jury members agreed that the idea was extremely powerful, and that it must be commended. Catherine Slessor / Architectural Review
Website : http://nobucreation.wordpress.com
Taipei Organic Acupuncture Text, Photo : Marco Casagrande society of today will be fi lled with ethics: the corners are windy.” With the recognition of the illegal urban farms and community gardens Taipei has found its corners. What is the ethics then pushing through these corners into the city? It could be called Local Knowledge, site-specific reactions building a bridge between the modern man and nature. The gardens of Taipei, these acupuncture points, are penetrating through the industrial surface of the city and reaching the original ground. The self organized community gardens are the urban acupuncture needles of Taipei. Local Knowledge is in connection with the first generation city, when the built human environment was dependent on nature and regulated by nature. Now the anarchist gardeners are regulating the industrial city.
Dominate the no-man’s land
The community gardens and urban farms of Taipei are astonishing. They pop up like mushrooms on the degenerated, neglected or sleeping areas of the city, which could be referred to as urban composts. These areas are operating outside the official urban control or the economic standard mechanisms. They are voids in the urban structure that suck in ad-hoc community actions and present a platform for anarchy through gardening.
The community gardens are taking over abandoned construction sites and ruined housing areas, empty city-blocks waiting for development, flood banks of the rivers and even grave-yards out of fashion. In many cases the gardens are flourishing on spots of land where the land-owner issues are unsettle or complicated. Sometimes the garden will stay in the spot for only a couple of years, as in the cases of soon to be developed areas and sometimes the urban farming has decades long traditions as with the river flood plains or on the island in-between Zhongxiao and Zhongshing bridges. The smaller urban farms are flexible and eager to overtake the empty spots of the city, eager to dominate the no-man’s land.
Treasure Hill in 2003.
The community gardens and urban farms of the Taipei Basin, 2010. For the vitality of Taipei, the networks of the anarchist gardens seem to provide a positive social disorder; positive terrorism. They are tuning the industrial city towards the organic, towards accident and in this sense they are ruining the modern urbanism. They are punctual organic revolutions and the seeds of the Third Generation City(p9), the organic ruin of the industrial city.
Missis Lee in the Gongguan community garden, an illegal garden farmed by National Taiwan University professors and staff. The community gardens of Taipei are Roadside Picnic. Grandmothers can take us there, like Stalker. Prof. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila has said: “The valueless void of the
Urban farming happens through different social classes and through out the city. The socially disordered citizens are ready to occupy land and start the community farms over and over again. Some acupuncture spots get hot and benefit the surrounding urban tissue while others fade away. The industrial surface of the city keeps constantly being broken up and herbs and vegetables are planted into the cracks. People are ruining the industrial city. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.
In the rough editing process of an industrial city the anarchist gardeners seem to act as micro-editors, parasites benefiting of the slow circles of the big-scale development. They occupy the not so sexy areas of the city and they jump in the more sleepy parts of the development cycle. For example – the developer buys a whole city block with originally many land-owners. The process is slow because he has to negotiate with all of them. While the process is dragging behind the urban farmers step in and start farming the area. The developer doesn’t want to cause any more fuss and let it happen. It takes 3-5 years before the developer has got all the area to his possession and those same years the site acts as the community garden. When the actual construction starts the gardeners have already occupied a next vacant spot in the city.
Anarchist Grandmothers D ia log w it h Em ma Tuc k er, E d itor / Mer i Me d ia ance with architecture and nature. What do you hope will emerge out of Ruin Academy? I hope the Ruin Acade my to be a continuous series of international workshops, research and studies taking place not only in Taipei, but in other locations too. In Norway we are on a process to open up NOMAD as a window in Hemnes community in straight connection with stunning nature and nomads. This nomadic window will bring in something new to Taipei and to architecture. In Artena, Italy we are opening up Ruin Academy together with the International Society of Biourbanism, together with whom we will publish a book this summer focusing on the possibilities of Biourban Acupuncture. Ruin Academy is a compost, that needs to be turned over every now and then and new organic material needs to get into the pile. What other projects or people working today do you find most inspiring or innovative? Normal people are inspiring and innovative. Architects are getting too closed to the discipline like all the other academic disciplines and just taking care of their own “rights” and posing to each other. Most of us are just prostitutes for developers and that is not totally satisfying. Architecture has a big social responsibility in developing built human environement that can perform as a mediator between the modern man and nature – not closing in the mechanical-human joke into a box separated from the rest of nature. Normal people are good. Illegal architecture is interesting. Spontaneous urban acupuncture is fine … in anarchist grandmothers we trust! Thanks! Kiitos
“POLLUTION COMES FROM UP-STREAM” Missis Chen has been living together with the Xindian River all her life. She and her husband used to work for a construction company that harvested sand from the river bottom. Missis Chen participated in the work and she also cooked tea for the working men. These working men founded the Treasure Hill community together with the KMT veterans from Mainland China. The illegal community by the river built their own houses and farmed all the flood plain from the Treasure Hill (p9) settlement to the river. The water was so clear that on low water they could walk to the other side of the river because they could see all the time the bottom and where to step. Children used to cross the river on top of buffaloes. All the families also had to have a boat according to Missis Chen, to visit their relatives and to go on markets to sell their vegetables. “Sometimes an uncle was so drunk that we didn’t know how to send him home in the dark to the other side of the river with his little boat.” Because of the flood the Treasure Hill settlers did not build valuable properties to the flood area down the hill, but used that for secondary buildings such as pig houses and storages, but even then the official government wanted to “protect” them and bulldozed the houses away and in the end forbid them from farming the flood plains. “The pollution comes from the up-stream.” Missis Chen says, either meaning the illegal factories up on the hills or the central government. Suddenly the river got so dirty that they could not eat the fish anymore. “Even the dogs don’t eat the fish today.” Before the pollution they drank the river water, washed their clothes and vegetables in the river and ate the fish and crabs. River was their everyday life. Clean river is not a fiction. It is a living memory. Taipei is a river city. Mechanical Taipei is an industrial fiction.
M i s si s C hen
What was the original dealing with reality. There is inspiration for Ruin Academy? only one reality: nature. Nature can be found in abandoned I have been following the buildings, which sometimes ruining processes in Taiwan for have transformed to be part a longer period – how nature is of nature themselves. This is reading architecture and how a high quality in architecture nature and architecture can and architects should focus on coexist together in a symbiosis. this. I want to see the organic I am interested in a condition, ruin of the industrial city and where nature and human I want to see people ruining nature share the same house the industrial fiction. The – or the same city. I started to trend is to feel nature, also develop the architectural design in architecture. Without this methodology to reach the sensitivity architecture and constructive and creative ruin urbanism is developing against condition while teaching in nature turning the modern the Tamkang University. From man into a mechanical joke. architectural scale the thinking Cities are full of therapy. evolved into urban scale and through the methodology of The inhabitants of the building Urban Acupuncture into the are called ‘constructor/gardentheory of the Third Generation ers’ - can you explain this term City. Ruin Academy was set a little bit more, and what the up to further develop these role entails? lines of thinking from a multidisciplinary point of view. If an architect is a gardener, Next to the actual building of he is a constructor. If he is not, the Ruin Academy in Taipei is he is a destructor. Many spona tree growing on a wall of an taneous and often illegal comapartment house. The roots of munities are gardening houses, the trees are penetrating into growing architecture that is the sewage system as a source much more complex and fruitof energy and the tree uses the ful that official development house as a physical support for and official architecture, that its growth. The tree needs to is blindly directed by economy regulate his growth though, and centralized politics. These otherwise it will break the organic settlements – favelas, house. In needs the house and slums, ghettos, camps, urban it needs people using sewage. villages etc. are bringing in This tree, this urban bonsai, is hope into the urban developa great inspiration. ment. I want the students to garden architecture, to grow What are the differences ap- structures that will mingle with proaching building a project other structures and natural elout of an existing building, and ement resulting into an organic creating an entirely new struc- human mangrove. This is not romantic. Nature is murder. A ture? constant impact of energy is Site specific qualities are al- needed to keep the structures ways different. These are the weak and flexible. Hardness qualities where architecture is is an expression of death. Anrooting to. Man-made envi- archist grandmothers are culronment can be very fruitful. tivating illegal community So can be forest. Everything is gardens and urban farms everywhere around Taipei. These interesting. farms are producing needles of It seems that these kinds urban acupuncture tuning the of projects that take over mechanical city towards the orabandoned or derelict buildings ganic. Anarchist grandmothare becoming more common. ers are an expression of local Do you think there’s a move knowledge, a seed of the Third in this direction, for architects Generation City. to focus instead on renovating existing buildings, rather than Can you explain a little bit creating anew? more about how you hope the organic/manmade will merge Dealing with existing in Ruin Academy? buildings and communities is harder than creating By accident. Nature will grow new anonymous objects. in and find its balance with the Architecture is not design, but architecture. We find our bal-
DIC TATOR’ S WA LL
Nature is pushing into the city no matter how hard we want to block it away. The harder the barrier between the city and the nature becomes, the harder will be the nature's push.
The Dictator's Wall: 12 meters high concrete wall separating the modern Taipei from its roots.
The Jiantai fishermen have been operating on the Keelong and Danshui Rivers for generations fishing, crabbing and transporting cargo and people on the rivers. They used to carry their Local God with his temple to higher grounds when the river was flooding.
us, but it was not so bad since there was no flood walls: the water have plenty of space to spread around. He showed the level below his knee where the water used to rise during the typhoon.
fishermen remained with their shrinking settlement close to the river, while as the mad dictator with his city was walled up from the river. Still today the fishermen don’t find a reason why to build the walls. “The Japanese had better ideas for the rivers. They for example thought “Then one time the dictator’s home was flooded”, he of digging the Keelong River deeper. When KMT The river was so clean that they could drink the water. tells us referring to Chiang Kai-Shek. “The dictator came the river got polluted and then came the wall.” Flood came every year, the boat building master told got mad to the nature and builds the walls”. The Jiantai
S u m m er Sch oo l 2013 BIOURBANISM FOR A HUMAN-CENTERED SUSTAINABLE DESIGN Artena (Rome, Italy) – July 21st/28th 2013
Exhibition Casagrande Laboratory
Registration deadline: 30.06.2013.
URL : http://www.biourbanism.org/summer-school-2013/
Urban Nomad The Urban Nomad is a 4-man living and working unit originally developed for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
The Paratrooping Finn interviewed by David Frazier FINNISH ARCHITECT Marco Casagrande is in Taipei until October 17 at the invitation of Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs for a project of some kind. I met him by chance at the bar Watersheds two days after his arrival on September 30. This is what we talked about:
“Spreading seeds. I will have a thing right here.” He indicated a basket on his hip. “See what I mean.”
I don’t know about that. The government here has strict controls on transportation. If you can’t get a private plane or a C-130, would you try to jump out of a commercial plane?
Are you going to document this? “You can come behind me and take pictures or whatever.” I have a DVD camera.
What kind of airplane? “C-130. I know the military has them here. I saw one just yesterday flying over.”
“That would work too.”
Do you think you can really do this?
What about landing? Taipei’s got a lot of buildings and stuff.
“We will see. I just got here the day befor Who invited you here?
Will they let you do that? “Why not? That is what we will see.”
“WHAT? You come down! You land! THERE’S NO PROBLEM. Maybe you break your leg!”
“The city’s culture department.” Um, what kind of seeds do you want to spread?
Have you ever parachuted before? And what did they say when you told them what you want to do?
“In the meeting, of course they were all silent for a moment. And then somebody said, ‘Is this like a metaphor or something?’ And I said, ‘NO. IT’S NOT A METAPHOR. I WANT TO JUMP OUT OF AN AEROPLANE AND SPREAD SEEDS OVER TAIPEI.’”
Shouldn’t you take a class or something? “No. I will just do it.” What if the equipment screws up?
“Plants. Things that people can grow.” Not non-native species I hope. “No. Local plants, like rice and so forth.” That sounds great. Good luck. “Thank you.”
“It will work.” That’s cool as fuck. What if you can’t get a C-130? “We’ll try to find someone with a private aeroplane. They must have them here.”
AMIS: URBAN ABORIGINALS The Amis spokesman of the Xi Zhou village is a representative of a very brave Xindian riverside community. Being the descendants of the original three families of the Taidong Amis, the community have been fighting for their rights to live along the river. First the government destroyed their riverside farms and built a bicycle track instead. Then the officials tried to kick the Amis from their homes and “resettle” them, as they did with the Treasure Hill’s original community (p9). The Amis refused and has been fighting ever since. Now they are in a dialog with the government, who has proposed to move the village a bit further from the river and build to them new homes. The
making food collectively on street
Amis think that the government houses will be nothing compared to their self build houses that form a unique organic community that is as much a garden as it is architecture. The Amis prefer to build their new homes by themselves too in the same organic way as the community is built now and keeping the same dialog with the neighbors and collective spaces.
the river got polluted. The Amis (Chinese: 㜿⨾᪘; pinyin: āměi-zú; also Ami or Pangcah) are an indigenous people of Taiwan. They speak Amis, an Austronesian language, and are one of the fourteen officially recognized peoples of Taiwanese aborigines. The traditional territory of the Amis include the long, narrow valley between the Central Mountains and the Coastal Mountains, the Pacific coastal plain eastern to the The Spokesman is 37 years old and tells Coastal Mountains, and the Hengchun us that he spent all his childhood with Peninsula. the river, who provided the community its everyday food. The collective farming In the year 2000 the Ami numbered along the river was as essential to the 148,992. This was approximately 37.5% community sense as the river itself and of Taiwan's total indigenous population, those two cannot be separated in the making them the largest tribal group. The Spokesman’s childhood memory. Then: Amis are primarily fishermen due to their
coastal location. They are traditionally matrilineal. Traditional Amis villages were relatively large for indigenous groups, typically between 500 and 1,000. In today's Taiwan, the Amis also comprise the majority of "urban aboriginals" and have developed many "urban tribes" all around the island. In recent decades, Amis have also married exogamously to Han as well as other indigenous
Below : The Amis spokesman of the Xi Zhou riverside village. The Amis work on the construction sites around the modern Taipei, but when the day is done they return to their organic settlement by the river outside the city.
A designer association based in London UK, China, Japan. The association was established in summer 2010 by designers and students from architecture and information technology.
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law proposed during/after WWII to permit local residents temporarily closing up the residential road to create a children’s play area due to the shortage of the park. However this has become less successful ever since 1980s.
Streetmuseum (2010) Museum of London
As traffic volume increases with economic development after the war, it has been considered to be a risk playing on the street and the importance of the park has increased. In 1963, research paper of UK cities called “Buchanan Report” was published where Colin Buchanan clearly proposed to separate the living space and the traffic space. This led trials to integrate pedestrian decks into residential blocks however no room left to discover in these purpose built and controlled space and the space has often become the target of destruction and vandalisation in the contrary. There has also been the play street
“99 Tiny Games” was a gamification project installed in the urban space of London during the London Olympics 2012. 99 simple games for kids, which would have been played in London in the past, were written on circular plates on the streets. Through the games, London-visitors can discover hidden spaces there. For example:- Dum Dum Game (With a good view of a number of people, one player will say dum, dum in cadence with the stride one set of people they observe. The other player must pick out the correct set of people that sync with that cadence) and Borabacus Bikes (Players must count up the number of bicycles in the nearby cycle rack, this will become their target number, then they must pick a bike, and look at the five numbers written on it. Using all of the numbers found they must find a way to reach the target). A variety of games aimed to link the people and the particular part of the city on that particular moment. The discovery of new levels of space of the city has been no longer only through our mind yet it has been also aided by new technologies. Museum of London has launched iPhone app called Streetmuseum in 2010. When users visit the geo tagging various sites of the app in London, the historical images of the sites appear on the iPhone
Whether it is designed intentionally or not, interactive gismos embedded in the city have been tying city and people together by stimulating the sense of playfulness. The project“City of Surface”will stimulate the sense of playfulness by proposing a playful kit consist of series of surfaces like exploded wooden blocks which are manipulatable to create open and playable public space. The furniture sized temporary units contains electronic devices which makes sound and light as people plays it. The space created by participants will be sensored and recorded as three dimensional positions of the surfaces in the context. The next players will be able to discover the past players’dream city through these memories and respond to them when creating their dream cities.
Jun City of Surfaces (2013)
99 Tiny Games (2012) Hide&Seek
Children’s playfulness free from ‘common sense’ or ‘good sense’ enlivens cities by finding an unexpected place in streets and vacancies. Undercroft space of Southbank Centre along the River Thames in South London has been re-discovered as a ‘wicked’ site for skateboarding by young skateboarders and is crowded with many young people and onlookers every weekend. Historically, it was also playfulness that revitalized devastated areas in London which were bombed during WWII. Children created a suitable playground by piling the fragments of destroyed industrial materials. This encouraged people in the reconstruction. These spontaneous places called junk playground later have been adopted as controled playgrounds for kids in the town planning.
hiroki yamamoto / saki ichikawa / yosuke komiyama (SHARISHARISHARI)
Playfulness as a Stimulus to Creativity
A city is wigglling kensuke hotta (SHARISHARISHARI)
mensch NOMAD CITY AURORA OBERVATORY The students and professors represent all together 19 nationalities and were mostly urban nomads. They were driven to the frozen lake by determination of finding something primeval that can show them some new and fresh ropes within the disciplines of architecture, environmental art and urban design. After two weeks on the frozen lake they also got some fish.
Fish is Real Architecture is environmental art. The students were given a task to make a personal nomad shelter and collectively to build a movable Nomad Sauna on skies and an Aurora Observatory. Under the ice there were beautiful salmon related fishes - trout and arctic char. Local Knowledge was needed in order to get them up. The farmers around the lake were generous in helping the students and more than that curious to see if they could manage in the demanding Nordic winter conditions. For the course the survival was not enough - the students had to manage to construct in 1:1 scale and find beauty through their actions in the frozen environment. We had a cottage by the lake kindly supported by the Bjørnådal family. After opening up first time the cottage and building up the fire the students went in to dry their clothes and soaked souls and we realized that they will never come out. After that the cottage was highly regulated and the students had to rather do hard forestry work in small groups heating up the body to dry the clothes up from inside. There were partly two meters of snow and plenty of trees. After the daylight we got together at the Sæterstad farm which worked as our base camp to eat dinner and dry up clothes. This was also the natural time to talk and review their designs. To design is not enough. Design should not replace reality and there is only one real reality - nature. Step by step all the students were exposed to the elements and they started their modern archaeology towards the organic. Plans and design were changed; best of them were melted away. Some worked in the garage of the farmhouse, the most hard core students day after day on the frozen lake. They also got some fish and observed the aurora. One evening we had a road kill ptarmigan for dinner. The students dried their socks hanging in the living room lamp. Young Agnes Born was singing us sensitive blues songs while the wings and legs of the ptarmigan were being frozen for her collection and getting rid of lice. Belgian guys made some Flemish pizza and the vegetarian students survived amazingly with muesli and risotto. At some point some of them were also reverted in eating raw meat. The Italian ladies made for us and the farmers tiramisu and chocolate cakes after Professor Bjørnådal corrected the group from selfish behavior and advised that there existed also another kind of economy: giving. The farmers accepted the students and the community took over the constructions. Now the Nomad Sauna is on skies during the winters and
floating on the community's swimming beach during the summers. Ice fishers are using the Aurora Observatory which also has a fireplace to straight prepare the fresh fish. The individual structures are ending up around Varntresk tourist road as permanent works of environmental art. We got full support from the local people including fish and goat meat. All in all the experience on the frozen lake was good. It was great to see the students from different disciplines working together and facing the same big voice of nature. Academic discipline means nothing. Nature means everything. Human nature as part of nature is the hardest discipline.
Hans-Petter Bjørnådal & Marco Casagrande
Suzanne Van Niekerk
N O M A D is focused in the research of local knowledge and local handcraft as a means to develop new architecture for future built human environment. N O M A D operates rendering the multi-disciplinary research methodology of Futures Studies applied to architectural and social theories of Urban Acupuncture and Open Form. All the research, methodologies and designs are mirrored and criticized by the local nomadic Same communities.
School of A rchitect ure and Env ironmenta l A rt
The understanding of local knowledge, handcraft and physical presence as part of nature is the studentsâ€™ first step towards developing future architecture, a reality of human nature as part of nature. Later on the students will bring this new knowledge building back into the cities and tune the cities towards the organic through urban acupuncture, futures research and open form. N O M A D architect is a design shaman acting as a mediator between the modern man and the life providing system of nature.
Location: Hemnes, Norway Teachers: Hans-Petter BjĂ¸rnĂĽdal, Marco Casagrande
Dream House, by Shuchin Shen
ZERO CI T Y.
2006 in Danshui
Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. Zero City aiming to present the elements of the Third Generation City (p7), as they seem to be happening. The growing ground for the elements is the current Taipei City – an industrial city that is ruined by nature, especially human nature. This ruining process is the growing process of the Third Generation City. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.
small groups and communities. The official city is constantly being attacked from the corners and small strongholds of the Third Generation City. The jungle is penetrating the asphalt pavement. The cracks can be either filled again with some industrial pavement or they will grow bigger. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila: “The valueless void of the society of today will be filled by ethics: the corners are windy.”
Taipei presents a sharp and fruitful case for the observation of the simultaneous existence of the centrally governed official urban structure and the social anarchism of individuals,
Observation at Tamkang University, Danshui, 2007: An air-conditioning machine is dropping water to the concrete platform under it. A creeper has rooted near by and is using
this water. The creeper has grown to the air-conditioning machine and it has broken it. Machine is broken. Zero City is a broken city. The creeper has stopped the industrialization. To understand the possibilities of the Third Generation City we need to make a visionary plan for the Taipei City when it is ruined. This ruin we will call the Zero City. In shaping the visionary plan we are shaping the general theory of the Third Generation City.
DENSIFY A suggestion was made that a third generation city (p7)might be found in a densified suburb, performing an act of architecture with direct political engagement and anarchy as an architectural mechanism. Questions were asked as to what other cultural forms could
provide a stimulating provocation towards densification and what are the limits of optimism in relation to education, environmental justice and equity. It was recognized that density is most a problem in the developing world, and it was proposed that architects were best
used to create 'trojan horses' to achieve something covertly which would not otherwise be sanctioned. Finally it was agreed that research and design provide the potential to create the necessary new investment models and types of occupation that support a culture of whole life
densification within the body of the city.
- Eamonn Canniffe reporting on DENSIFY symposium / Manchester School of Architecture
CO LU M N I was sitting on top of this mountain - the highes peak on a ridge actually. All of a sudden a mist starts appearing and getting thicker. It ends up so that only my upper torso is above the mist level and I see all the world disappearing under this white layer of cloud - a white, alive table and everything stops. The war stops, the tanks can't aim, because of the mist. I sit quietly a while there, then get my kit together and walk down into the mist.
"Let everything that has been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important: let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing and strength is nothing. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible, when he dies he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it is tender and pliant, but when it is 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. " from Andrei Tarkowski's Stalker (1979, Mosfilm).
Willow cathedral Sandworm in Wenduine, Belgium by C-LAB, 2012.
CHEN HOUSE is realized on an old Japanese cherry-farm in the Datun -mountains of North-Taiwan. It is designed as a vessel to react on the demanding wind, flooding and heat conditions on the site. The house is a stick raised above the ground in order to let the flood waters run under it. The different spaces are connected to a flexible movement within the axis of outdoor and indoor functions. The smaller bathroom and kitchen unit acts as a kicker stabilizing the wooden structure during the frequent typhoons and earthquakes. The bio-climatic architecture is designed to catch the cool breeze from the Datun -river during the hot days and to let in the small winds circulating on the site between the fresh water reservoir pond and the farmlands. A fire place is used during the winter for heating and for cooking tea. In connection with the bathroom is a small sauna. The house is not strong or heavy ? it is weak and flexible. It is also not closing the environment out, but designed to give the farmers a needed shelter. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature. With this house we were looking forward to design a ruin.
Milkland photo by MC
>> Packed Traditional Can, can, can, and can.. There are full of is going to be a precious experience for my canned foods, filling a huge shelf behind a creative design work!!" I thought. Well, bar counter. to stop your misunderstanding, this story is not concerned with my alcohol liking. This is the report of 'canned foods bar', Perhaps… where brings small boom in Japan. This special bar simply serves the canned foods After sat on bar counter and ordered one gathered from all over the world. The glass, I headed to the shelf filled plenty customers pick individual cans from the cans. All cans are tidily ordered in shelf huge shelf, and pay prices written on the depending on countries and families, like back of each cans. books in library. They have stocked popular cans of Japanese foods, such as Yakitori As a profession of designers, I would like to and Oden etc... Daishimaki egg (rolled try everything that seems interesting. The fried egg, seasoned soy-sauce) was quite experiences often affect our creativities in rare to see. Foreign cans, which are rarely good way. seen, were oiled fishes, olives, small pasta in soup and so on. Then I was surprised One day, a TV program featured this there are many differences according to canned foods bar. It sounded quite fancy regions and countries. to me, so immediately I took a train to that bar.(4 hours for one way) "This time also As each houses have individual home-
taste, can's tastes and chosen materials change on the following to its sources. This is a little bit wow. In addition, we are not easily able to touch another cultures of foods unless you travel. Of course it is the best if you can trip. In fact, that sounds quite hard to busy people. For the people like me, those packed cans open a flavour of foreign countries and a piece of their lives. In other words, the shelf in front of us shows the pieces of world traditions.
our cultures. The opportunities to meet with people from different places, and the canned foods which brings different cultures are nicely match each other. I was nodding while drinking Sake and seeing mushroom's Ajillo which was opened just before. Perhaps canned foods may tell you his or her hometown. Please imagine before open a can, that small case brings you everywhere you imagined.
While I was thinking with a few cans in a hand, one guy asked me like this. "Where did you come from?" After I answered, he continued "Oh, so is that canned food your taste? That is speciality of your place, isn't it? … ." Then naturally we had a small conversation of my prefecture. Although I did not have any knowledge about his hometown at first, we could exchange
Floating Sauna Floating sauna for the Rosendahl village by the Hardangerfjord in Norway. The sauna is situated in the center of the village. It glows like a lantern when the things are cooking. The Design-Build process was an intensive workshop for the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway.
LORDI new single “Hard Rock Hallelujah”
music ; Olivia (vocal)
lyric ; Lukas (guitar)
Everything else totally
Islamic culture saved the Western civilization. Arabs found the way to America. Mare Nostrum is the sea of the caliphate. Jesus is prophet of Islam.
Scents Shapes Colours
Silk Road. Mata Hari. Harems. Belly dancing. 1001 nights. Ecstasy. Hashish. Drunk of God.
Everything else totally War Honour Shame - Rumi
The houses of Islam are now shaky. The houses of Wall Street are now shaky. Western fundamentalists are killing equally fundamental mujahedeen, and everything
Wall Streets and Arabs their squares and city blocks to throw away the dictators and to distribute the good among the people. Besides some looted TVs there were no goods to distribute. Oilfields and other sweets were already controlled by the same industrial colonizers who eventually smart bombed away the old regimes. Every single drop of the Middle Eastern oil will go to Islam could be the great connector and keep going the post-industrial machine of bridge between the religious philosophies the west. After the revolution people can go of the East and the Chistian love of the back home. West. It could accelerate the Eurasian fusion of humanity and the building up of a In the Cairo graffiti it is interesting to more sensitive collective conscious as it did see the old Pharaonic Egyptian motives before to enlighten the European dark ages. penetrating through the everyday chaotic revolutionary visuals and slogans. It seems When was it, that the mysterious, poetic, that the revolution is merely operating on the philosophic end erotic Muslim orient hard surface of the today’s Arabic culture, became the two dimensional man against the very same thin surface through which the rest of us – when did this revolution the industrial oil is pumped. Under this happen? When did the Middle-East lose surface is something greater, unreachable their great light of Enlightenment, like the by the oil drills and Kalashnikov - the West did with industrialism? Now the West mysterious, poetic, philosophic and is trying to heal its industrial traumatism erotic oriental soul. Did the Arab Spring by trying to reconnect the modern man revolutions bring this soul to the street with nature. Simultaneously part of the level, uniting people to a loving mass of neo-ecological West is in a constant war dancing mystics or was is just a pubertanic around the oil of the East. This oil used temporary festival of violence and power to belong to dictators supported by the on the thing hard surface of oil, religion industrial powers. Now the industrialism is and power? The Cairo graffiti is catching the dictator alone. a greater revolution than the Arab Spring. They are catching new visions of a humane People are confused. They were rallying and loving man who is getting tired to the on the streets for the great festival or hard surfaces of oil, power and revolution. Revolution. Westerners were occupying A creative soul that wants to be free. in-between – children, goats, saints. Oil is flowing, people are poor. The valueless void of Western culture is filled with oil. Poor people are smiling. They dance with the dust, drunk of God. This God is love, love is a rose.
Bird Cage An Architectonic installation for the third Yokohama Triennial of Contemporary Art 2001 in Yokohama, Japan, which was curated by Fumio Nanjo. A hangar built for 72 balsa birds which carry 5 seeds and messages in test tubes inside them. The birds are sent to the height of 10 kilometres with VAISALA - meteorological balloons. After the burst of the balloon the birds will glide long distances according to the turbulences and winds landing around Japan and to the Pacific Ocean. The finder of the bird is asked to take responsibility of planting and taking care of the seeds and to send information to Casagrande & Rintala. The building was made out of concrete ironing steel bars and hemp rope.
Apelle : the wooden home in Finland which is being called a boat By Bridget Borgobello, Gizmag The Apelle wooden home located in Karjaa, Finland stands out out from your average eco-home, as it was constructed as if it were a boat. The building is nestled amidst its natural surroundings of rock beds and trees, where the utmost care was taken not to disturb the natural habitat. Designed by architect Marco Casagrande, the unique home took one year to design and another year to complete construction. It was built with the help of two local carpenters who usually build wooden boats – they maintain that the home is actually a boat. “Real construction workers are a very sensitive kind of structural artists,” Marco Casagrande told Gizmag. “Our carpenters started to talk about a boat immediately when they saw the drawings and how the house was going to be fitted on the site without blowing off rocks or other heavy foundation works.” Casagrande went on to tell us how the carpenters took on a protective role of the home’s interior f luidity and didn’t mind correcting him along the way. “They felt the nature of this house from the very beginning and took on the responsibility of protecting its soul during the construction process,” said Casagrande. “The emotional energy from their hands is everywhere in the house and this impact does not disappear ... it almost feels like a kind of love. They were sailing this house from the very first scratch. I did the navigation.” Casagrande designed the Apelle house with the intention of creating a basic family home with multifunctional living zones and a strong connection to the surrounding environment. Following the theme of a wooden boat, the home’s interior design possesses a continuous composition, where the walls, kitchen and even living room furniture are all seamlessly built into to each other. The master bedroom goes on to include three large porthole-like windows and the house is also equipped with a couple of internal and external ladders. Furthermore, the use of the interior zones can change from day to night. The same space can be used for all the living needs: working, eating, relaxing, entertaining and sleeping. The wooden home features high-quality insulation and access to geothermal heating via a 150-meter (492-ft) deep well. During the winter months the open living space can be heated by the thermal ground heat, coupled with two interior fireplaces. Natural light f loods the home all year round through the large windows and glass ceiling walkways. “The ecology of this house is normal. There are no tricks,” said Casagrande. “This is a well-insulated wooden house, heated up by nature.” Casagrande hopes to continue building “good homes for good people” and remains passionate about designing sustainable projects that can make a difference. “So much can be done by using our hands outside the mainstream industrial fiction,” he said. “Sustainable architecture is not rocket science; it is linking our body to the site-specific natural environment. Architecture is a mediator between human nature and the rest of nature, which also brings in an equally great responsibility of not alienating modern man from nature. We are nomads.”
31 JP Heikkinen
it’s anarchical it’s acupunctural, well it’s both / marco casagrande - Anna Yudina / MONITOR #68 Four weeks to erect a willow-woven pavilion for the Beaufort Triennial of Contemporary Art (Belgium, February). Ten days of Survival Architecture workshop to populate a frozen mountainous lake with nomad shelters (Norway, March). A trip to Estonia: Aalto University’s Department of Environmental Art builds connections with the neighbouring country, its universities, artists, architects, urban planners and “even some guys squatting in an abandoned factory” (May). It’s a Saturday afternoon; Marco Casagrande – architect, anarchist, artist, akupunk and partisan of real reality – is back to his home country, Finland, and ready to share his ideas with MONITOR. Architect & team build a temporary bamboo shelter on a patch of land encircled by high-rises and highways. It can serve as a social club for illegal workers from an adjacent construction site; a concert venue for underground bands and poets; a gathering space for the neighbourhood folks; a lounge for university workshops…You do not even need to remove the whole thing when it’s over: in a few months it will be overtaken by vegetation, then disintegrate on its own. “This architecture is like an insect that undergoes a process of transformation from egg to larva; then it cocoons and becomes a butterfly. When I design, it’s an egg; the construction process is the larva phase; when completed, it’s a cocoon. But I may not be able to answer what the butterfly is. Possibly, it’s the way people feel about this building.” Casagrande is not happy with the superficial attitude of today’s media, which banalizes architecture to a series of elegant photos carrying no trace of the process that has shaped it and made it real. “The construction process is like a gift. You work so hard designing and negotiating to get it built. We have an aspiration that brings together ten people from different countries for one month,” – Marco refers to the recently completed Sandworm in Wenduine. “We develop our own routine, and take care of each other, and prepare food together, and it becomes real. Then at some point architecture overpowers us as designers or builders;
we are just working for what becomes our boss. It feels like being constantly on drugs; we sacrifice everything for it to happen. And when it’s ready, we don’t even realize it. It’s a shock.” Working hard to ignite the process, balancing on the borderline between control and accident, the architect, in Marco’s view, functions as “the most sensitive antenna that receives what an object wants to say or to be.” Like a shaman whose senses reach beyond the visible and palpable reality, the architect negotiates with the collective consciousness and externalizes this invisible presence into built environments, thus making it accessible to everyone else. “But don’t forget that shamans are not heroic figures: to protect their extreme sensitivity, they can be disgusting and bizarre. I play many roles simultaneously. As an architect, sometimes I have to be very business-oriented, or very aware of how to talk to people, but inside myself I know I do it just to smuggle into the real thing.” This power of architecture is best explained through the idea of weakness – in the words of Sou Fujimoto, an order that incorporates disorder and uncertainty. WEAK! is the name of the loosely affiliated team that unites Casagrande and his Taiwanese colleagues Hsieh Ying-Chun and Roan Ching-Yueh who share the same live-and-let-live-approach and believe in the intrinsic wisdom of reality. Which gets us very close to Urban Acupuncture and the 3rd Generation City (p9), the keynotes of Casagrande’s trans-architectural philosophy. “Urban Acupuncture is a kind of magic item you find if you are able to enter the zone that is no longer bound to any particular discipline. It’s neither architecture nor environmental art nor anthropology.” UA has no fixed scale. “Acupunks” practice micro interventions like the Human Layer projects in various European cities, but they may also come to Puerto Rico and rethink an entire
infrastructure, aiming to render the city liveable for pedestrians, and not the car traffic alone… Casagrande claims to have discovered UA – essentially, a method where humans are seen as part of nature – when he recognized the city as an enemy. “I am addicted to the city, but it’s a place where people get corrupted, where they blindfold themselves and live in constant hypnotization. You can fly your kite, or drive a scooter, but you don’t look inside yourself because this is called paranoia. It’s a climate that creates pollution and prostitution, so of course I was interested: it was like going to a whorehouse. But the city is also the ultimate place where people meet, and the collective conscious is cooking up here. I wanted to deal with this mass of organic collective energy, so the city became my target and UA – my tool. It’s the strategy of a bird that shits over a city, and its shit contains a seed, and this fertilized seed goes down, and cracks the asphalt, and this organic thing starts growing. I needed to penetrate through the industrial surface in order to reach that what everyone sees and feels but the official system cannot deal with. At first I believed to be alone, but there were other people thinking along the same lines. The biggest step forward was when I found out that normal, real citizens were breaking the official city all the time…” Casagrande regards favelas and slums as high-potential acupuncture points. “Industrialism and any other kind of human control introduces rigidity – and, like with anything else in nature, rigidity means death. Flexibility, mobility, softness, weakness have a sense of life to them, so the problem itself may contain a better solution than the attempt at total control,” says Marco who reveres Russian writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Their social science fiction deals exclusively with problems that have no satisfactory solution on the material plane. They pose the kind of questions where every answer is strictly personal, one-off, and valid only if you find it deep inside yourself. Problem-solving is different from improvising. Casagrande opts for improvisation.
U R B A N N O M A D
U R B A N
N O M A D
by Marco Casagrande
BEER OPERATORS 3 + 4
BENCH, FIREWOOD UNDER
SAUNA OPERATOR 1 TABLE, BED UNDER
URBAN NOMAD The Urban Nomad is a 4-man living and working unit originally developed for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The unit consists of individual spaces for working and sleeping under the tables â€“ 2 persons upstairs and 2 downstairs + collective spaces with an open fire-place, sauna and outdoor dry toilet. Upstairs is a box of ice for beer and meat. The foot-print of the Urban Nomad is 2,5 x 5 meters equalling to one car parking space. C-LAB
by Marco Casagrande
Traktorfan ࡃ ࡓ ࡩ ࠵ 㸟
TOP 10 THIRD GENERATION MOVIES
1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Stalker 2001: A Space Odyssey Metropolis Apocalyse Now Fata Morgana Dersu Uzala Man Without a Past Little Otik Deliverance Nanook of the North
2 Tarkovsky Kubric Lang Ford-Coppola Herzog Kurozawa Kaurismäki Švankmajer Boorman Flaherty
1979, Soviet Union 1968, UK – USA 1927, Germany 1979, USA 1971, West Germany 1975, Soviet Union – Japan 2002, Finland 2001, Czech Republic 1972, USA 1922, USA
The RUIN ACADEMY
Ruin Academy's independent newspaper for Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art exhibition "Eastern Promises", 2013. Kindly su...