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The 14 facades' house is a project realized by the m architecture & V.O. studio in Bruxelles.
The entire project, which is placed inside an area of the citizien of Ragnies and well integrated in the greenery, was conceived in an economical way to preserve materials and to optimize the ratio between the area and the construction cost (about 3.000 euro per square foot), but not at the expense of quality.
The choices were guided by simplicity, economy, ecology, and flexibility, but also by the desire for beauty, integration, security and warmth.

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Everything was realized by using local products and manufacture: the pine wood comes from neighboring areas as well as for the local craftsmen.
According to the principle a "km 0", the house was built in perfect harmony with the natural environment. The specific choice of the owner and architect did not discounted at the same time architectural quality or spatial functionality. Thus, for example, the choice to develop a light, wood construction for the whole house, allowed the choice of a design that can be simple and flexible; a structure that can be quickly and easily built, and which can readily adapt to the sloping ground, reducing the cost of construction.
Moreover, several small and simple structures that are interconnected, create varying views, delineating areas of the house (the entryway, private terrace, and dining room, which has a view of the valley) that fit into the ground slope and the landscape and could in the future be complemented by additional structures as required by the inhabitant.

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bioarchitettura green architecture sustainable architecture platform green

For all images: courtesy m-architecture & V.O. studio. Photo ©bepictures



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Wood&Cut is a project born from the encounter between two very different people and from the union of two apparently different professions; the first totally manual, the other largely digital: the restoration and the visual design.
The context is Florence, a city that has always been a place of art and encounter. Here, we can still find old workshops of skilled craftsmen and here, Jane, English restorer with over twenty years of experience in a workshop, and Giuditta, visual designer belonging to the technological world of the Polytechnic in Milan, decided to connect their skills.
The rediscovery of the manual ability, the "know how", and the intent to give new life to objects, which is Jane's education, merged with Giuditta's experience of sustainability in visual communication. In thi sense, Wood&Cut comes from sharing the value and the importance that sustainability has in their private and working lives.

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Everything starts from the wood, a natural material, alive, warm, multifaceted, and through the reuse of an already existing material (furniture and wooden objects in disuse) something new is created: gems that can be hung as decorations or worn as a jewelry, candle holders, or keychain.
The manual processing of products, makes them unique items, each one with its own history.

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The shape comes from the observation and from the structure of the original piece. A vein, a knot, inspire and guide the choice of the cut to be made. The colors, made with water-based paint without applying additional protection, are very lively, ranging from bright yellow to silver. The facets create a play of light and shadow which generates more gradiations of colours and which will be further colored from the passage of time.

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Wood & Cut is project by Giuditta Valentina Gentile / Frush, design sostenibile and Jane Harman



Canto di strada (Street Song) is the title of the personal double by Hamish Fulton and Michael Hoepfner, booked at the MAN Museum in Nuoro, until the 6 of April.
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The exhibition is a dialogue stemming on the shared concept of walks as a motor of artistic experiences. Curated by Lorenzo Giusti, it introduces a series of new works - photographs, wall drawings, drawings and installations – born out of the common experience of travel in the mountains of central Sardinia. Hamish Fulton (London, 1946) is one of the most representative figures of English art in recent decades. Along with Richard Long he is considered the founding father of an international movement of "walking artists", with Michael Hoepfner (Krems, 1972) currently one of the most significant members.

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The exhibit at the Nuoro MAN places the two artists work side by side for the first time, identifying a common ground for comparison in a 14 days walking journey over the Supramonte and Gennargentu mountains. An experience of total immersion in the harsh nature of the eastern Barbagia which has hosted the two artists for two weeks in the same environment, without ever meeting. Bound by the same passion for the mountains and a common vision of artistic practice as an expression of personal experiences (even when done in groups), Fulton and Hoepfner, through the use of different ways of communication - the former more conceptual with texts or graphics of the path and the latter more visual with photographs and installations - open up a significant reflection on the role of art, on concepts of experience and creation, as well as the relationship between man and the environment.

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Hamish Fulton (London, 1946) began his career in the late Sixties, defining himself as a "Walking Artist", a way to distinguish his work from the Land Art with which it was initially lumped together. His art is defined by experience, in nature, along foot paths, particularly in the mountains, from Europe to South America, from Tibet to Japan. Beginning of the Nineties, he structured part of his work in a participatory dimension, aimed at sharing the experience of the walk, which found application and development even in city settings. His works are in the collections of important museums in the world: the MOMA in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris and The Tate Modern of London.

Michael Hoepfner (Krems / Donau, Austria, 1972) lives between Vienna and Berlin. His works focuses on the experience of foot travel through desert landscapes or sparsely inhabited areas from the Ukraine to Western China, from Kirghizistan to South Korea. His work started with physical and mental explorations of geographical spaces and continued on the reflection of concepts of reality and location. Some of his most recent exhibits have been at the Kunstforum Bank Austria, the Kunsthalle of St Gallen, the Kunstverein Salzburg, ar/ge Kunst of Bolzano, with Olaf Stüber Gallery, Berlin and Hubert Winter Gallery, Vienna.

Curated by Lorenzo Giusti
Man / Nuoro
Until the 6 April 2015

Courtesy of the images: the artists and Man, Nuoro. Photo credit Donato Tore.



When hundreds of fish washed onto the shores of the lake she lives on, Canadian photographer Vera Saltzman questioned why this happened. The occurrence actually served as a visual signal of the effects humans have on the earth's delicate web of life. 

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Like terrestrial animals, without oxygen fish suffocate and die. While natural factors do impact the concentration of oxygen in the water, in lakes impacted by pollution, low oxygen can become even more of a problem. Sadly, the Lower Qu'Appelle Watershed is one of the most stressed water systems in Saskatchewan, Canada. Lakes downstream of the city centres are blighted by blue-green algae, a result of urban pollutants and agricultural run off. When this algae dies it sinks to the bottom of the lake where it consumes oxygen during the decomposing process, choking life out of the lake. Though concerned local residents, municipal and provincial authorities are slowly beginning to look for solutions to restore the damaged watershed, it will be a long process requiring ongoing commitment from all parties.

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To focus attention on the issue, Vera Saltzman made these images using an old camera-less process known as lumen printing. She laid the decomposing fish and algae onto old black and white photographic papers, exposed them to the sunlight, then scanned the paper into her computer.
Each of these prints marks the loss of the fish, the Lake Dwellers, and carries with it their cries, a reminder of the ongoing need for awareness, education and continued efforts to change our destructive ways. Caring for the watershed is our responsibility.

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"The spring was almost devoid of their song. The sunrises were now mute; a complete silence prevailed over the fields, in the woods and into the ponds. [...] the bees did not dance anymore...Why the voices of the spring are silent in numerous districts of America?" *

* Rachel Carlson, Silent Spring, 1962
Courtesy of the image: Vera Saltzman
This news was published in the context of spontaneous reports that come to Platform Green. For more information about the sending process of your project or work, please, go to the "Contacts" area.


an anthropologist of the landscape

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Massimo Vitali, Cala Mariolù, Coda, 2014. Courtesy Massimo Vitali and Studio la Città 

Beaches, seashores, swimming pools, gardens, squares, but also ski slopes, snowy peaks, lakes, and discotheques. Photographs taken by day and night.
Massimo Vitali unites the human presence, landscape, nature, and the places portrayed, all in a single version of The Rules of the Game.
This Italian photographer, among the best known both nationally and internationally, aims the lens of his camera at the grand theatre that human beings act out every day.
Crowds of bathers, hordes of youngsters enjoying nightlife, families knowingly scattered around gatherings and festive events. Presences placed within contexts, whether natural or not, which both coexist and contrast with them.
Massimo Vitali's point of view is always from the backseat, almost external to the scene. His is an attentive and curious account, but one that is also engaged and experienced, like that of an anthropologist.

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In order: Massimo Vitali, Sarakiniko, 2011; Spargi Cala Corsara, 2013; Porto Miggiano Horizontal, 2011. Courtesy Massimo Vitali and Studio la Città

Together with the human presence, landscape is also obviously a central theme, one that has always fascinated the photographer: an ancient subject that has inspired painters, poets, writers, philosophers, and intellectuals from all parts of the world.
In Massimo Vitali's aesthetic analyses there coexist various kinds of landscape: references to the picturesque, to the sublime (though not in the sense of Edmund Burke), and romanticism (which obviously does not exist without the sublime).The art of landscape, its analysis as an aesthetic object and as an epiphany of vision, are a living presence in Vitali's work. In his passage from more urban and industrial scenes (in his first period), to those in which the natural context has the upper hand, this photographer has brought the role of landscape back to the fore.

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In order: Massimo Vitali, Malbacco, 2014; Gulpiyuri, 2011. Courtesy Massimo Vitali and Studio la Città

The nature portrayed in his photos is docile, gentle, elegant, and majestic. A presence that, despite the manifestation of a new, postmodern anthropocentrism, turns out to be at peace with those who experience it, and in no way severe or menacing.
There is no direct reference to ethical questions and even less so to ecological ones; but there is a strong awareness on the part of the artist of the by now well-known environmental problems of today.
"I take this aspect for granted in my photos, certain that nature, even though exploited, is stronger than mankind and knows how to reclaim its own spaces."

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Massimo Vitali, Lençois Laguna do Peixe, 2012. Courtesy Massimo Vitali and Studio la Città

So there are no direct judgements, no admissions of guilt. These are not the photographer's aims which are, rather, to put imagination back at the heart of things. This is what stimulates us to observe, reflect, interpret, and construct a meaning; to define and redefine the identity-creating relationship between man, who inhabits these places, and nature, which silently accepts his presence. This is a tight-knit, ancestral relationship that is at the heart of this new project that the artist is currently working on. This is Visibles/Invisibles, a new series of photographs dealing with migrants; they are not photographed in that tragic moment when they disembark, and which mass media communications continue to regale us with. Massimo Vitali avoids the violence and invasiveness of photo-reporters and, instead, captures the migrants' life later on: a life in transit, the one between the moment of abandoning a place (the country of birth), and the search for a new place to live. An extremely intense, yet invisible, moment, one in which it is necessary to redefine and reconstruct one's own identity and the relationship with the surrounding world.

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Massimo Vitali fotografo italianofotografia paesaggio 4679 Lencois

In order: Massimo Vitali, Lençois Achrome, 2012; Lençois Laguna do Peixe NYT Cover, 2012. Courtesy Massimo Vitali and Studio la Città

A special thanks to Massimo Vitali and Kate Collins for their cooperation in the publication of this news.



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The wetlands provide a place where Victoria's native flora and fauna can flourish. Photo: John Mitchell. Courtesy TCL - Studio for landscape architecture

The T.C.L. Studio for landscape architecture (Taylor.Cullity.Lethlean), won in 2012 the commission for the master plan restoration of 3000 hectares of the 8750 hectare Winton Wetlands site in Australia. The site formerly known as Lake Mokoan has rich Indigenous importance (covering three language groups), fertile agricultural land, and thousands of hectares of River Red Gum forests.
This project of national scientific, cultural and environmental significance is the largest wetland restoration project in the southern hemisphere. The project aims to create a major national facility for wetland education, and research as well as demonstrate best practice natural resource management, and develop nature based tourism activities and recreation.

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Water is the focal point of the site. The acknowledgement of the water in the project as the central aspect of the site, as a precious resource, and the value sustainability. Photo: John Mitchell. Courtesy TLC - Studio for landscape architecture

Work began on the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan in 2009. The re-establishment of the wetlands has allowed for the return of 44,000 megaliters of water per year to the Broken, Goulburn, Snowy and Murray Rivers, with environmental and economic benefits to both upstream and downstream.
The master plan involves a detailed business model, seeking to provide the project with an economic footing to assist the wetlands in becoming an 'eco-tourism' attraction and provide the region with a stimulus, offsetting any negative effects surrounding the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan.
The Winton Wetlands project demonstrates the importance of assessing how particular land uses performs across a range of scales, and how working with, rather than against, ecological processes can benefit the economy as well as the environment.
With the decision to decommission Lake Mokoan and return the area to natural wetlands there was a need for a long-term strategy for the future of the wetlands.
The Lake Mokoan Future Land Use Strategy was developed with considerable community and stakeholder input and provides the guide for the restoration and future management of the Lake Mokoan site.
The Future Land Use Strategy envisages a project of national scientific, cultural and environmental significance with a focus on education, research, tourism, recreation and community development.

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06 TCL StudioWinton Wetlands Lake Mokoan indigenous natural wetlands

Children of any age exploring the wonders of a wetland and associated eco-systems. Watersports as 'eco-tourism' attractions are encouraged and provide ways to explore the wetlands. Photo: Scott Hartvigsen. Courtesy TCL - Studio for landscape architecture

The Future Land Use Strategy proposes:
The restoration of the Winton Wetlands to a series of interconnected wetland and grassy woodland areas.
The construction of walkways, boardwalks and cycle tracks around and through the Winton Wetlands .
Regional connections with Benalla, Glenrowan and Wangaratta, the Warby-Ovens National Park and other regional tourist attractions.
Development of a Wetland Discovery complex to provide a focal point for visitors and tourists as well as education and research facilities.
Community participation through education, research and involvement in restoration and land management activities.

Project Details:
Location: North Eastern Victoria, Australia
Date of Completion: 2012
Client: Winton Wetlands Committee of Management
Collaboration: Design Flow, Sanmor Consulting, McKINNA et al, ProwseQS, Arup
Size: 8,750 hectares

08 TCL StudioWinton Wetlands Lake Mokoan indigenous natural wetlands

Kayaker's explore what was once a thriving River Red Gum forest from the water. Photo: Scott Hartvigsen. Courtesy TCL - Studio for landscape architecture



What does it mean to be born and to grow up in the outskirts of a town? What mental processes are inspired by these places? And, more generally, what role should we attribute to our daily life?

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Botto e Bruno, Capannoni industriali, 2012, graphyte on paper, photocollage, cm 36x29,5, courtesy Oliva Arauna Gallery, Madrid

The areas we are surrounded by condition and mould us, to the point of becoming part of our profoundest dreams and of creating mental photos that form and deform our innermost identity.
For many years now Botto e Bruno (Gianfranco Botto and Roberta Bruno) have continued a fascinating and meticulous reflection about landscape, above all the forgotten one of the outskirts. So their "emotive condition", and thus their art, was born in the suburbs of Turin in close contact with a perennial condition of alienation and the sense of being uprooted.
This led to the need to represent and narrate it head-on. The "defect" hidden within a particular urban setting has become the pretext for highlighting the particularity of these places. Because beauty can be found anywhere, even here.

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Botto e Bruno periferia fotorafia paesaggio alberto paola torino

In order: Botto e Bruno, La dismissione, 2012, photo collage, cm 42x50; Paesaggio in divenire IV, 2015, photo collage, Indian ink and graphyte, cm 33x40, courtesy Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin

The analysis that Botto e Bruno have been undertaking for many years is unique for its kind and its technique. The settings chosen are places they have personally explored. The landscapes the two take into consideration are the same ones that challenge them every day and that summon up feelings of fear, disquiet, and desolation.
And so here are the figures of young people, of adolescents whose faces we are not allowed to see, almost as though to remind us of the surrounding world's possibilities for annihilation. Hooded kids seen from the back, their eyes turned to the ground, and often portrayed listening to music. This latter gesture conveys our evasion from reality, as we use music to save our mind and transport it elsewhere: the no man's land that Botto and Bruno frequented as young art students. If we look at them closely, these are not desperate or fleeing presences but, rather, we see in them the acceptance of a condition and a constant search for security.

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In order: Botto e Bruno, Colours and the kids I, 2009, vutek print on banner, cm 150x141; Colours and the kids II, 2009,  vutek print on  banner, cm 150x141, courtesy Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin. This is the place where I feel at home, 2013, vutek print on banner, cm 555x493, courtesy PAV, Turin

Botto e Bruno's photographic work results from hundreds of shots from which they choose and cut out small details which are then recomposed into a single mental landscape constructed as though for a film set. A thousand fragments of reality collapse in the same instant in order to stage only a repeat of a show that has already been acted out.
But, of course, a photograph would be limiting and so these environments take over the whole stage (even the whole theatre) and even larger spaces, and they invite us inside them. The reproduction of whole urban scenes, always following a method of intercommunicating parts, is not an exercise in mimesis but, rather, a moment for relating to the urban figure (and thus to the viewer).
For us this is the chance to physically enter the mind of the artists, to observe them and try to see from their point of view. The energy of the places portrayed (hybrid scenes with, however, a complex character) communicates directly and immediately with our feelings, our emotive memory, to generate many small visions that together form a single large image of the suburban space and condition.

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In order: Botto e Bruno, La rivolta I, 2012, vutek sprint on banner, cm 180x183, courtesy Oliva Arauna Gallery, Madrid; Small town VI, 2004, vutek print on banner, cm 250 x 178, courtesy Alfonso Artiaco Gallery, Naples. This is the way, step inside, 2010, permanent installation, courtesy ETS, Banchette, Ivrea 

The most interesting thing in the work by Botto e Bruno, apart from its notable style and its undeniable ability to create emotionally perfect places studied from an aesthetic and formal point of view, is the questioning of the concept of identity.
The intense dialogue between dreams and reality tells us of the condition of exclusion and loneliness of human beings. An experience that is certainly inherent in our nature but which is notably underlined by the urban situation that human nature itself has generated over time.

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Botto e Bruno periferia fotorafia paesaggio alfonso artiaco napoli

Botto e Bruno, See the sky about the rain, 2014, wallpaper, installation view, courtesy Alfonso Artiaco Gallery, Naples



To speak of abandonment implies bringing into play the passing of time, the sequence of changes in history; it means reasoning about the fragility of our times, places, landscape, and the role of contemporary culture and society.

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The Dalle Alpi ai Calanchi series by Gianfranco Gallucci aims at recording three kinds of abandonment in three different contexts. The first is the village of Paraloup (in the Cuneo mountains), a crucial place for partisan activity in the last World War and which was left to "die" after the depopulation of the valleys; this was followed by an inevitable period of industrialization and it was recently redeveloped after the actions of the Nuto Revelli Foundation. Then there is the village of Onna (l'Aquila) devastated by the 2009 earthquake; and finally there is Craco, in the province of Matera, which after a landslide in 1963 has seen an inexorable exodus.

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In conversation with Gianfranco Gallucci:

Andrea Lerda
Where did the choice of such a particular theme come from?
Gianfranco Gallucci
In fact the choice of theme was something that came about almost by chance. It is not one of those that I usually develop, despite the fact that my interests revolve a lot around places which I use to tell stories; but I have always been fascinated by ruined or abandoned contexts, like those found in the film Stalker by Tarkovsky. I remember that as a child, together with my friends, I would play in the fields, visit old abandoned houses and dangerous disused factories; perhaps this is why I have remained fascinated by these places. But in fact the Dalle Alpi ai Calanchi series was the result of a work that I had been doing for two years about the town of Craco Vecchia in Basilicata. My origins are in part from that area. I was investigating the concept of the earth, of places of origins, and so I began a lengthy work about this region, one that is still ongoing and to which belongs the project about Craco. This then gave rise to the idea of extending the work to the rest of Italy, and I symbolically chose a village from the north, one from the centre, and one from the south. Paraloup (in the province of Cuneo); Onna (in the province of l'Aquila); and Craco in Basilicata. Each of them is part of different territorial and landscape contexts and each has its own history and local traditions. Besides these differences, I was interested in exploring the many varieties of places that have been abandoned. So I could have extended the work to many hundreds of similar situations all over the peninsula; I believe, though, that this would take a lifetime's work, and so I have left it to such extraordinary figures of "abandonment specialists" as Antonella Tarpino or Carmen Pellegrino, with whom I have been able to collaborate for the production of this project.

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What specifically fascinates you in these subjects, and what do you eventually aim to underline?
I have always enjoyed their nature which is both "extraterrestrial" and human at the same time, as when you find yourself immersed in the gullies surrounding Craco, in which you have the sensation of being in a place outside time, or at least outside contemporaneity. Perhaps the fascination of these places lies in their personal temporal identity which does not seem part of the normal course of time; and I am not talking about the presumed immortality, linked to the concept of historical memory, of ruins. These places seem to be situated in some other temporal space. It is as though they lived in their own time, an absent one that is manifested only through their changeable aspect (due to the transformation of material) which is also equally unchangeable. Their spatial identity, then, is manifested in their being containers of time, historical time, which is responsible for their changes; it is associated with the concept of memory that they bear, and with another, suspended, time, one that is almost absent and which defines them and makes them so different from other places. Perhaps I am also interested in underlining that these places have a soul, a history, a life, even today. There, where they no longer seem to exist, they can still be seen if you look carefully enough.

Are you interested in highlighting particular formal aspects of the landscapes you photograph?
The formal aspect of my work is never an immediate aim, and the same is true when I work on landscape. It is, rather, a result, one intrinsic to landscape and photography itself and which can be used as a means for analysis in order for the eye to translate the vision of what one sees into images. Each landscape has its own form, aesthetic, and identity. It is up to the photographer to translate and interpret the form - one that is unique for each landscape as well as for each person - in order to communicate something about that landscape and to flank it with a message, to give it a personal meaning; this leads the photographed object to have a particular semeiotic value, which might be scientific, naturalistic, emotive, or whatever. I am interested in going beyond the formal aspect, or at the most to use it unconsciously, for translating what I personally see or read in that particular landscape. I do not believe in any way that the formal nature of a landscape is the only possible reading of it; this would mean stopping at the surface of things, at first impressions. I always try to capture the invisible through the visible. What is photography about if it does not make use of the surface to go beyond it and show, or try to show, the very essence of things, of what surrounds you, beyond final aims and always through a person point of view? I like to think of a landscape as a person who recounts his own personal history, or like a book to read.

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02 Paraloup

What, if any, is the role of aesthetics in these places?
I think that all places have their own aesthetics, just as all artists have theirs. What is great is when a place becomes an object for observation, reading, interpretation; when it exponentially multiples its own aesthetic potential which then coincides with the various analyses that artists make through their own vision of that place. It is a little like people, "one, no one, a hundred thousand"; the same place, seen through different eyes, seems different to everybody because it is analyzed through a unique and unrepeatable way of seeing. But quite apart from the different readings that a place can supply, for me their aesthetics has in some way a narrative and scenographic role which I use in order to recount something else, to try to perceive the memory of the places themselves, as though they really were people with this faculty. Of course, to analyze the memory of a place in its heart, stomach, and lungs is not an "immediate" process, but it could be a way for attempting to narrate it.

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The identity of a place is closely bound to the identity of mankind. What is your view of this after having created the Dalle Alpi ai Calanchi series?
I think we must go back to enjoying these places, not necessarily by going to live there but by repossessing them whenever possible. Recuperate them, revalue them, go back to make them feel part of the landscape and not become islands exploited for money, as has happened in some cases. When I happen to see such places, observing them and their villages or what remains of them, I become aware that the human presence stands out (above all in places where it has been forgotten for some time, although in reality it had never gone away) just as much as that of unpolluted nature. By observing the contrast between the surroundings, where nature has once again taken possession of its own spaces, and what remains of man's intervention on them, "the alteration of the landscape due to man", there clearly emerges the inescapable link between them, even where it seems to have disappeared. This is why I think that we must go back to enjoy these places which, in fact, are more forgotten than wholly abandoned.

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All images of the serie Dalle Alpi ai Calanchi, courtesy Gianfranco Gallucci.



With "Alvar Aalto – Second Nature", the Vitra Design Museum is now presenting a major retrospective exhibition on this legendary architect and reveals many new aspects of his oeuvre.


Armin Linke, 2014: Viipuri (Vyborg) City Library, Vyborg, Karelia (today Russia), Alvar Aalto, 1927-1935. Courtesy Armin Linke, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014

While previous exhibitions and publications have regarded Aalto's organic architectural language as having been derived directly from Finnish nature and landscape, Alvar Aalto – Second Nature takes a new, more contemporary look at Aalto. The exhibition explores how Aalto's affinity for organic form was mediated through a close dialogue with many artists of his time, such as László Moholy-Nagy, Jean Arp, Alexander Calder or Fernand Léger.
Alvar Aalto created living spaces that appear warm and organic, saturated with a masterful combination of volumes and building materials, terraced floors and ceilings, and a chore- ography of daylight and electric light — an environment which transformed inspirations from art and natural forms into a "second nature" for modern man.




In order: Armin Linke, 2014: Villa Mairea, Noormarkku, Finnland, Alvar Aalto, 1939; Experimental House, Muuratsalo, Finnland, Alvar Aalto, 1952-1953. Courtesy Armin Linke, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2014.

Alvar Aalto – Second Nature provides an extensive overview of Aalto's life and work, including historical architectural models, original drawings, furniture, lights and glassware, as well as works by other acclaimed artists like Alexander Calder or Jean Arp.
The exhibition covers Aalto's most iconic buildings and designs, but also lesser known projects like his Experimental House in Muuratsalo (1952- 1953), an extraordinary composition of different materials which appears like a 21st century architectural collage. The exhibition's new perspective on Aalto is emphasized by the work of German artist Armin Linke, who has been commissioned to produce new photographs and films of selected buildings. Linke's works appear throughout the entire exhibition setting, in dialogue with historic and archival material from the Alvar Aalto Foundation and other international lenders.




In order: Armin Linke, 2014: Villa Mairea, Noormarkku, Finnland, Alvar Aalto, 1939; Experimental House, Muuratsalo, Finnland, Alvar Aalto, 1952-53; Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, Frankreich, Alvar Aalto, 1956-1959, 1961-1963. Courtesy Armin Linke, 2014, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2014.

The architectural critic Sigfried Giedion called him the "Magus of the North": Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) is the best known Finnish architect of his generation and a chief proponent of a human-centred modernism. His buildings such as the Paimio Sanatorium (1933) or Villa Mairea (1939) embody a masterful interplay of organic volumes, forms and materials. Aalto's Paimio Chair (1931–1932) and his Stool 60 (1933) were milestones in the development of modern furniture, and his emblematic Savoy Vase (1936) has become the symbol of Finnish Design.
In 1935, with the aim to produce and promote his own furniture designs, Aalto founded Artek, conceived as both an international furniture company and as a gallery, with his wife Aino and two collaborators. Artek soon became a prestigious address for modernist Avant-garde culture and developed – in Aaltos words – "mondial activitie". The expansion of Artek reflected Aalto's large international network, which also guaranteed him influence on social and political debates and led to commissions in countries such as Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and the USA in the postwar period. Aalto designed such diverse projects as standardized and prefabricated housing systems in Finland as well as an apartment building in Berlin's Hansaviertel for the International building exhibition Interbau in 1957. Aalto's prolific career spans a period from the early 1920s until the 1970s, spawning over 400 buildings and dozens of furniture pieces, glass objects and lights. It culminated with large-scale commissions like Finlandia Hall in Helsinki (1975), just one year prior to his death, and the Opera House in Essen, which was completed posthumously in 1988.

10 foto-11

First slide: Armchair, Alvar Aalto, 1932; Pendant Lamp A331, "Beehive, Alvar Aalto, 1953. Courtesy Vitra Design Museum. Photo: Andreas Jung, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2014.
Second slide: Finnish Pavillon, World's Fair, USA, 1939. Courtesy Alvar Aalto Museo, Esto Photographics. Photo Ezra Stoller / Esto Photographics Inc, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2014; Savoy Vase, Alvar Aalto, 1936. Courtesy Vitra Design Museum, Alexander von Vegesack, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2014.

Vitra Design Museum / Weil am Rhein
Curated by Jochen Eisenbrand with Katariina Pakoma
Until the 1 March 2015

The exhibition will move to:
La Caixa Forum / Barcelona / 3.06.15 - 23.08.15
La Caixa Forum / Madrid / 29.09.15 - 6.01.16



In a world where resources are increasingly scarce, how will we produce the food we need, where will we get fresh water and where to find new areas for cultivation?
A multidisciplinary team of architects and botanists offers a revolutionary answer to these questions. Jellyfish Barge is a floating agricultural greenhouse producing food without consuming land, fresh water or energy. It has been conceived for communities vulnerable to water and food scarcity and it is built with simple technologies and with low cost and recycled materials.


The World Bank predicts the grow of world population to almost 10 billion by the next four decades, thus in 2050 the global demand for food is expected to be 60-70% higher than today. Scarcity of water and cultivable land are the main obstacles to meet the quantitative and qualitative shifts of the world's demand. Most of the potentially arable land is concentrated in a few geographical areas, while in many countries with high population growth, such as North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, it is extremely scarce.
Agriculture is the human activity that weighs more on the existing water resources and currently in many parts of the world like India, Pakistan and South Spain, the demand for water for agricultural purposes is satisfied by unsustainable methods such as over-extraction from underground reservoirs. The scarcity of land and water is being exacerbated by climate changes exposing many areas to risks and contributing to make them even more vulnerable to water and food security. The rise of sea level, for example, contributes to flood with salt-water extensive areas of fertile land. This phenomenon has already begun to occur with alarming frequency all over the Bay of Bengal.



Jellyfish Barge is a project by Pnat, coordinated by professor Stefano Mancuso (University of Florence), director of the LINV - International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology and projected by the architects Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto - Studiomobile.
Jellyfish Barge
is a modular greenhouse mounted on a floating base, able to guarantee water and food security without impacting on existing resources.
Appropriate strategies to provide access to food and water largely depend on cultural, social and economic conditions of referring communities. Successful, long-term solutions are those able to adapt to evolving situations and flexible to different needs of different areas. Thus, Jellyfish Barge has been conceived as a flexible construction using simple construction technologies and low cost and recycled materials.
The structure consists of a wooden base of about 70 square meters, floating on 96 recycled plastic drums, held together by wooden reticular beams running along the perimeter and the radiuses of the octagon. The drums are screwed on the upper deck supporting the structure of the greenhouse and of the solar desalination units.
Fresh water is provided by 7 solar stills arranged along the perimeter, designed by the environmental scientist Paolo Franceschetti. They can produce up to 150 liters/day of clean fresh water from salt, brackish or polluted water. Solar distillation is a natural phenomenon: in the seas, the sun's energy evaporates water, which then falls as rain water. In Jellyfish Barge the solar desalination system replicates this phenomenon in small-scale, sucking moist air and forcing it to condense into drums in contact with the cold surface of the sea. The low energy required to power fans and pumps is provided by photovoltaic panels integrated in the structure.




The greenhouse incorporates an innovative hydroponic system. Hydroponics is a crop production technique using 70 % less water compared to traditional cultivation, thanks to the continuous re-use of water. In addition Jellyfish Barge uses about 15% of seawater, which is mixed with distilled water, ensuring even greater water efficiency. The system has an innovative automated system with remote monitoring and control.
Jellyfish Barge is innovative in its ability to respond effectively with limited resources. For this reason it has been designed relatively small in size, capable of supporting about two families, thus easy to be build even in conditions of economic constrains. However, it is modular, so a single element is completely autonomous, while various flanked barges can guarantee food security for the whole community. The octagonal shape of the platform allows combining different modules by connecting them with square floating bases, which may become markets and meeting places of a small water community.
Jellyfish Barge is the result of a coherent and structured path developed by Studiomobile since 2009 on the use of natural resources. In particular in the evocative installations Jellyfish Farm and Networking Nature, presented at the Venice Architecture Biennal 2012, it is enhanced the importance of the sea as a valuable resource.


Jellyfish Barge
is a project by Pnat, coordinated by professor Stefano Mancuso (University of Florence), director of the LINV - International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology and projected by the architects Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto - Studiomobile.
The working prototype, realized by LINV (University of Florence) thanks to the contribution of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and Regione Toscana, has been installed in the Navicelli canal between Pisa and Livorno. Courtesy of the photos: Matteo de Mayda.