DALLA TERRA ALLA LUNA: architetture e paesaggi immaginari su carta

30 July 2014

NERO is pleased to present an alternative curatorial take on DALLA TERRA ALLA LUNA: architetture e paesaggi immaginari su carta, currently on display at Studio Stefania Miscetti, curated by Simona Galateo and Emlia Giorgi.

This artistic project encourages a reflection on the possibility of foreshadowing innovative urban and architectural landscapes via the process of visionary planning through technical illustration.

Drawing inspiration from Jules Verne’s 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon, five international firms have each been asked to contribute one architectural piece, encompassing, in addition to figurative sketches, a brief narrative text intended to underline the project’s literary genesis.

The title Dalla terra alla luna furthermore wishes to convey the infinite possibilities for the physical location of the projects – underwater, on land, and indeed on the moon. These will offer an investigative analysis of the multifaceted and complex issues present in today’s continually evolving urban and suburban landscapes.

 

 

The island of the man with the golden gun
mixed media on paper, 2011-2014

by 2A+P/A

 

(detail)


At the beginning of the 1970s, the world had to face a new kind of disaster. An energy crisis was altering the political and economic balance of the whole world. Francisco Scaramanga, a man with a dark past who became very rich through mysterious circumstances, decided to realize an artificial island capable of producing and storing solar energy through the use of experimental devices – a self-sufficient island conceived to navigate the oceans as a cruise liner.

London, 1974

-       Good evening, Mr Scaramanga!

-       Good evening.

-       Please, take a seat. Would you like something to drink . . . ? A scotch?

-       No, thanks. Is the island project ready?

-       For sure, sir. It is.

-       Let me see.

-       Here you are. These are the drawings.

-       Hmmm . . .

-       As you can see I designed a sequence of spaces that grows through the whole highness of the island, whose interior is dug out in order to maintain the naturalness of the appearance of the island’s surface. At the bottom there are all the technical spaces and the plants, including the machine room housing the engines and the access door for the submarine. However, the most important space is the solar energy station, the beating heart of the system. Believe me, sir, there is nothing like it in the whole world. The system works by means of thermoelectric generators that convert solar energy into electricity and super-conductivity coils that are cooled by liquid helium kept at a temperature of -453° Fahrenheit, absolute zero. Everything will be automated and, thanks to the Solex Agitator, your island will be completely self-sufficient, Mr Scaramanga.

-       Very interesting, architect. How much energy can be produced using this technology?

-       Well, it is not easy to calculate that with precision. We are talking about a technology capable of solving the energy crisis of the entire planet, sir.

-       Thus the island could be a sort of prototype to be shown to all the world powers . . . The highest bidder could build hundreds of stations and sell additional franchises for even greater profit.

-       You will literally have the sun in your pocket! A monopoly on solar power . . . And the oil sheikhs will pay just to keep solar energy off the market.

-       The thought had occurred to me . . .

-       Well, to continue, going upstairs we enter the first areas of the residential part of the complex: the hobby room, the funhouse and the sports hall.

-       Great. I need to be trained for my job. I also need a Hall of Mirrors.

-       Do you mean a room covered in mirrors?

-       Exactly.

-       No problem; we can dig one out in this area close to the funhouse. It wouldn’t introduce any structural problems there.

-       And inside it, I want a statue.

-       Sure, sir. What kind of statue. A classic one?

-       I want a statue of Bond.

-       Do you mean the Bond? James Bond, the MI6 agent?

-       Yes, exactly. We can say that he is one of my . . . obsessions. Go on, please.

-       Right. Here we are in the main hall that faces the grand landscape of the archipelago, which will be visible thanks to these huge windows. The elevator connects it directly to the beach on the little bay.

-       That’s good. And the dining room?

-       Ah, the dining room is conceived to enhance the view of Ko Tapu Island! In these spaces I would like also to make some rocks visible – you know, to unveil the natural character of the house. Then, through this door we go directly to the bedrooms, the most intimate area of the house. Here I designed a little living room and a study, private spaces where you can rest by yourself.

-       As I said to you, there will only be two of us in this house: my loyal butler, Nick Nack, and I.

-       I see. But surely you will have a guest at some point . . .

-       Sure, but only for short periods. Intense but really short ones.

-       I see . . . Anyway, on the top of the island, there is the solar energy collection point. This steel device you see here is the collector. The Solex will transmit the heat to the thermal generators. Light will enter the sliding opening, which faces Ko Tapu Island, where we will install panels that lock onto the sun and then track it automatically. Reflected through the Solex Agitator, these panels will produce a heat of at least 3,500° Fahrenheit!

-       Very interesting . . .

-       Then, this system is capable of storing such a great quantity of energy that, if it were properly focused, it could become a sort of energy weapon.

-       That’s what I call solar power! Well done, architect. The project is complete. So, I would like to settle your fee. Ready?

-       Thank you, Mr Scaramanga. May I ask you what this is? It seems like a golden bullet . . . with my name incised on it . . . Sir?

-       Exactly, architect.

 

Le città relazionali
mixed media on paper, 2014,

by Fabio Alessandro Fusco

© Davide Leonardi

 

(detail)

 

Relational cities

 

Relational Cities,

ecstatic transfigurations

of the generic Cities

critical forms

of the post-modern city

 

morphological counterpoints

temporal short circuits

 

heterotopias …

pathos of form..

 

Relational Cities

do not carry out a total breach

with the previous form,

 

they do not reject previous values

that are the source

of the generic palimpsest,

 

they are not replaced through

the absolutism of the tabula rasa,

 

nor do they draw attention to the limits,

the urgencies,

the complexities,

the contradictions,

the paradoxes,

relativising and

deconstructing them from within

 

Relational Cities work to

‘Give substance to the fragments

of the post-modern city’

 

‘revealing them for what they are:

fragments of what is left

of the modernist horror,

after the ideal devastation

it was subjected to’*

 

No new words written

on white sheets of paper

but interstitial re-writes

scribbled between the folds

of words that have already been written

 

Relational cities

carry out the dual task

of deconstruction/reconstruction

of the Generic City

 

they distinguish relational structures,

playing with them, turning them upside down,

preventing the simple re-transcription

 

writing practices

that attempt to inhabit the margins,

the interstices of generic space …

 

* Transfigured fragments of the text “L’architetto scellerato: G.B. Piranesi, l’eterotopia e il viaggio di Manfredo Tafuri, da La Sfera e il Labirinto. Avanguardie e architettura da Piranesi agli anni 70”, Einaudi, 1980

 

Extended Territory
print on paper, 2008

by MAP OFFICE

 

(detail)

 

Unreal Estates Of China

It proposes an alternative reading of contemporary China.

This specific project originated a few years ago in the Pearl River Delta region, and followed the path of a small travelling particle named PIXEL. This fictional character becomes the medium through which spaces/places are explored.

When PIXEL comes in contact with real spaces, it can morph and take on any possible visual angle, form or role, and finally roughly delineate the contours of a new topography. In the port, inside the factory walls, underneath the highway, through the newly urbanized farmland, PIXEL reflects the dramatic change of China’s reality.

The Mall

I spot at a huge colorful sign, covered with brand names, and decide to move with the crowd of customers coming from the parking lot. Taking an escalator, I finally end in a plaza surrounded by shops packed with the same goods. There, I try to not to think about the security guards and the army of cleaners. This shopping center is a giant temple for merchandise, and the plastic credit card its sacred key. I talk to a young seller about business. As I have nothing special to buy at the supermarket, I head to the food court. I order a Chinese burger and pay cash.

The Hotel

A tourist bus is parked just in front. Obviously I am not the first client today. The concierge takes my luggage to the front desk. I ask for a standard bedroom and fill a complex registration form. There is no swimming-pool, but this time I need to save money. The service is OK. In the lobby, a cleaner is polishing a fake crystal lamp. I take a long shower before heading to the restaurant. Nobody is at the bar except a prostitute who stares at me. I will probably meet her later in the nightclub. Will I finish with karaoke or later in bed with her?

The Street Market

Today, I go shopping and, like everyday, I follow the crowd. I’m sure the busy traffic will lead me to a street filled with merchandise and goods that are sold for just a few yuan. As predicted, I am not the only customer looking for the latest handbag or sexy novelties.

A series of informal booths are presenting various plastic objects and small electronic toys. Here, it is not so much about luxury as it is about the other extreme – necessity and copy. A vendor along the pavement is arguing with two policemen. At one point, I start to think the exchange of ideas is a very old form of economy.

The Factory

I am not the only customer to visit the factory today. With the new technologies, the fabrication of my merchandise will be done in no time. I just need to control a sample with the main supplier, and we will launch the entire production. Then, a non-stop flow of standard components will stream out under the neon lights. Hundred of workers will move it along the assembly lines. Now, with the adoption of the lean system, there is no stock and all the waste is immediately recycled. Efficient machinery – helped by the energy of a million hands – exemplifies the “Made in China” label.

 

Apartamento de 1 km
mixed media and collage on paper, 2014, © Davide Leonardi

by Miniatura

 

(detail)

Apartamento de 1km 

Rooms are buildings and the apartment is the city: a domesticated city.

The 1km Apartment is a house for one person with dimensions that extrapolate the typical experience of a home. Not only the urban scale is present but also its related items: billboards, post lights, buildings, ruins, cinemas, mountains, forests, animals, cars, streets, alleys, lakes, tunnels, bridges, day and night.

All rooms (some of them are movable) are scattered along its 1km length and at every 100 meters there is a stripe indicating the travelled distances and specific events.

It is possible to move around by car or simply walk. On foot, a trip from the bedroom to the toilet can last several minutes. In the city-apartment everything is pushed to the limit. There is tension but also exuberant scenarios.

In the end, after 1km, a little door opens to a rocket. Standing like a skyscraper, the rocket is ready to depart at any moment, as if the only possible escape (or relief) from the constructed world is to conquer the vastness of space.

 

Mappa Mundi
print on canvas, 2011-2014

by Raumlabor

 

(detail)

 

Mappa Mundi

Mappa mundi totum orbem terrarum continens et naturam eius et momentum historiae, praesentiae rerum futurarumque explicare conans.

Since time began, the earth and its surface have been the subject of cartography. For some, maps are tools to understand the complexity of our world, for others they are only images of a subjective understanding. We use the map as a tool to understand the contemporary phenomena that shape our planet.

We live in a time of great uncertainty; resources are scarce, relations of power are shifting, the climate is changing and the world economy is facing radical upheaval. Experts from around the world argue about consequences of these altering factors. It could be said that the way humans live, work and develop, consequently destroys their very livelihood. As we gradually lose the ground under our feet it becomes ever more difficult to draw a reliable picture of our future.

What is the ground? The subject of ‘Ground’ is such a wide field that it is almost intangible. Even Leonardo da Vinci noted that: “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the ground beneath our feet.” It was also Leonardo Da Vinci who discovered, whilst on a stroll through the Alps, fossils of sea creatures. Martin Luther’s dominant popular thesis of the time suggested that findings such as these were proof of the great flood! Da Vinci questioned this and found that the Alps were formed of sedimentary rock, and the fossils had been folded into the tops of the rocks through continental drift. The ground on which we operate today is formed in part by dead organic matter, compacted and pressed by the pressure of the life above, and coming from a time in which the primeval ocean dominated. Today, humans make up the most dominant form of life on our planet.

What are our influences and effects, upon the ground and its structure? How many people since the existence of humanity have already died? Has the circumference of the earth changed as a result of this? With these issues in mind, we launched an intensive research. The results of this research are represented in a map of our subjective analysis of the complexity of the ground and the earth’s surface.

 

 

Selected biographies

2A+P/A

2A+P/A is an architectural office established by Gianfranco Bombaci and Matteo Costanzo and based in Rome.

The office works on architectural and landscape design and urban planning with a particular interest in the nature and conditions of public space, and it engages in a broad range of activities including public and private buildings, housing complexes, urban spaces, event pavilions and temporary installations. The office’s two partners have participated in international design competitions in which they have been awarded prizes and received honourable mention, and they have presented their work at several conferences and symposia. Their writings and production have been presented in published form in a variety of international books and magazines such as A10, Abitare, a+t, A+U, Architecture d’aujourd’hui, Architectural Review, Domus and Volume. They also forward their research through publishing initiatives like the architecture magazine San Rocco. The architects of 2A+P/A have publicly presented their projects at and realised site-specific installations for several international exhibitions, such as the NAI in Rotterdam, the 13th and 11th Venice Architecture Biennale, the 5th Brasilia Biennale of Architecture and Shanghai Expo 2010 inside the Italian Pavilion. Their work was also showcased in a solo exhibition in Rome entitled The Pop Out Show.

2A+P/A’s collaborators have included Carla Accardi, Baukuh, Stefano Boeri, Andrea Branzi, Yona Friedman, IaN+, Id-Lab, Marazzi Architetti, ma0, Nabito, Marialuisa Palumbo, Salottobuono and T-Spoon.

www.2ap.it

 

Fabio Alessandro Fusco

Fabio Alessandro Fusco was born in Taranto, graduated in Architecture from Pascara University, got a master’s degree in Strategic Planning and a PhD in Urban Architectural Design from the Polytechnic of Milan. He now teaches design at the School of Architecture in Milan and Piacenza. He worked with Andrea Branzi in 2007, and since 2004 has been conducting independent research on the strategies and  transformation tactics of the contemporary generic city fragments, through a process of re-writing  ‘broken relationships’ generated by new forms of urban concentration and sprawl. He has exhibited his work at Storefront for Art and Architecture, ‘E-Zuff Film Festival in New York, the Venice Biennale, and the Triennale in Milan at Spazio FMG, the Lauba and Space Think of Zagreb.

www.fabioalessandrofusco.com

 

MAP OFFICE

MAP OFFICE is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez (1966, Casablanca, Morocco) and Valérie Portefaix (1969, Saint-Étienne, France). This duo of artists/architects has been based in Hong Kong since 1996, working on physical and imaginary territories using varied means of expression including drawing, photography, video, installations, performance, and literary and theoretical texts. Their entire project forms a critique of spatio-temporal anomalies and documents how human beings subvert and appropriate space. Humour, games, and fiction are also part of their approach, in the form of small publications providing a further format for disseminating their work. Their cross-disciplinary practice has been the subject of a monograph, MAP OFFICE – Where the Map is the Territory (2011), edited by Robin Peckham and published by ODE (Beijing).

Early 2013, MAP Office was the recipient of the 2013 edition of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize.

MAP OFFICE projects have been exhibited in major international art, design and architecture events including: MoMA (2014); Witte de With (2014); M+ (2014), Ullens Contemporary Art Centre, Beijing (2013); 7th Asia Pacific Triennial (2012); 1st Kiev Biennale (2012); 6th Curitiba Art Biennale (2011); 7th, 11th and 12th Venice Architecture Biennale (2000, 2008, 2010); Evento 1st Bordeaux Biennale (2009); 4th Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual (2009); 2nd Canary Island Biennale (2009); Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008); 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007); 52nd Venice Art Biennale (2007); 15th Sydney Biennale (2006); 1st Paris Triennial (2006); 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005); 1st Singapore Biennale (2006); 2nd and 3rd Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale (2007, 2009); 1st Architectural Biennial Beijing (2004); 1st Rotterdam Architecture Biennale (2003).

Their first film City of Production has been selected for the official competition at: 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009, 33rd Cinéma du Réel Paris 2009, 1st Migrating Forms New York 2009, and presented at 10th Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid (2008).

www.map-office.com

 

Miniatura

Miniatura was founded in São Paulo by Bruna Canepa and Ciro Miguel. The studio has the intention to produce a collection of images and strategies in order to reflect on the tensions of architecture. Miniatura is interested in both the non-constructed world as much as the constructed one. Bruna (1988) is an architect graduated from Escola da Cidade (São Paulo, 2013). She has been working as an artist since 2008, taking part of a number of exhibitions (solo and collectively). Her final thesis “5 CASAS”, which has sold out its experimental edition, will be officially published later this year. Ciro (1980) is an architect graduated from FAU USP (São Paulo, 2004).

He worked with Angelo Bucci (SPBR arquitetos) for almost a decade, before doing his Masters at Columbia University (New York, 2008). He then worked with Bernard Tschumi from 2008 to 2010. Ciro currently teaches at ETH Zurich as an assistant for Professor Angelo Bucci. In 2013 Miniatura had a solo exhibition at Columbia University’s Studio-X in Rio de Janeiro and at Galeria Aurora in São Paulo. In the same year, Miniatura was selected to exhibit at the X Bienal de Arquitetura de São Paulo.

www.miniatura.cc

 

Raumlaborberlin

Raumlaborberlin was founded as a working group for architecture, art, planning and action in 1999. raumlaborberlin is a network, a collective of 8 trained architects who have come together in a collaborative work-structure. They work at the intersection of architecture, city planning, art and urban intervention. They address in their work city and urban renewal as a process. They are attracted to difficult urban locations. Places torn between different systems, time periods or planning ideologies, that cannot adapt. Places that are abandoned, left over or in transition that contains some relevance for the processes of urban transformations. These places are their experimentation sites. They offer untapped potential which they try to activate. This opens new perspectives for alternative usage patterns, collective ideals, urban diversity and difference.

On an abstract level of city planning they have specialized in dynamic master planning. Activation through use is their central approach.

Multi-facetted usage of public space a driving force for the development of vibrant, contemporary and adaptive neighbourhoods.They try to invent new user-based applications and involve the urban actors as early as possible in the transformation processes.

City-planning projects are e.g. “Kolorado Neustadt” (2003-2006), scenarios for a new urban diversity in the shrinking city Halle-Neustadt, the “Rahmenplanung Dachauer Str.” in Munich (2009) or the “Aktivierende Stadtentwicklung Flughafen Tempelhof” in Berlin (2007-2008) and the collaboration for the concept of an “IBA Berlin 2020″ (2011).

In 2011, Raumlabor took part with the installation Officina Roma to the exhibition Re-Cycle: Strategie per l’architettura, la città e il pianeta at MAXXI Museum of Rome.

www.raumlabor.net