Friday, April 16, 2010

Laurits Elkjær - Marco Casagrande: Urban Acupuncture

Laurits Elkjær / The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - School of Architecture in Copenhagen interviewing Marco Casagrande.

I am currently working on a large paper dealing with urban acupuncture. I understand that urban acupuncture is a strategy You have developed and would in this context ask You a few questions. If You have the opportunity to answer these, I will be both happy and grateful.

1: How do you as an architect define urban acupuncture?

Urban Acupuncture is cross-over architectural manipulation of the collective sensuous intellect of a city. City is viewed as multi-dimensional sensitive energy-organism, a living environment. Urban acupuncture aims into a touch with this nature.


2: How do you use urban acupuncture to create architecture?

First you have to determine the sensitive flows of the built human environment. Based on those you have to determine the acupuncture points. The last is to determine what is the needle: architectural reaction. The key to understand this is to be present. To be truly present one has to give up, one has to be weak. To be present is the key of all art.


3: What are the benefits of using urban acupuncture?

Weakness and flexibility can communicate with the collective mind. Environmental sensitivity generates knowledge building, which will reflect on design as design shamanism.

Every grass penetrating the concrete or asphalt pavement of an industrial city is urban acupuncture.


4: What requirements should an area meet if Urban acupuncture is to be used as a strategy?

Urban Acupuncture can be applied collectively as networks to deal with a whole city or it can be used puctually in close quarters. If a city is undergoing some sort of an active process or transformation, Urban Acupuncture is a good strategy to tune the direction. Acupuncture is good for hardness and industrial insensitivity. Hardness and strenght are death's companions. What has become hard will never survive. -Stalker

Urban Accupuncture can suggest the Dictatorship of Sensitivity.


5: What is your experience with the use of urban acupuncture? In what context? What were/are the expectations and what was the outcome?

A good case is the transformation process of the Treasure Hill settlement from an illegal urban farming community into a model example of ecologically sustainable urban living in Taipei. See: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/taiwan/treasure_hill_taipei.htm

The process locally was Urban Acupuncture tunning the direction of the collective Qi from destruction into construction and afterwards the whole legalized settlement acting as an acupuncture needle for the modern Taipei. I have been referring this process to the turning over of a compost - something that is considered to be the smelly and repulsive corner of the city suddenly becomes the most fertile top-soil and source of life.

Link: UA

1 comment:

Laurits said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It was both inspiring and exciting to read your reply.

Again, many thanks

Laurits Elkjær