Thursday, April 25, 2013


Ruin Academy is an organic void on the industrial tissue of the mechanical urbanism. It is a hole penetrating through the man-made layers of asphalt and concrete and finally reaching the original soil. Through this hole, a crack in the city, local knowledge can surface. There are many holes in Taipei performing urban acupuncture to the city.

In the alley of Ruin Academy there is a tree growing from the wall of a 5-story apartment building. This is a big and heavy tree that has spread its roots on a wide surface on the wall and it has penetrated through the wall in order to lock itself to the primary structures of the building. Its roots are further penetrating into the sewage system of the house and it uses the human circulation as its energy and water supply. This tree has chosen the man-made structure to be its living environment. It has balanced its growth not to break the building. It is an urban bonsai regulating itself according to the given conditions.

Architectural control must be broken in order to let nature to step in. Industrial city must be ruined through punctual interventions. The valueless void of the current urban development will be filled with ethics – the corners are windy. Urban Bioacupuncture is ecological restoration of existing cities through focus on cracks, holes and organic knowledge. Dictatorship of Sensitivity.

The community gardens and urban farms of Taipei are holes in the city. These holes are sucking in ad-hoc community activities to take place. Random holes are popping up here and there in Taipei. Some last for only a couple of hours, some keep going on for decades – like the 101 Garden. Hole in the city is un-official and it is maintained by organic power balancing. Temples are religious holes. Night markets and urban nomad activities are holes. The illegal city that keeps Taipei alive is urbanism of holes dancing on top of the official fiction.

University needs holes. The university has grown weaker the same time as the different disciplines have grown stronger. The academia should focus on the holes, not on the disciplines. Compost is dead without holes. When holes are introduced the compost will become the most fertile top-soil. Same with architecture, city and university.

A weed will root in the smallest crack in asphalt and eventually break the city. Why does the nature want to break the city? City is an obstacle in the life providing system of nature and it wants to tune the city to be part of itself. It wants city to produce life resonating with the rest of nature.


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