Incontriamo 1 Marco Casagrande in un cerchio totemico fatto di rovine, edifici bruciati e scheletri di antichi vermi della sabbia. Siamo all’interno del suo Laboratorio.
Sfacciato come mai in vita mia, mi faccio avanti, per conoscerlo. Mi presento, con il capo chino, ma con il cuore pieno di domande. Lui ci accetta, come potrebbe fare un bue, troppo poco disturbato dalle mosche per dar loro veramente peso.
In realtà non possiamo neanche dire di averlo incontrato; evocato2, al massimo. Perché la sua figura sfuggevole è troppo complessa per essere riassunta in poche righe.
Potremmo dire che è un architetto antico 3. Un druido o uno stregone, se preferite. Ma sarebbe ancora riduttivo.
Qui sotto potete trovare la trascrizione della nostra piccola discussione. Spero la possiate trovare illuminante.
archiFETISH: Architect, sociologist, town planner.
In a world where the “BIG size” seems the most obvious way – just consider any project published in a magazine – you’ve decided to work about small, ephemeral and weak.
What are the differences, if any, between the design of a complex program and a handcrafted detail? Or better: do you believe your method and your work process are different from that of a large studio?
Marco Casagrande: There must be a strong bond between architecture and architect. Architecture must win architect ego and become itself. Architecture gives the commands and the architect listens. Architecture is not remote control. To be present is the key of all arts. If you remote control, you are possibly a designer, but never an architect. Are you ready to die on a construction site?
Construction workers are great. Industrialism is boring. Today’s architecture has become a fast food building pornography. Who remembers the buildings after a second?
aF: Seeing your work, I noticed two very interesting aspects.
The first is that, unlike the architects usually do, there is often a temporal component: the architecture becomes only the first phase of the project, as if at the moment of conception you also thought to the expiration date of your works.
Why do you find so fascinating producing ruins?
Marco Casagrande: Different works have different time-span what comes to energy. Drama requires the aspect of time. Time lives in architecture in many different layers.
The artificial time of industrial reality, the hacking rhythyms of non-organic fiction are the source of stress and prostitution. Ruin is beyond that. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.
aF: The second thing I noticed is that some of your work could be associated with a ritual: they possess a magical and esoteric component such that the substance of the elements is of secondary importance compared to the positioning and their meaning.
Could you explain, in this sense, what is the concept of urban acupuncture? And how it can “cure” complex organisms such as contemporary cities?
Marco Casagrande: There is no other concept than nature. All the rest is fiction. Ritual means connecting man with nature. This can also be natural, every-day life without any ritual.
Urban Acupuncture is breaking the fictional layers of industrial corruption and patriarchal violence so that constructive organic reality can surface for people to attach to. People are breaking the city constantly. If they don’t, the city gets sterile and eventually nature will reject it.
aF: The city of Third Generation which images to the metropolis is a post-industrial city, in which ecology and sustainability seem to be our ultimate goal. In short, a return to the idea of bucolic and romantic agriculture. In this sense, it almost seems that in the future we expect a regression to the past, rather than a progress.
As an architect, how do you solve what appears to be a major conflict? And what would be our role in a world where “build” could be obsolete?
Marco Casagrande: City is an extended market-place where people change goods and ideas – communicate and through the accellerated communication have a possibility of new knowledge building. Cities attract peole and cities will grow. Cities are the nests of industrial insects. Industrialism itself can only give a rather clumsy environment for the human nature to attach to. The city don’t actually fity to us perfectly. We are more nomads than fixed urban dwellers. This contradiction between our un-official nomadic nature and the official fixed city is causing the trauma of the modern man. Industrial city is the place for therapy. Third Generation City is balancing between industrialism and nature. It don’t claim to be independent from nature and it is much more physical than the urban reality today. Industrial ritual produces pollution, which is against the general life proving circles of nature. 3G city will attach again to these natural circles, but will not forget industrialism. Possibly cities will develop into hubs of urban superfarms and agri/agua culture. Maybe there will be only a few 3G cities in total. For example China may end up with only one nomadic urban ridge / river connected to some satellites. One man-made river.
aF: Finally, considering all this, can we say that your architecture is an anarchist? Could this be the reason for your success?
Marco Casagrande: I am more animist than anarchist. Anismist architecture where the built human environment works as a mediator between the man and nature. In this case architect is a shaman. Anarchism is politics – nature is reality. Don’t focus on the singing of the birds, but what is resonating behind the birds singing.
aF: Last question: you live in Finland, you have Italian origins, you have fought in Bosnia, you have an Asian partner, but you are very well-liked in the United States. Assuming that it is possible to identify a specific context, where do you think it’s more likely that this “Urban Revolution” could have origin?
Marco Casagrande: I come from Lapland. The revolution comes when you parachute a tundra-nigger into a modern metropolis. This revolution is my reaction to the alieantion of modern man from nature. Industrial city has claimed independence from nature, which is a lazy excuse for pushihg pollutino to nature, including human nature. Modern man in a box is doomed to dementia. This box must be ruined and modern man must be ruined. The industrial city must become an organic machine in straight interaction with the rest of nature. This organic ruin of the industrial city is the Third Generation City. Ruin is when man-made has become part of nature.
aF: Ok, thath’s all. Thank you for your kindness
Marco Casagrande: Thank you for these questions.