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Page history last edited by marco@... 9 years, 6 months ago


Moving freely between architecture, landscape architecture, environmental art, urban and environmental design and science Casagrande’s work encompasses a broad vision of the built human environment.  Structures that respond to nature, designed with local materials and built with local building practices, change over time as they age in situ. 


Since 1999 Casagrande has created 65 cross-disciplinary, ecologically conscious architectural installations around the world.


In all of Marco Casagrande’s work, there is a search for a subconscious architecture, a real reality, and a connection between modern people and nature. He believes that one should not be blindfolded by stress, the surroundings of economics, and the online access to entertainment or information. “What is real is valuable,” says Casagrande.  “I want to design shelters in nature for honest people.”


Last year Casagrande was awarded the 2013 European Prize for Architecture.  This award was designed to support those influential European architects who are blazoning a more humanist and social-based architecture and recognize their pursuits and their achievements before a European and world audience.


“Casagrande is one of Europe’s new young breed of architects,” states Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, the Finnish Museum President of The Chicago Athenaeum, “who have expanded the traditional boundaries

of architecture, pushing that envelope beyond ‘accepted norms’ and the ‘standard perimeters’ of design practice, to include architecture as environmental art and sculpture, while embracing sustainability, humanism, and the public’s right to an appropriate architecture and urban design that reflects and respects human values, dignity, and self-esteem.  Casagrande is a model for today’s young design professional.”



Casagrande’s work has been widely exhibited internationally including the World Architecture Festival (2009), Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennial (2009, 2012), Victoria & Albert Museum (2010), World Design Expo (2011), Beufort04 Triennial (2012), Austrian Museum of Contemporary Art MAK “Eastern Promises” (2013, Buenos Aires Architecture Biennial (2013) and China Central Academy of Fine Art CAFAM Biennale (2014), among others.


His work has been critically acclaimed, winning awards including the World Architecture Community Awards (2009), World Architecture Festival Award (2009), Architectural Review House Award (2010), World Architecture Community Awards (2010), Red Dot Design Awards (2012) and Russian Architects Union’s Zeleny Proekt (Green Project) 2012 competitions. He also won the International Committee of Architectural Critics CICA Award 2013 for conceptual and artistic architecture.


Currently Marco Casagrande is the Principal of the Casagrande Laboratory Architects in Finland and WEAK! in Taiwan together with Prof. Roan Ching-Yueh and architect Hsieh Ying-Chun. He directs the independent multidisciplinary research center Ruin Academy based in Taipei, Taiwan and Artena, Italy and is the Vice-President of the International Society of Biourbanism. 



Marco Casagrande views cities as complex energy organisms in which different overlapping layers of energy flows are determining the actions of the citizens as well as the development of the city. By mixing environmentalism and urban design Casagrande is developing methods of punctual manipulation of the urban energy flows in order to create an ecologically sustainable urban development towards the so-called 3rd Generation City (post industrial city).


The theory of the Third Generation City views the post industrial urban condition as a machine ruined by nature including human nature and architects as design shamans merely interpreting what the bigger nature of the shared mind is transmitting.This organic machine is kept alive through continuous and spontaneous ruining processes performed by citizens, to whom Casagrande refers to as 「anarchist gardeners」 by means of urban farming, illegal architecture and urban acupuncture. The element of Ruin is viewed as something man-made having become part of nature. The theory is developed in the independent multidisciplinary research centre Ruin Academy (2010-).


Third Generation City follows the first generation where humans' peacefully coexisted with nature and the second generation built walls and stone structures everywhere in an attempt to shut out nature. In the third generation however, nature, which can never be truly shut out, grows back through the ruins, through the cracks in the wall, sucking human nature back into the wider nature. Third Generation City concentrates on local knowledge and urban acupuncture rather than on centrally governed urban planning. Casagrande describes urban acupuncture as:
[a] 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. And: Sensitivity to understand the energy flows of the collective chi beneath the visual city and reacting on the hot-spots of this chi. Architecture is in the position to produce the acupuncture needles for the urban chi. And: A weed will root into the smallest crack in the asphalt and eventually break the city. Urban acupuncture is the weed and the acupuncture point is the crack. The possibility of the impact is total, connecting human nature as part of nature. The theory opens the door for uncontrolled creativity and freedom. Each citizen is enabled to join the creative process, feel free to use city space for any purpose and develop his environment according to his will. The agents of the Third Generation City are sensitive citizens who feel the calling of a sustainable co-operation with the rest of the nature, sensitive citizen who are aware of the destruction that the insensitive modem machine is causing to nature including human nature.


The thinking and methodology of the Third Generation City is developed by the Ruin Academy in co-operation with the Aalto University SGT Sustainable Global Technologies Finland, Aalto University Department of Environmental Art, Tamkang University Department of Architecture Taiwan and National Taiwan University Department of Sociology. 





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