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on October 3, 2012 at 1:01:54 pm



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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