Over these last five years (2003/2007) we have been developing a small yet very important experimental project: the transformation of the run-down via Pepe area, behind the Garibaldi Railway Station in the Isola neighbourhood of Milan, into a more liveable space for its in habitants. This “makeover” scheme has been achieved thanks to the Green Island project, aimed at valorising public space and the uses made of it. Green Island has promoted a cultural reflection on the forms of contemporary living, stimulating dialogue between the languages of photography, architecture and design. Originally based on the need to give a strong sense of overall planning to the various interventions, ideas and art projects, it represents the desire to involve new urban spaces and to reflect on the pressing issue of collective spaces and public park areas. For the 2008 event, aMAZElab is publishing Green Island. On Cities, Hortus and Wild Gardens, a publication that brings together the first five years of the project.
The book, deliberately pocket-size and accessible both to students as well as a wider readership, is divided into three sections. The first section brings together a number of theoretical texts by some of the most authoritative names on the topic: Andrea Branzi, Catherine David, Manuel Gausa and Gilles Cléments. In the second section there are the contributions of a dozen artists, architects and activists who work in various ways towards the creation and safeguarding of urban park spaces and temporary green areas. This section does not aim to be an all-inclusive guide, but rather a kind of “exemplification” of the various schools of thought in the field. The third section is dedicated to the group project in Milan on via Pepe in the Isola neighbourhood. As a matter of fact, the project proved to be a forerunner of artistic trends and practices that were to take hold in the years to come: projects on sustainability, the transversal use of different artistic languages, urban installations, the decoration of fences and city walls with artists’ posters, etc…This section also focuses on three different ways of approaching the city: through an analysis of the many faces of the neighbourhood, through the photographic eye, and through the valorisation of local creativity, with workshops and the small crafts studios. The three sections are also interspersed with a number of fragments examining the issue of green areas to be found alongside transportation centres, such as railway stations. Claudia Zanfi
The book introduces projects by: atelier le balto (Berlin/Paris), Community Gardens (NYC), Ettore Favini (Cremona), The Flying Grass Carpet (Rotterdam), Guerrilla Gardening (NYC/London), Park Fiction (Hamburg), Public Globality Gardens (Malmö), studio.eu (Berlin), Temporären Gärten (Berlin), Lois & Franziska Weinberger (Wien).
languages:Italiano / English
release: april 2008