13 Vol. 13, agosto 2012
Architettura e politica: un incrocio di sguardi | Architecture and Political Discourse: crossing perspectives
METADATI: apri il frontespizio (pdf), DOI: 10.12977/ocula9
How can interesting points of departure for such a vast, much-discussed and sometimes hackneyed subject like the relationship between architecture and politics still be found? The authors who take part in this issue have skilfully risen to the challenge: by working on the problem of urban planning, areas of exclusion, industrial areas, the suburbs, as well as the “symbolic centres” of cities (such as theatres or boulevards) or on thematic-cultural planning bound to remembrance, like that of parks. The gaze issue and putting into perspective constantly returns as a restriction of those power relations on which the political dimension is based.
Hanno collaborato a questo numero: Stefano Carlucci, Pierluigi Cervelli, Giorgio Coratelli, Eleonora Diamanti, Anna Lazzarini, Federico Montanari, Ruggero Ragonese, Valeria Scavone, Amedeo Trezza, François Emmanuel Vigneau.
|Introduzione | Introduction||di Federico Montanari|
The subject of the relationship between architecture and politics is “limitless yet to the point”, as rightly underscored in one of the articles in this issue. However, it is because the subject is so vast that we feel it can serve as a link and encouragement towards further exploration and avenues to investigate, also thanks to the choices made by the authors who responded to the call. Architecture or urban planning may evidently be described as languages that are not only spatial but that also express crossing and settling: operations that not only require a finding of one's way, but also an arrangement of space itself, its interpretation. In practical terms, even in the architectural and urban context power is therefore an “able to do” on the one hand (able to freely go, travel, cross) and on the other, a form of “able to be” able, however, to deny space to others: “I am..., and so I'm stopping you from going there, or I'm forcing you to look or pass that way”. This issue of Ocula considers these two different dimensions, all within the space of the city.
|Politiche della sicurezza e forme del controllo. Una prospettiva semiotica | Security Policies and Forms of Control. A semiotic perspective||di Pierluigi Cervelli|
The aim of this article is to reflect on the political control of urban space and population mobility, particularly in relation to government measures and regulations governing the management of the hosting camps of the Rom and Sinti within the Municipality of Rome (the so-called "solidarity villages"). To this end, the article develops as a discourse analysis of the number of documents and regulations passed by the Berlusconi government, part of which wasrejected by the Italian
Council of State (November 2011). The thesis of the article is that the new regulations of Rom camps are designed to control the movement of Rom and Sinti, who live in them, however, with the explicit aim of preventing permanent accommodation to people housed in them. From this point of view, the article argues that the measures analyzed create nomadism who declare to be reason to their own needs. The conclusions of the work finally supports the actuality of the reflections on security proposed by Michel Foucault (2004), showing how they can be applied to new fields of research interacting with the concepts and methods of semiotic analysis.
|I luoghi di Marghera. Appunti per una geologia urbana | The Places of Marghera. Field notes for urban geology||di Giorgio Coratelli|
In this article I analyze the founding of the city of Marghera and the industrial zone of Porto Marghera. I practice an “urban geology” to research the stratification of power relations, constitutive of their realization and dynamics. The first part is on the founding of Marghera: considering Foucault’s studies on the governance practices of the space and Deleuze’s book of Foucault, I study the project of founding of Marghera, as “garden city” and worikng-class town, to demonstrate the failure of this and describe how the power relations determine the development of residential areas. In the second part I consider Hirschman’s studies on developing economies to study the dynamics of power relations in the industial zone, especially in the ages of workers’ struggles.
|Pratiques urbaines entre politique et architecture. Analyse sémiotique du boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal | Urban Practices between Politics and Architecture. Semiotic analysis of Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montréal||di Eleonora Diamanti|
The relationship between politics and architecture is a complex and fundamental issue in understanding the urban and social fabric of cities. Moreover, architectural artefacts constitute symbolic forms inscribing political choices on space. However, it is further complicated by urban practices – or the users’ experience – which intervene and take part in the creation of meaning re-semanticizing and reinterpreting political wills and architectural forms. From a semiotic perspective, my aim is to highlight the active role of semiotic practices which influence the link
between politics and architecture and its complex connection to the society and culture to which they belong. In doing so, I will take the example of Montréal, the biggest and most important French-speaking city in North America, referring to the heritage of colonial politics and the modern multicultural tendencies. In particular, I will study Saint-Laurent Boulevard, one of the most important and symbolic streets of the city. The research will focus on two aspects: urban projects and toponyms linked to the political interventions in architecture but also the use and re-interpretation of politics and spaces accomplished by urban practices.
|Architettura e urbanistica, presupposti e partecipazione | Architecture and Urban Planning, Prerequisites and Participation||di Valeria Scavone|
In analysing the relationship between architecture and urban planning, this paper starts from Leonardo Benevolo’s declaration (in 1963) that defines the latter as “a part of politics required to concretize each operational program”. So, while waiting for the long expected reform, urban planning – once as well as today – needs a complete overhaul to get a better understanding of its role and relationship with politics. The other reference is to one of the founders of this field of research, Patrick Geddes, and his definition of “civic science” (1915). This allows us to stress how modern Geddes’ urban and social planning was. The subject is analysed at its various historical stages, and the main concept of this paper concerns the link between efficiency and
effectiveness in urban planning and democracy, and participation in political work.
|Dare forma allo spazio del convivere | Give shape to the space of cohabitation||di Anna Lazzarini|
Today, the relationship between social, cultural, political transformations and spatial processes can be critically re-thought as the increasing articulation of spaces of places and spaces of flows. This article argues that the relationship between architecture and politics emerges through the intertwining of issues present in the discourses and the practices of both, which entails a prospective of action and transformation of the city that necessarily expresses an assumption of responsibility. These issues link the city’s historical, cultural and material-functional dimensions and originate from memories and the possibility of their future destination. They refer also to the ability to perceive, experience, and enact alternatives to the present: they concern the imaginative ability to think otherwise. In this regard, the multidimensional notion of “public space” is crucial, because it involves the articulation of spaces as well as the function and significance of buildings, but also the quality of relationships, experiences and urban life that happen in them. The weaving of flows, networks, places, and bodies in the urban fabric promises new forms of being-in-common that invite architecture, urban planning, and politics to be interpreters of this “desire for connection”, the peculiar aspect that defines spatial and symbolical forms, but also relational modalities.
|L’architecture sportive. De la commémoration du sport au marketing commercial | Architecture of sport. From the commemoration of sport to commercial marketing||di François Emmanuel Vigneau|
Is the architecture of sport specific, or does it reflect the city, the society, the politics? This article analyzes numerous sports facilities of various types, in France and in Europe, since the beginning of the XXth century until today. It shows a double evolution of the meaning of the sports architecture: on one hand, from the sport to the show and, on the other hand, from the political power and the culture of the city to the economic power.
|Resti che ritornano testi: il ruolo della memoria in una possibile risemantizzazione di luoghi. | Remains that render texts: the role of memory in a possible risemantization of places||di Amedeo Trezza|
Nowadays, after decades of countryside and agricultural soils abandonment, we are facing more and more some “re-functionalizing” choices. But they too often anticipate a radical loss of sense not followed by a recovery of memory and local identities.In other words, rural architecture and landscape texts are systematically replaced by paralyzing “museifications”, accompanied with an idea of “preservation” (with more or less “locked” parks and natural reserves); or by service/industrial aims, or, finally, by tourist based re-interpretations with mass consumerism intentions. Does a ‘fourth way’ exist which is able to offer a new possibility of meaning to these kinds of territorial texts, without mortifying their memory nor relegating them to a silent role or to “outdated” attitude? In this perspective of a new kind of possible recuperation, the role of Semiotics could consist in finding out emotional and cognitive valorizations of spatial articulation of sense, as well as vectorial concretions; where policy and architecture could be reciprocally
involved towards planning and managing of the territory. In this way the memory of what is left as a mark on the territory of a pre-existent order (already disappeared or disappearing) could offer suggestions to political debates about planning. In this manner a radical change of the study perspective could be achieved; for instance, manufactures should be assumed not merely as precipitates of ideologies and political strategies but in fact as expressive, material and concrete rests (concretions...) able to activate semiotic processes of recognizing identities and possibilities along with the opening of new meanings.
|Il Fiore di Stucco | The Stucco Flower||di Stefano Carlucci|
The core of his research paths is theater, considered in its two main components: its physical materialization, the buildings and sites conceived to contain the theatrical event (semiotics of theater architecture) and the dialogue relationship between authors/actors/audience.
These issues originate from the work done in the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza (1999). Stefano Carlucci also collaborates with the Department of Mechanics, Politecnico di Milano, for the realization of a research project aimed to point out the possible points of contact between forensic engineering and semiotics.
|Postfazione | Afterword||di Ruggero Ragonese|
“Tout est politique” and architecture is no exception. Even though it cannot be seen, politics is in the shape of the pyramids, in Roman basilicas and Renaissance temples, as it is in the ephemeral architecture of huge international exhibitions or the inventions of contemporary archistars. Because it is very clear that even the denial of politics in the construction of an architectural style implies its presence, since it is precisely when architecture denies its function within a community or area that politics (of architecture) expands and takes over.
In this respect, by working on the tangible device of urban (or non-urban) space on the one hand, and on the ‘order of flow phenomena’ on the other, semiotics becomes the principal actor in a political project for architecture. That which lies in the liminal possibility of not reducing space and its representation to the aspect of design or to sociological analysis, but of appreciating the overall ‘articulated’ sense in which historic and subjective instances as well as complex and multiple narrative paths coexist.