Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dictatorship of Sensitivity

C-Laboratory: Cover of the free newspaper "Il Uomo".

Marco Casagrande
- See the video

Writer architects


- Yoshio Kato, Professor, Tamkang University.

Professor Yoshio Kato with architecture students from Tamkang Univeristy during the CityZen Garden -workshop in Zhuwei of Taipei Taiwan.




Antti's message


I would like to forward you Antti’s message concerning our garden. He pretty much underlines the Eternal elements and I believe this is good to share with you and you should understand.



I like the swings. Pendelum. Time. Sinus -> circle. Too much linear movement in the garden and too little swinging.

Vegetation and water is not part of the message. Why should one do anything if one cannot say something (art…). We are living times where bullshit and NOT NECESSARY decoration should not be needed. The sharp edge of a message is the essential part of things. Besides this one should remember the location of the exhibitions space. Courage is part of the picture. Open the eyes. Mankind seems to be in a hurry. Still again, wee do not necessarily have to give up the gift of life. I hope so. (correct me by all means if I am wrong)…


Of course there might be even a better way to get the elements highlighted. But swing. Man as part of time and as a prisoner. This is important. No?

I DO THINK you are on a right track. As I hope to be too. One must grab to the fragments of real reality though the shit tries to blur the screen.
Real reality is and tolerates observing in time and space.

I carry the thinking with me. So more will become…

CityZen Garden

CASAGRANDE LABORATORY in Danshui, Taiwan, 2006. Glass Zen Garden and back-packs ready for Venice Biennale.

The Zen garden is at least a visual platform of environmental meditation linking the human nature as part of nature and furthermore to more cosmic entities.

On one hand one can see the Zen garden as a reflection of the surrounding environment scaling down the mountains into its stones or the movement of the ocean into the racking pattern of the gravel. Meditation can build connections and dynamics between the elements of the Zen garden and its surrounding nature. Meditation can also reveal tensions, balances and directions between the Zen garden elements themselves and help the viewer to erase the realities around the garden letting the mind travel in this highly controlled environment.
George passing by the glass Zen Garden. The solid glass rock is an industrial mistake and accidentally formed in a sheet-glass owen during years of extreme preassure and heat conditions.

The paradox of the Zen garden is in its highly controlled nature as a platform of accident. It may be that the form of the garden ha remained the same some 500 years having the every element articulated into their exact position – the racking of the sand or gravel, the pattern of the growing or merely being of the tree, the color of the moss around the stone…nothing has changed but still one has to admit that the slightest breeze of the wind might turn one piece of sand or fall down a leaf from the tree and the same gardening work has to be started again. This ultimate human control celebrates the superiority of the smallest of the environmental changes.

Marco Casagrande: CityZen Garden, Zhuwei, Taipei 2006.

We try to control cities with millions of people. And we easily forget the nature. We are capable of creating surroundings where human nature is no longer part of nature.

Garden is a window of eternity.


If a Zen garden is trying to build up a harmony between the natural elements, the human nature and the universe the city does not seem to have the time. And the time is in essence. To justify its being the modern city has created the artificial time and invented stress. After stressing for time and money death has become a defeat – a bankruptcy.

CityZen Garden, detail. Marco Casagrande, 2006.

City must be a compost.

In nature death is the beginning of a new life. When a tree is growing, it is tender and pliant, but when it is dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness and being. When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible, when he dies he is hard and insensitive. Because what has hardened will never win. Stalker.
Nikita Wu. In the future architecture will be done by writers (Yoshio Kato, 2006).

Thinking of the Zen garden and thinking of the city. A new Zen garden for the city, the CityZen Garden of post-urban meditation. The city of slowness, the urbanism of acupuncture, the new urban nomad - in a compost, as a garden.

When an architect is a gardener he is a constructor. If he is not a gardener he can be a destructor. There is a danger.

Ice Speedway

Clean Country Living

driver: Oski camera: Artta team: Ikirouta (Permafrost), Inkoo, Finland

Technical bases:
60 hp
fuel: metanol
lubricate: straight through (driving 8 laps, then more oil)
gears: 2
breaks: no
gear switch on the right side (cannot be on the left side...when tilting the foot don't fit between the bike and ice...)
0-80 km/h, approx. 1,5 seconds
max speed according to the tuning 130 -140 km/h
track: 400 m oval / driving direction counter clock wise (in a race one drives 4 laps)
spikes: 28 mm
bike is so to say "stiff rear". this you will understand....

to start A) take the weight to the front B) gas OPEN C) slip in the clutch (if in any stage happens any mistake of "mercy" the outcome is usually bad)

Glass Garden

Glass garden for Venice Biennale Taiwan Pavilion 2006

General view of the glass garden in the Venice Prison.

This is the third time for us to participate in the Venice Biennale. The previous ones have been in the special exhibition of the year 2000 and representing Denmark in the year 2004 (CREW*31). Every time we have brought in Venice a garden. The "60 Minute Man" / 2000 was an oak garden in an abandoned barge on top of composted human waste and "Post Industrial Fleet" / 2004 a bigger strategy of recycling industrial ships and urban waste in forms of floating gardens.

When the modern man loses his connection to the nature he will die.

The Yuo-Yuan glass garden in the Taiwanese Pavilion is a spatial meditation platform for post urban rehabilitation. The outcome is a mixture of Taiwanese and Finnish interpretations of being present in the circular movement in different levels and nothingness. Basically it is a rock garden with a swing. It is also just a cultivated junkyard - all the material is recycled to form a temporary collage of meeting of material streams trusting that also the city must be a compost.

Sketch, Marco Casagrande.

The base layer of the garden is out of crushed glass and the walkways and the swing out of recycled wood. The glass rocks are fantastic accidental side products of glass industry - like pearls in mussels. The flat glass ovens are kept hot for 12 years for glass fabrication after which they will be cooled down for maintenance. Sometimes it happens that during these 12 years the glass plasma inside the oven starts to form a stone or a rock under quite extreme heat and pressure conditions. The clear glass rock is an accident - no man can make this.

The swing is something tht you see in almost every house in Finland. The family can sit together there and this is where you take a nap in the summers. Teh slow rocking rhythm, floating, human body as part of circular movement is what we all carry in our genetic memory. It is good to sit in the swing and look at the dark forest.

City must be a compost.


SEE: The Description of the World