Waiting for the Po

Piacenza, City without a river


Faces of all the partecipants to the Atelier

STUDENTS: Condeza Alejandra, Cretin Giuliette, El Bergarmy Noran Magdy, Giraldo Jacobo, Gong Yunjun, Haverland Ramona, Knemeyer Miriam, Koottinyaniyil George Thomas, Li Yunging, Li Junkai, Li Xian, Navarro Andrea Micaela, Ni Jinjing, Pattammadi Sajan Shayari, Sokhandani Nastaran, Stephen Soniya, Sun Zhongyi, Xu Jiatong, Yang MengJiao, Yilmaz Ibrahim, Zhao Xinyu, Zheng Jiawei, Zhou Yuhan, Zhu Xiangxiang


 ” … on the traces of the ancient Via Emilia, now Statale 9 Milano-Rimini, all the main roads of the North seemed to pounce on that small stretch of the Piacenza shore, in an intricate tangle of bridges and guardrails. We were in the heart of the journey, halfway up the river and also halfway between the Alps and the Apennines. But the very high embankments and the concrete prevented Piacenza from enjoying its incredible position, the center of gravity of the North. The city was, in a peculiar Italian way, separated from the river. The only access points were the rowing clubs, such as the exclusive Nino Bixio, where we landed to snatch a drink from the counter with an air of corsairs. Coming from the water, we were allowed a bit of everything. The water has no locks, cameras or barriers “
Paolo Rumiz (Morimondo, 2013)

Piacenza is a city without a river. It is inwardly facing, bound by railroad tracks and highways transporting people and goods, and marked by the ancient city walls that once defined where the city ended and the countryside began. But what of it’s river 300 meters to the north? Severed from the city by railroad tracks, the A21 highway that runs from Torino to Brescia and flood control infrastructure, the area between Piacenza and the Po has become a place in waiting. This workshop asks students to work within this intermediate and uncertain state to invent and activate a narrative of Piacenza and the Po. 

Presentation of the topic by the Atelier Leaders,
Hope Strode and Federico De Molfetta


 “A good designer must be able to weave the diagram and the strategy in relationship to the tactile and the poetic.”
James Corner in Terra Fluxus

In the first assignment, students will be asked to examine the relationship between geology, ecology, topography, river dynamics, climate, social dynamics and history from both the poetic and the analytic standpoints to begin to develop a narrative for their project. Students will represent their work in the format of video and animations, which are intended to express site potentialities by putting into relation the intuitive and atmospheric readings of the site with the analytical explorations of site dynamics through mapping.

Situation: Buffer Zone. Mapping third landscapes as future testing grounds.
(still from video)
Situation: From City to Water. Recording the soundscape and imagening a new one.
(still from video)

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