Second nature: a collective ornament


This research through design, was done in the process of producing the new proposal for Piazza Castello in Milano, Italy. The project was finalist in the international competition and addresses important issues about public space and landscape in our cities. The proposal aimed to develop imagination but we understand imagination here, not as kind of fantasy in order to escape or to create a parallel reality better than this one, but as a cognitive tool and as the more powerful capability in order to think that our world can be different and we can act to achieve it. An environment in which individual capabilities and lines of development can find support in the collective project and vice versa.
Some questions raised:
Which is the public garden space of the XXI Century?… And… how can be linked these imaginaries of public gardens in the XXI Century with the traces and testimonies of history that are present in this public space of Piazza Castello?…
Under our point of view, the public gardens of the XXI Centuries are the so-called, “Third Landscape” (Clement, 2003), but also “Second Nature” (Geuze, 2010) or under other authors “Nouvelle Nature” (Girot, 2005) or “Third Wilderness” (Hofmeister, 2009). What all these “titles” have in common is the consideration of environment as a cyclic panorama, always under construction, evolving at the same pace of people living on it, and in this sense all these gardens, are the ones emerging inside the city when man recovers the sensitivity to let nature to come back inside these urban scenarios or when simply, man abandons urban spaces and spontaneously a new natural conquer is produced. We believe that this reintegration of a wise nature inside the heart of the city is a good compromise for Piazza Castello. A “Second Nature” relating to the inhabitants not in the already stereotyped way that most of the new urban parks propose but in a way in which the inhabitant is able to have an spontaneous behaviour emerging from a continuous feedback with his environment. Movements, rituals, social and ecologic concerns are fostered on this urban landscape… as a natural way of learning through our real and direct experience.
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Author: Mª Auxiliadora Gálvez.
Second stage team: Patricia Ramos (Architect) and Rocío Santo-Tomás (Architect)
Advisors: Sandro Rolla (Architect), Felicita Forte (Landscaper) and Franco Sarra (Engineer)

Heliograhy for Bodies of Warm and Cold Blood


The installation will produce the connection of bodies with the cosmos and the universe through the sun within the conditions of this specific site. Within the frame of this idea we propose a new instrumental and choreographic landscape for the exhibition room. The new landscape allows, through the configuration of a map, to measure the movement of the sun and its rhythm and cycles. The map marks the sun traces in different hours and seasons, so the visitors can follow it, understand it and be aware of their geographical relation with the star. The lines register solar movements and body movements.
The crowning moment of the exhibition is reached in the most hidden part: after crossing the space of the exhibition room, the visitors would arrive to a circle (indeed a water bed) where multiple silhouettes are drawn inviting to lay down. The people lying down at the circle will see a video showing the image of the exhibition room filmed along several days focusing in the changes that the sunlight is producing in the space. The time rhythm will be altered to be able to see quickly changes and to be able to observe the sun movement along one day in some minutes… when the circle of observation (water bed) is full of warm bodies a sensor will be activated and the video will change slowly its image for a new one: a sun made out of bodies. A thermal camera will film the waterbed with all the bodies projecting in real time this thermal image on the wall. The sound will be produced also using the thermal differences…
Authors: Mª Auxiliadora Gálvez and Edgardo Mercado
Collaborator: Alejandra Salvador Camarmo

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.

Mª Auxiliadora Gálvez


Mª Auxiliadora Gálvez is PhD in Architecture and develops the Platform of Somatic for Architecture and Landscape-PSAAP. She has been distinguished in national and international contests, highlighting the 1º Prize at Europan VI-Córdoba; Landscape Award in “Ciudad Levante” International Competition; 1º Prize at Europan VII-Murcia; 1º Prize at Celebration of cities (UIA); Distinction at “Lausanne Jardins 2009”, Runner Up at Europan IX-Delemont, Switzerland; and Finalist at “The Next Helsinki”, at the “Laguna Art Prize” (Venice) or at Piazza Castello International Competition in Milan between others. Nowadays she works in landscape and architecture mainly associated to a somatic point of view and researches the possibilities of embodied cognition and movement in these disciplines.

Installation Art, Multi Task Art