elisa.cristiana.cattaneo

architecture and landscape design

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phd. master in architectural and urban studies
prof. of landscape architecture - polytechnic of milan and turin
founder of the research platform weak-circus
founder of zeroenne - experiments in weakness theory
co-founder and director of b.l.u.e.- building landscape urbanism
co-founder of terraviva
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main publications
essays
conferences
exhibitions
workshops
curriculum vitae
projects


elisa cristiana cattaneo


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Elisa Cristiana Cattaneo develops her research within the framework of landscape urbanism and ecological urbanism, on their theoretical and experimental implications in relation to weakness theory, in order to generate new territories of the imagination. in particular, through transdisciplinary approaches, she developed the concept of the weak city (weakcity, 2015; zeroenne series, 2012-17) and of technonature (technonature, 2012; landscape in art and science, 2016; nature through the mirror, 2014-15).

holding a doctorate in architectural and urban design, she was a visiting scholar at the department of history, theory, and criticism, M.I.T. (2010-11 ) and at the graduate school of design, Harvard (2011- 12).

she has participated in various Biennales (Venice, Tallinn, Santiago de Chile) and exhibitions of architecture and landscape.

in 2014, she was the winner of the Graham Foundation Grant, and in 2015 she was invited to be a candidate for Harvard university's Wheelwright prize.

she is the founder of the independent research agency weakcircus and of B.L.U., research platform on contemporary urban and landscape design. since 2002, she has been an active designer in public and private projects and international competitions. since 2004, she has been teaching at various italian universities.

as reported by Andrea Branzi:

“Elisa Cattaneo is within the limited group of international architects able to face the crisis of the contemporary design as an opportunity for epistemological reflection, investigating the intricacies of philosophy, art and science far beyond a simple disciplinary malaise. this is therefore difficult but precious work, because it can dissolve those academic constraints that block not only the project as a cognitive and operational practice, but also in a broader sense limit the knowledge of the twenty-first century itself. without fear of going back to the roots of the most remote theories of the avant-garde nor to the most advanced projections of today, elisa cattaneo reconstructs a scenario of knowledge capable of highlighting those nodes that under the definition of "weak thought" hide those nuclei of a "strong thought" adapted to unlock the knowledge of the present world and its complex and unexplored potentialities.”


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topics and thematics


she researches experimental ecological design and its theoretical implications, to generate new territories of imagination. in particular, considering the design as a “weak” field evolvable and renewable through new trans-disciplinary approaches, based on paradoxes as cognitive method.

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weakcity, 2015; 0/n, 2012-2017.


working in the field of landscape urbanism, she developed a definition of “technonature” as an experimental concept able to define a non-dichotomous relationship between nature and technology, able to generate new experimental spaces between art and science, applicable to the territorial as well as urban scale.

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technonature, 2012; landscape in art and science, 2016; nature through the mirror, 2014-2015; soundscapes, 2016-2017.


together with the research on infra-free systems, ie the use of advanced technologies to make urban systems self-sufficient, the techno-natural technologies have been simulated in more than one hundred and twenty urban and complex locations in world areas, and have been exhibited in the major biennials of architecture, landscape and design.

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Venice biennale, Tallinn and Santiago de Chile.


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brief cv


ACADEMIC TITLES

2004 - 2009:
doctor of philosophy in
architectural and urban planning
grade: Ph.D. with merit
first classified, full founded scholarship
thesis: void density. a relational approach for urban design
Politecnico di Milano


2002:
master of science in a
rchitecture and urban studies
grade: 100/100 cum laude
thesis: architectural and urban matrixes: re-signifying santa corona in vicenza
Politecnico di Milano, faculty of architecture


POSTGRADUATE ACADEMIC TITLES

2011 - 2012:
visiting scholar - post Ph.D. position

Harvard university, graduate school of design, dept. of landscape architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
project: weak city: notes on landscape urbanism
sponsor: prof. Charles Waldheim
professor and chair, dept. of landscape architecture
published research: weakcity. notes on landscape urbanism, List, 2015


2009 - 2010:
visiting scholar - post Ph.D. position

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, faculty of architecture, dept. of history, theory and criticism of architecture and art, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
project: place, context, landscape. the hermeneutical circle between europe and u.s. since 1956
sponsor: prof. Marc Jarzombek professor of the history and theory of architecture,
associated dean of school of architecture and planning
published research: loaded void. city theories since 1956, mMggioli, 2013 first edition, 2015 second edition


2009 - 2010:
research fellow - dote ricercatori
regione Lombardia, Italy
Politecnico di Milano
Parco Vertemate con Minoprio foundation

2007:

attendance in casaclima, course for energy and ecologic building design
Bolzano, Italy


2003 - 2004:
II level european master - Ph.D. equivalent

in strategic planning for architectonic, urban and environmental resources at Politecnico di Milano
grade: 110/110
thesis: the infrastructure of the Brembo’s park river: valorization of environmental and cultural contents


2004:
bachelor thesis selected in "best international bachelor theses”
Bogotá, Colombia


2002:
attendance in landscape design course

ABACUS english garden and landscape
Bath, U.K.



ACADEMIC TITLES AS PROFESSOR

2017 - 2018:
adjunct professor in landscape design, in urban design studio I

international master course in architecture, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture, urban planning and construction engineering

2017 - 2018:
adjunct professor in landscape design, in architectural and urban spaces studio

Politecnico di Torino, dept. architecture and design

2016 - 2017:
adjunct professor in landscape design, in urban design studio I

international master course in architecture, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture, urban planning and construction engineering


2016 - 2017: adjunct professor in landscape design, in urban design studio II
international master course in architecture, Politecnico di milano, school of architecture, urban planning and construction engineering
topic : soundcape, published research, sensorial landscape: urban patterns of natural sounds, Maggioli, 2017


2015 - 2016:
adjunct professor in architectural design studio III

Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture, urban planning and construction engineering
topic: technonature. nature spectacle.


2015 - 2016:
adjunct professor in architectural design studio IV
università degli studi di Genova, faculty of architecture
topic: weak strategies for the south of the Mediterranean sea


2015 - 2016:
adjunct professor in landscape design, in urban design studio II
international master course in architecture, politecnico di milano, school of architecture, urban planning and construction engineering
topic: technonature.  nature through mirror.
published research, nature through the mirror. technonatural experiments, maggioli, 2016


2014 - 2015:
adjunct professor in landscape design, in urban design studio II
international master course in architecturePolitecnico di Milano, school of architecture and society, faculty of architecture
topic: European capitals of culture 2018: Leeuwarden (Nl) and Valetta (Malta). comparative research-design studio


2013 - 2014:
adjunct professor in landscape design, in urban design studio II
international master course in architecture, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture and society, faculty of architecture
topic: DNA (de nieuwe afsluitdijk - new enclosure dam) between Holland and Fryslân


2012 - 2013:
adjunct professor in architectural regeneration of the open spaces, in urban design studio II

international master course in sustainable architecture of multiscale projects, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture and society, faculty of architecture
topic: Piacenza thresholds


2012 - 2013:
adjunct professor in elements of architecture

international bachelor of science in architecture, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture and society, faculty of architecture

2005 - 2006:
adjunct professor in landscape and infrastructure, in urban design studio III

international bachelor of science in architecture, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture and society, faculty of architecture
topic: Barcelona. urban design strategies



AWARDS - RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS
2017 june 5 - 10:
winner of application: lecturer  and didactic supervisor international workshop Polimi – NCUT - Milano San Cristoforo anew

organization and coordination: prof.Luca Maria Fabris, Politecnico di Milano, school of architecture, urban planning and construction engineering

2016:
invited - selected applicant for Wheelwright prize, graduate school of design, Harvard university

award of the graduate school of design, Harvard university, the research grant that is awarded annually to early-career architects who have demonstrated exceptional design talent, produced work of scholarly and professional merit, and who show promise for continued creative work inside the international panorama of design.

2016:
scientific curator of the international symposium landscape aims & tools,
project: future landscape

regione Lombardia, dept. of architettura e studi urbani, Politecnico di Milano


2015:
invited - selected  applicant for Wheelwright prize, graduate school of design, Harvard university

award of the graduate school of design, Harvard university, the research grant that is awarded annually to early-career architects who have demonstrated exceptional design talent, produced work of scholarly and professional merit, and who show promise for continued creative work inside the international panorama of design.

2014:
Graham foundation grant for individuals
with Andrea Branzi
project’s title: territories for a new urban dramaturgy


2009 - 2010:
scientific prize as research fellow, “dote ricercatori”
regione Lombardia, Italy
Politecnico di Milano,
parco Vertemate with Minoprio foundation
project: void density. the role of landscape in regional design


2004 - 2009:
Ph.D. fellow in architectural and urban planning

first classified, fully funded scholarship in architectural and urban planning
grade: Ph.D. with merit