architecture - landscape - design

phd. master in architectural and urban studies
prof. of landscape architecture - polytechnic of 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

weakness theory



main publications
curriculum vitae


loaded void

loaded void.
city design theory since 1956.
falling modernism and arising landscape urbanism.

author: Elisa Cristiana Cattaneo
with Mirko Andolina and Giacomo Ardesio
publisher: Maggioli editore
series: Politecnica
years: first edition 2013 - second edition 2015

ISBN-13: 97888916121
ISBN-10: 8838762570


the research is representative of the hermeneutic circle established between europe and the united states after the second post-war period, in a temporal horizon that involves the last CIAM up to the contemporary age. the 1956 - starting point of the research - in particular intercepts some specific conditions, representative of the “relativization” or of the criticism of the modern movement (Waldheim, 2009): the urban design conference organized by Sert at Harvard university, the CIAM of Dubrovnik, the exhibition “this is tomorrow” in London, the situationists’ alba congress.

positioning itself in a fertile dialectic with the modern itself, the research identified dissolves the acronym of theoretical, epistemological and linguistic unity, “contaminating” the theoretical and design lines, “dilating” the contents in an unusual way, sometimes uncertain, differentiated but never reductive.

the disciplinary production responded in fact with new conceptual methods able to cope with the exegesis of the modern and its crisis, seeking new syntheses between the construction of space and its meaning.

interpreting according to a “diagonal” look at the considered historical parenthesis, we can identify some critical lines and taxonomies, which interpret the pluralism of research and which relocate in the contemporary a debate still pending.

In particular:


Debord, Constant, Situationism, Friedman, Archigram


Team X, Smithson, Van Eyck, Bakema, Woods

urban design

Sert, Gedion


Rossi, Venturi, Gregotti, Lynch, Rowe


Superstudio, Archizoom


Fuller, Friedman, Metabolists


Eisenman, Vidler


Tschumi, Koolhaas

landscape urbanism

Corner, Mostafavi, Waldheim

in light of the intertwining of the study heritage, the practices and methodologies outlined, the selected researches contaminate the conventional disciplinary contributions, but nevertheless, are aimed at the development of new modalities of description and design interpretation of contemporary settlement phenomena ascribable to today’s “urban crisis”.

in particular, landscape urbanism, rooting its genealogy within the critique of the modern, becomes the last passage of this hermeneutic circle, shifting the plan of urban research towards ecological and landscape.

the research relating to the europe-united states hermeneutic circle was presented in several exhibitions, publications, national and international conferences, architecture biennials.