METROPOLIS OF TRAJECTORIES

Francesca Iovino, Sciatto Produzie

 

 

Instead of a path, it is a drift. Urbanized density, territory of crossings. The metropolis is the space of stopping ... and simultaneously of transit; the place of dwelling ... and, in particular, of wandering.

A rhizomatic map that has its roots in the city and follows differentiated lines, it advances inside metropolitan ranges, concentrating on specific components of displacement and transformation of urban frameworks >> simultaneously.

The gaps, the deserts, the areas outside control spread along the constructed and consolidated terrain. But also the flows of crossing, the zones of passage, the identities of shifts. These are the objects of research, the propellers of direct and programmatic actions, the elements which stabilize themselves in parallel as functions of the immediate evolution of the city. This is a metropolis without borders, without pre-calculated time, a point of concentration of activities belonging to zero-time, a development not related to the logic of completion but to the dynamics of transition.

The metropolis becomes manifest by pursuing trajectories measured in kbyte/second instead of kmeters/day.

A project of the metropolis seeks to define places for living, permanent dwellings and temporary habitations that are not parkings for human beings, but refuges from the imposed time of work. It follows an architecture of no-logo, instead of the icon-buildings within the contemporary urban landscape. It aspires towards a re-definition of spaces of mobility, cut-up zones bearing a transitory fruition, landings capable of responding to the irregular rules of displacement and work. It takes notice of the unnoticed construction of provisional micro-societies, "border places" and junctions of inter-metropolitan connections.

The city is a vast spread beyond the edges of the concrete, a structure that extend itself and shades its limits of belonging: the metropolitan complex becomes a "domain of connection", a landing for temporary legs during navigation. The design of this metropolis takes shape as an enlargement and transposition of existing systems of planning, but composed of junctions and infrastructures far from preestablished programs, somewhere inside the endemic disorder of the digital universe.

9.45: Lidovy dum - Praha. Working neighborhood, an edifice in reinforced concrete, big hall and back court. It looks like a place recently abandoned, despite the number of people who are now moving inside. Surely this place has never seen such closed animation and agitation. It is a small transformation, of brief duration. It is the becoming visible, the revelation of a space of temporary autonomy.

15.20: zoo - West Berlin. The wall is just demolished, the city is enlarged: a metropolis beyond measure composed of two cities, two richnesses, two systems of developing terrain. The voids are dispersed and manifold: areas under construction, buildings pulled down, fallen down, abandoned. Occupation - re-use - re-organization of space, as West Berlin slowly migrates toward East Berlin. The rebuilding and reconstitution of a symbol-metropolis (a megalopolis) is taking place in a city still subdivided in twos.

8.52: Spinaceto - Rome. This is our Spinacity, made of concrete. This is our manufactured structure made by stairs floors flights pillars. There are no frames or partitions; everything remains to be invented, to be transformed. A gigantic constructed void, available for every subdivision, without limits of time and space. There are multitudes who occupy circumscribed areas and modular borders, who think in great proportions and modify, transform, and re-model their environment. Who suggest new partitions, different systems and ways to conceive and conquer space.

 

This is a unique map, a drift without limits, without space or time. Different cities follow each other outside ordered paths. A meta-metropolis that has no edges or precise identity, in which the only possessions are the voids, ruins, destructions Because they are places of confinement and borders. Places of mutation which interact and constitute the flow of urban activities, frontier spaces, zones under constant transformation which escape capillary control. Places which, because they exist, have become foundations of living in the metropolis, indispensable components.

They are the persistent laboratories stimulating urban alterations.

I reside in, move through, cross the city. The city is inhabited. The movement is the living: the system of routes and displacements define the forms and limits of habitation.

Preestablished stops, foreseen itineraries and casual paths, drifts and habitual crossings: this is the space in which I am permanent and this is the space of my movements.

The metropolis is a web of poles and connections, landings and infrastructures, dwellings and paths. The home is my shelter but also my zone of traffic. It is the knot of my movements, the place where I shut myself up, the territory I cross. It is a singular microcosm of the built fabric, a place of passage inside the plot of possible transfers, but it is simultaneously a complex element of the whole metropolitan framework. Habitation is a dynamic action, a rite of transition: my residence is inside the town, and the town is my house.

The home is not steady, fixed, absolute, or certain: it is a space of frontiers, a zone under continuous becoming.

The home is necessary architecture. It is an organism that transforms and adapts itself to the flows which traverse it, taking on the contours of the identities of its multiple and sometimes temporary inhabitants. The home is a composite and un-homogeneous collectivity. It is fragmented and has no unique typological shape: it adapts itself to urban residual spaces, establishes direct relations with the system of physical and virtual routes of the city.

The home is a singular element of connection, not an isolated component but an organism of frameworks. It is also an instantaneous dwelling, an a-temporal zone, a place without-logo for stories and multiple activities.

In each metropolis it should be possible to identify places of reference and passage, places that constitute shelters: temporary household dwelling that can change according to patterns of transit and transformation >> homes that adjust and adapt in the space of the stops, between changes. These are provisional residences, "woongroep" never steady or final, assemblages of "private zones" and common spaces. A project for these areas of urban density, urban transit and constant transformation is to construct dwelling dispensers, residential modules for a day, a week, a month -- under controlled cost. The bed would become the unit of measurement, the dwelling would be a composite of bed-units, the space of living would be defined as a sum of residences and common zones. In other words, hybrid spaces, collective identifiable areas and connective tissues with free fruition.

Agglomerates of transitory dwellings will be superimposed and interacted within the permanent urban fabric. A structure of separate levels can be related to each other: such instantaneous homes offer the service of connections, they have primary specific uses, but not in the sense of an exclusive belonging; they constitute social anti-apartheid devices for a horizontal consumption of the city. They exist at the limits of the globalization of needs, making possible the composition of temporary small communities and transurban short tales.

The "urban structure" is organized through paths and nuclei that form an irregular network and, simultaneously, a circumscribed system. Navigating the metropolis becomes a question of frameworks in variable dimensions: "metropolitan" centers whose evolution is unplanned and strictly bound to processes of interchange and communication. These are cities to be explored, crossed, and intersected through literal devices and behaviors similar to what the situationists once called a "drift." The exploration follows casual directions that are not guided by a defined plot, but that build and reveal subsequent maps under continuous interaction and superimposition.

 

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