EDITOR’S NOTE: A Moving Border(Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2019) is a book based on Italian Limes, a project by Studio Folder featured in the XXII Triennale, Broken Nature that maps the shifts of national boundaries as a consequence of melting glaciers in the Alps. On the occasion of the book launch that took place at Triennale on April 12, 2019, the authors talked with Paola Antonelli, Joseph Grima, and Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt.
Italy’s land border follows the watershed that separates the drainage basins of Northern and Southern Europe. Running mostly at high altitudes, it crosses snowfields and glaciers—all of which are now melting as a result of anthropogenic climate change. As the watershed shifts so does the border, diverging from its representation on official maps. Italy, Austria, and Switzerland have consequently introduced the novel legal concept of a “moving border,” which acknowledges the volatility of geographical features once thought to be stable.
Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual (Studio Folder) have teamed up with Andrea Bagnato to author a book that shows how natural borders are produced through spatial and historical narratives—and hints at the challenges that global warming poses to Western conceptions of territory. The book features a foreword by Bruno Latour, maps and unpublished documents from state archives, and contributions by Stuart Elden, Mia Fuller, Francesca Hughes, and Wu Ming 1.
Marco Ferrari is an architect and co-director of Studio Folder. His research centers on the relationship between the politics of visual representation and territory. One of the founding partners of the architecture collective Sottobuono, he was creative director of Domus magazine between 2011 and 2013. He has taught information design at IUAV, Venice, and methods of representation at ISIA Urbino since 2010.
Elisa Pasqual is a designer and co-director of StudioFolder. She has recently completed a PhD in design sciences at the Università IUAV di Venezia. Her research maps the evolution of the visual communication of states, looking at the intersection of design, politics, and identity. She taught visual design at IUAV from 2008 to 2015.
Andrea Bagnato is a researcher and book editor. He teaches at Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and at the Architectural Association in London. He was previously editor at Space Caviar and publications manager for the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. He works on the long-term project Terra Infecta, a visual archive on the role of infectious diseases in urban and environmental transformations.
The XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, highlights the concept of restorative design and studies the state of the threads that connect humans to their natural environments––some frayed, others altogether severed. In exploring architecture and design objects and concepts at all scales and in all materials, Broken Nature celebrates design’s ability to offer powerful insight into the key issues of our age, moving beyond pious deference and inconclusive anxiety. By turning its attention to human existence and persistence, the XXII Triennale will promote the importance of creative practices in surveying our species’ bonds with the complex systems in the world, and designing reparations when necessary, through objects, concepts, and new systems. Even to those who believe that the human species is inevitably going to become extinct at some point in the (near? far?) future, design presents the means to plan a more elegant ending. It can ensure that the next dominant species will remember us with a modicum of respect: as dignified and caring, if not intelligent, beings.
Broken Nature is composed of a thematic exhibition and a number of international participations solicited through official channels. It will run from March 1 to September 1, 2019.