Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Finlandia Gallery to host work of Marco Casagrande, Finnish architect and environmental artist, through July 18

Sandworm, 2012, by Marco Casagrande. (Photos courtesy Finlandia University)

HANCOCK -- Marco Casagrande: Real Reality will be on display at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from June 12 to July 18, 2014.

An opening reception will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, at the gallery. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Moving freely between architecture, landscape architecture, environmental art, urban and environmental design and science, Casagrande’s work encompasses a broad vision of the built human environment. Structures that respond to nature, designed with local materials and built with local building practices, change over time as they age in situ.

 Ultra-Ruin, 2013, by Marco Casagrande.

Since 1999 Casagrande has created 65 cross-disciplinary, ecologically conscious architectural installations around the world.

In all of Marco Casagrande’s work, there is a search for a subconscious architecture, a real reality, and a connection between modern people and nature. He believes that one should not be blindfolded by stress, the surroundings of economics, and the online access to entertainment or information.

"What is real is valuable," says Casagrande. "I want to design shelters in nature for honest people."

Last year Casagrande was awarded the 2013 European Prize for Architecture. This award was designed to support those influential European architects who are blazoning a more humanist and social-based architecture and recognize their pursuits and their achievements before a European and world audience.

 Marco Casagrande at Shenzhen Biennial.

"Casagrande is one of Europe’s new young breed of architects," states Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, the Finnish Museum President of The Chicago Athenaeum, "who have expanded the traditional boundaries of architecture, pushing that envelope beyond ‘accepted norms’ and the ‘standard perimeters’ of design practice, to include architecture as environmental art and sculpture, while embracing sustainability, humanism, and the public’s right to an appropriate architecture and urban design that reflects and respects human values, dignity, and self-esteem. Casagrande is a model for today’s young design professional."

Casagrande’s work has been widely exhibited internationally including the World Architecture Festival (2009), Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennial (2009, 2012), Victoria and Albert Museum (2010), World Design Expo (2011), Beufort04 Triennial (2012), Austrian Museum of Contemporary Art MAK "Eastern Promises" (2013), Buenos Aires Architecture Biennial (2013) and China Central Academy of Fine Art CAFAM Biennale (2014), among others.

His work has been critically acclaimed, winning awards including the World Architecture Community Awards (2009), World Architecture Festival Award (2009), Architectural Review House Award (2010), World Architecture Community Awards (2010), Red Dot Design Awards (2012) and Russian Architects Union’s Zeleny Proekt (Green Project) 2012 competitions. He also won the International Committee of Architectural Critics CICA Award 2013 for conceptual and artistic architecture.

Currently Marco Casagrande is the Principal of the Casagrande Laboratory Architects in Finland and WEAK! in Taiwan together with Prof. Roan Ching-Yueh and architect Hsieh Ying-Chun. He directs the independent multidisciplinary research center Ruin Academy based in Taipei, Taiwan, and Artena, Italy, and is the Vice-President of the International Society of Biourbanism.

Click here to see more photos of Casagrande's work.

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