Milan Design Week, April 17-22 2012 (Italy) – a project by Claudia Zanfi (director of aMAZElab / Laboratorio del Paesaggio)

Garibaldi Train Station, Milan – Opening April 17th at 12 pm

The GREEN ISLAND project was created out of the need to bring citizens back to a dimension of greater harmony between the urban fabric and the natural space. Green Island sets out to provide a moment of reflection, as well as giving space to planning energies addressing key themes such as sustainability, urban green areas and the landscape as a whole.

The GREEN ISLAND project, aimed at valorising public spaces, has been operating since 2002 in Zona Isola Milano, between Garibaldi Railway Station and via Pepe, involving a large network of arts and crafts workshops, design and architecture studios of the area, as well as proposing site-specific installations and projects created especially for the occasion. Many kinds of contributors (artists, photographers, designers, architects, theorists and students) have been involved in the previous editions: from Andrea Branzi, with his proposal for the Oasi Verde Garibaldi, to the Dutch designer Ton Matton and his Urban Orchard; from Lois Weinberger and his Mobile Garden (presented at the Venice Biennale 2009), to the young Polish designers Medusa Group and the first Wild Weeds Garden in the city.

For this Tenth edition Claudia Zanfi, founder of GREEEN ISLAND, has invited botanists, designers and landscape artists, to create:

1_FLOWERED CARPET, mixing spring colours and garden’s flavours, anticipating the newest creative tendencies,the “Green Carpet” will be located at the main hall of Garibaldi Train Station in Milan and will be designed in collaboration with RE.RURBAN (rerurban.it). The group of designers and green activists Re.Rurban will work on the flowered carpet project in an attempt to confront nature and the local environment.
(The installation is brought by Digital Working and Kartel System).

2_ECO-BOX with Vegetable Gardens
Green Island 2012 will present vegetable gardens with herbs (brought by the I Giardini dell’Eden in Milano), designed by the students of the University Politecnico in Milan, created as eco-boxes with recycled wooden material from local vegetable markets.

There’s no better place than the train station, with its kinds of weeds, to launch the new book FLORA URBANA. It is a unique publication, regarding the spreading of spontaneous and wild weeds in an urban context. A collection of images with accurate botanic tables for each species by the agronomist Dott.ssa Francesca Oggionni, an essay by the director of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Milan Dott. Enrico Banfi; and a wide documentation of the project GREEN ISLAND edited by the curator Claudia Zanfi.

Finally, the GREEN ISLAND NETWORK improve and strengthen the valorisation of the territory where local artists, designers, architects will open their studios with exhibitions and events linked to issues such as sustainability, green area, public space.

By Sacha Kagan

Research Associate at the ISCO - Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization (ISKO - Institut für Soziologie und Kulturorganisation), Leuphana University Lueneburg, Sacha Kagan founded the International level of Cultura21, Network for Cultures of Sustainability, as well as the International Summer School of Arts and Sciences for Sustainability in Social Transformation (ASSiST). The focus of his research and cultural work lies in the trans-disciplinary field of arts and (un-)sustainability. Doctor in Philosophy (Leuphana University Lueneburg) with a thesis on the subject of culture, the arts and sustainability under the perspective of complexity ; M.A. in Cultural Economics (Erasmus University Rotterdam) ; and Graduate of Sciences Po Bordeaux (political sciences). For Cultura21, Sacha is also coordinating the eBooks series, the regular updates on our multi-lingual website, the English section of our webmagazine and the work of our Lueneburg-based interns.