GREEN ISLAND 2014. LANDSCAPING: Dutch Design for a new city Garden

Milan Design Week: April 8th - 13th 2014

Directed by Claudia Zanfi, aMAZElab / Atelier del Paesaggio

The new program GREEN ISLAND 2014, created by Claudia Zanfi (Atelier del Paesaggio) with a special project for urban gardens, will start at the Isola-Garibaldi Station area during the Milan Design Week, April 8th–13th 2014.



GREEN ISLAND now at its twelfth edition

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 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 the Isola neighbourhood of Milan, between Garibaldi train station and the centre of the city, involving a large network of arts and crafts workshops, design and architecture studios, as well as proposing site-specific installations and projects created especially for the occasion. Many kinds of contributors (artists, designers, botanists 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  (also presented at the Venice Biennale 2009), to the young Polish designers Medusa Group. Furthermore, GREEN ISLAND also provides a wide range of educational activities both at a university level and for children.

For this twelfth edition Claudia Zanfi (director of the GREEEN ISLAND project), has invited botanists, designers and landscape artists, including the author of the ‘High Line’ in NYC Piet Oudolf, to rethink a new concept for urban gardens.

The idea of the urban garden

GREEN ISLAND 2014 LANDSCAPING. Dutch Design for a new city garden, presents a wide-ranging programme to be staged between 8th and 13th April 2014, coinciding with the Milano Design Week. It will start off from Isola/Porta Garibaldi, the historic neighbourhood which now occupies a central position following the recent urban transformation process, then to spread out to conquer the entire city in a process which is anything but casual. In order to underline that green spaces are unquestionably the protagonists of this project, the development of the pathway takes place along a hypothetical ‘green line’ following the path of the (green) Line 2 of the Milan underground, from Porta Garibaldi to Porta Genova, with a special stop at the historic centre of the city Sant’Ambrogio station.

The urban reality of Milan will be reinterpreted through the GREEN ISLAND 2014 ‘Landscaping’ project. The idea is to promote a new concept of urban sociality through the innovative design of parks, gardens and public spaces, following in the footsteps of the well-known Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf, aimed to offer a new city, seen and felt as a pleasant place in which to live. Through direct interventions on the territory, along with displays, exhibitions and bike tours, the project sets out to offer a stimulus to the planning of urban landscapes in order to bring cities back to a better human dimension, one fostering socialisation and the dialogue with its inhabitants.

There is also a ‘secrete’ Milan, unknown gardens that will open their gates to GREEN ISLAND 2014 ‘Landscaping’; guided tours are foreseen in order to discover them in the company of botanists, designers and beekeepers, in collaboration with the organisation ‘5VIE’/Giardino del Terraggio

In the articulate project aimed at renewing the concept of the urban garden, there will also be an initiative on biodiversity, bringing together design and eco-systems: an original project will be proposed by the Bee Collective group, a collective of young Dutch beekeepers and designers always on the lookout for new ways to promote beekeeping in urban environments.

Dutch Landscapes

Landscaping will be part of the programming of the Fuori Salone, with a series of events promoting new urban lifestyles, following the virtuous example offered by the countries of Northern Europe, and Holland in particular. For it is Holland that has always shown great care towards environmental themes, applying policies aimed at the eco-compatible development of the environment, along with its extraordinary research in the field of outdoor design. Green Island is staged in collaboration with the Dutch Embassy and Consulate General of the Netherlands in Milan.