Interview with Conrad-Bercah

Edited by: Eugenia Gotti
Where : App Store
Artworks: Archipelago Town-lines, Conrad-Bercah
Proof reading: Bianca Baroni


Archipelago Town-lines: from the logbook of an architect an app talking about a new urban growth’s theory is born.
Conrad-Bercah describes Berlin, Beirut, Venezia – the three archipelago cities- in the urban geometry, potential futures and urban growth and decreased.

EG: Why did you choose to use an app as results of your research?
CB: Because it is a more flexible tool that allows one to provide a large, richer picture of the argument which is also a reflection of the complexity of the topic.

EG: Who, in your mind, can form the target audience for the app?
CB: Anyone living in urbanized areas as the topic discussed, the wild process of urbanization covering the earth, is of interest to anyone

EG: The term Archipelago gets a great value in your research: can you explain to us in which way?
CB: Archipelago-town is a term I have coined. Everyone keep using the term ‘city’ without realizing that it has lost its original meaning, as the present scenario shows a picture in which there is no clear cut distinction by what is urban and what is rural. This semantic confusion is the reason for which no convincing theory about the problem of urbanization has emerged in a long time. The word town, on the other hand, is an interesting word with a built-in, not yet expressed potential. The term sheds light on the issue my book/app is primarily concerned with: the criminal sealing of soil taking place in most of the world: a frightening phenomenon that, in a catchy sentence, can be described as the urban meltdown—another term I have coined.
I consider the urban meltdown issue the most pressing issue of our time for two reasons: for the speed at which it is implemented and for the general neglect that surrounds it. That is why I decided to put together a set of notes that are supposed to suggest a new urban growth model—that I have called Bare Urbanism—based on the gestalt figure of the archipelago.

EG: Your app describes and compares three cities, Venice, Berlin and Beirut, what is the key used to put it in a system?
CB: Berlin and Beirut are discussed as being the two opposite end of the urban spectrum: the former is the most sustainable place I have experience of, the latter is the least sustainable. the urbanity of Berlin is made of ‘urban islands’ sitting in a green archipelago. I have called this model archipelago-town and I propose it as a model for urban growth. Venice is the archetype of such model.

EG: You introduced the concept of 2011, (MMXI) like a border line, can you tell us more about this date?
CB: 2011 is the year in which urban population outnumbered non urban one and in which in the US digital book out-solded printed ones. So, in a sense, 2001 is a tipping point of contemporary history. it is also the year in which the country where Latin was once spoken, Italy, threatened to bring down the entire house of cards upon which the financial world is built.


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