Thursday, March 22, 2012

Welcome Spring!!!

Finally March is drawing to a close and I cannot be happier. I despise February and March! The winter just becomes too long, the Naviglio  (the canal in the street close to where I stay) is just empty and disgusting, revealing everything that people dump in it, including a stench which makes the daily walk to school quite nasty. March also seems to be the month of homesickness, me and my fellow foreign student friends all felt quite down and out in these days. With lots of classes and lots of pressure, everyone seemed just a little bit on the edge lately.

But now spring starts to settle in here in the Northern hemisphere, and the trees start to show little buds of green, while the hedge down below my apartment is covered in yellow flowers.  The weather allows for strolls outside and wearing dresses with tights and gelato. Hopefully soon the Naviglio will get its water back.  The end of March brings some relief as sweet April with all its goodness is on its way.  April bring Easter holiday ( me and my friends are heading to Spain) and spring picnics.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bosco Verticale, Milano

At the moment the skyline of  the neighbourhood Isola  in Milan is dominated by large cranes and construction. These visions of progress seems to represent the opposite of how a lot of the citizens of Italy experience it. Amongst  these constructions is the Vertical forest designed by architect Stefano Boeri. While I quite like the idea of it and the design concept; the reality of it is quite something else. These apartments will cost more then most people can afford and instead of being seen as positive thing in the community of Isola, it becomes a symbol of the gentrification that has been taking place over the past few years. This has led to the already very cement area to become even more grey, and it has also taken away the spaces used by the community, there is no longer a park (apart from the future park that will be there for the inhabitants of the obviously not very inclusive Vertical forest ) or community centre, something they have requested several times with constructive proposals.  Read more about the community's struggle here (unfortunately all in Italian) and in english and italian on the website of the Isola Art Centre. This  situation lets me wonder what the point of good design is if it is at the cost of others?  

Isola Skyline, Milano