Is there a connection between these similar words: agriculture and architecture? Richard Ingersoll has been working for many years on a synthesis, following a theory that began with Agricivismo, that is an urban agriculture that can enrich social situations. He has been studying and in some cases participating in the recuperation through agriculture of abandoned and degraded parts of cities, the identification of overlooked resources both human and material, the engagement with communities to create safer and healthier environments, the inclusion of those who for health, age, or class have been excluded, which has led to a series of projects that fall outside of the political economy of official architecture but can contribute positively to the spirit and the aesthetic of the city. There are many precedents, such as Peter Kropotkin, Leberecht Migge, and Frank Lloyd Wright, but currently the increasing environmental crisis begs that architects be prepared to rethink the role of their craft in the age of Global Warming. The proposal for Milan is a program now underway in the form of workshops called Earth Service, in which architecture students study urban problems and needs that concern urban agriculture, meet with communities, and eventually make interventions with the users. This will generate a new professional: the Agritect.
Richard Ingersoll, born in California, 1949, earned a doctorate in architectural history at UC Berkeley, and was a tenured associate professor at Rice University (Houston) from 1986-97. He has lived off and on in Tuscany since 1970 and currently teaches at Syracuse University in Florence (Italy), and the Politecnico in Milan. He was the executive editor of Design Book Review from 1983-1997. He teaches courses in architectural history, urban history, contemporary art, architectural theory, and sustainable urbanism. He has led many workshops concerning Agricivismo, a synthesis of agriculture and architecture, under the aegis of Terra Viva Workshops in Milan. His recent publications include: World Architecture. A Cross-Cultural History, (2013); Sprawltown, Looking for the City on its Edge, (2006); World Architecture, 1900-2000. A Critical Mosaic, Volume I: North America, USA and Canada, (2000). He recently provided two installations for the exhibition Food, from the Spoon to the World at MAXXI (2015-2016). He frequently writes criticism for Arquitectura Viva, Architect, Lotus, and Bauwelt.
For the series ArchiLectures, lecture by Prof. Richard Ingersoll, Syracuse University
Introduction by Elisa C. Cattaneo
Registrations at: https://calendario.eventi.polimi.it/?lang=eng#Archilectures_13Gen2017