For the guest-curated sets of Project Heracles submissions by Lieven De Cauter and Dieter Lesage, Geoff Manaugh, Saskia Sassen, Bruce Sterling, Asif Khan and Pernilla Ohrstedt, Elisa Poli, Carson Chan, Salvatore D'Agostino, and Matteo Costanzo, please look here. Pippo Ciorra is the next of our guest curators to select his favorite entries out of the hundreds Domus received.
Please, not another bridge
I looked carefully, trying to resist the kind of overload that comes when you get more than a hundred proposals. I worked backwards in order to give everyone an equal opportunity, and slowly I felt something come to the surface that was similar to a criterion that would help guide me through the sequence. I thought primarily about two issues. The first is that the Strait of Gibraltar (a blatantly Eurocentric name) is not only a space that separates Europe from Africa but it is also space that allows access to a place that, in many ways, unites them: the Mediterranean. So I like the proposals that take this into account and introduce the theme of the mare nostrum, a unifying sea, into the project, somehow shifting its perspective.
The second theme concerns the continuity/ discontinuity between the two lands, always starting with a kind of instinctive hostility to the idea that the response to a call like this should be the design of a bridge. So, islands, moving and floating archipelagos that allow the circumnavigation of mare nostrum without interrupting the flow through the straits. I like the intangible projects even more; suspended between landscape and a strange idea of a global scale public art project that can define a space without changing it. Hence the choice of the balloons, wires, colors, dual events (on both coasts) that have the merit of combining meaning and lightness.
Postcard #18. [top image] The idea of an inhabited raft is not a bad one, although the proposed form goes awry with excessive architecture and some heaviness. But I support the program.
Postcard #19. [above] Maybe the author didn't think of it this way, but one or more of Serra's megascupltures at sea could be a splendid hypothesis. I also support the archipelago program.
Postcard #43. [above] Of course I don't like the idea of the "Gate," of closure, but two islands along the route shorten distances, making the space useful and habitable and so they deserve consideration.
Postcard #59. [above] I do like the idea of considering the Gibraltar-Ceuta question within the Mediterranean one. In this way, we discover that it is a labile access/confine and so we'd like to leave it open.
Postcard #91. [above] The idea of moveable islands, along with suspended balloons, is my favorite because it invades the in-between space, creating places rather than building infrastructure.
Postcard #106. [above] I really like this one because it defines a space without building it. In addition, it doesn't choose between the north-south (Europe-Africa) and east-west (Atlantic-Mediterranean) directions.
Postcard #117. [above] Many boats create an island. A moving island can connect rather than isolate. And then there's a lot of possibility for recycling.
Postcard #120. [above] Light, color and lightness just to remind us that we are talking about a dream. In the end, what we don't like about the idea of a bridge or a road is the ease of control. We have to like all those projects that facilitate the avoidance of control.
Postcard #123. [above] This is interesting because the comings and goings of dirigibles on a large scale become a particularly interesting "airscape" that can identify a three-dimensional exchange space.