This issue of Domus is entitled “Yes, it works!” and investigates the nature at the centre of design. In his editorial Winy Maas tells about architects who bring greenery into their buildings – on facades or roofs – and have been charged of greenwashing. First of all, the Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri Architetti, highly criticised but, as Maas underlines, we must remember that “the actual completion date of a vertical forest can only be after the forest has had a chance to grow”.
The cover of the issue is a dip inside these scenarios and presents a Why Factory research project, Green Dip, which investigates benefits and costs of greening cities. What would happen if we cover with green Hong Kong or Sao Paulo? How much carbon dioxide would be absorbed each year?
Architects work with green experts and scientists to cultivate a new urban nature and propose a fertile city. Examples of this can be found in Japan, where inside Atelier Tenjinyama plants and shrubs rise from a beaten earth floor. In Singapore, Kampung Admiralty has been designed for the seniors and provided with a lush public park.
In Shenzen, China, the urban interventions of Node Architecture & Urbanism combine green areas and inhabited spaces. The Vanke Design Commune at Liuxiandong is a project of spaces that have been developed both above with parks and recreational areas and below the ground with offices and public services. The White Tree is a new tower typology in Montepellier and represents the meeting of different cultures that share a desire to innovate.
The article “The new world capitals” tells how the planetary bottlenecks are becoming poles of attraction and new urban centralities; Panama, Gibraltar, Suez, Malacca grow thanks to alternative ways of urbanization. An unexpected transformation in a central area of Sao Paulo offers the city a cultural and recreational “public walk” thanks to the SESC 24 de maio building, designed by Paulo Mendes da Rocha + MMBB Arquitectos.
“The emblem of the sprawl” wonders if Coachella music festival could provide a suburban social agglomeration model. From Cape Town, Ravi Naidoo tells about Design Indaba and how it’s helping artists and designers moving from ideas to reality, changing African cities physically and mentally.
The issue includes the special feature on the Venice Art Biennale 2019, May You Live in Interesting Times, curated by Ralph Rugoff. The works depict a helpless or frivolous humanity, caught up in fake news or rendered violent by an ever more paradoxical world. From Sun & Sea (Marina) by Neon Realism to an interview with Jimmie Durham, Domus proposes a selection of the most interresting pavilions.