For the study and care of places. Landscape in the Foundation’s work
Since its inception in the late 1980s, Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche emerges as an international research centre promoting documentation, research, experimentation activities in the field of landscapes and gardens, which pursue in a coordinated manner work in fields such as research – with a strong international slant, as embodied by the international Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens – and that of cultural exchange and debate, revolving around the International Landscape Study Days. Furthermore, the work addresses high education, always in the field of landscape and gardens, with research projects also interwoven with experimental activities and dialogue with the territory.
That is why the Foundation offers a residential scholarship programme, opportunities for in-depth study such as international design workshops, seminars and other initiatives throughout the year, in Treviso as well as in the locations connected with the implemented themes and programmes.
Within this context, the publishing work produced by the Foundation and its documentation centre extensively bears witness to the internal cultural accumulation process, as well as its ability to interact with sites and related research topics, both locally and internationally. The very layout of the Foundation’s headquarters, with its facilities arranged in two historic palazzi of the city, reflects the character of a place – unusual in the current international scene of places of interest for landscape – which has witnessed the inception and growth of a documentation centre, including library, map collection and archives, a publishing department that has produced many publications in the field of landscape, also providing venues for training activities, seminars, public events and exhibitions.
Building upon this microcosm, the Foundation’s work has always developed along a two-fold direction, with an attentive eye to the exchange with the international scientific community, as well as to a critical and constructive dialogue with the territory. The presence of a scientific committee evidences and keeps alive – along with the people representing the work inside the Foundation – a clearly defined cultural angle and a lively discussion on the topics of landscape and gardens. This focus, in today’s very diversified arena of landscape-conscious institutions, is embodied by an explicit commitment to the theme of “study and care of sites” and is actualised through a work programme entailing some important yearly milestones, such as the International Landscape Study Days, in February, and the international Carlo Scarpa Prize for Gardens, in May. The cultural focus, articulation and strategic profile of other areas of work such as the design workshops, seminars, scholarships and, in general, the opportunities of encounter and interaction with the local milieu and international contacts stem organically from these two opportunities for study and debate.