Villages. Life, shapes, sizes

International Landscape Study Days

2008, fifth edition

1st-2nd February

Even now, at the beginning of the XXI century, the world can still count an astonishing number and range of villages.
Not only in the pre-modern world (and even there their survival is often a matter of surprise). But also in those parts of the world already suffering the crises generated by modernity there is an array of experiences, of adaptations and even of re-emergences that call for more complex analytical approaches than the merely socio-economic (not to say economistic) methods in current use.
Landscape Study Days 2008, the fifth in the series, therefore offered an opportunity for dialogue between specialist fields and cases that stand a long way from each other in an attempt to tease out the fundamental reasons for the inescapable tie between the individual, the family, the small group, the clan and the community and the place that gives life and provides shape and physical and symbolic dimension to their existence. Reasons that we can define, with Norberg-Schulz, and therefore with Heidegger, as the “basic framework of being”.
Through the cases for discussion, from the sorabi and caraiti villages of Eastern Europe to the dogon and lobi of Africa, from the chinampas of Xochimilco in Mexico to the Andean pueblos, from Himalayan settlements to Albarracín in Spain, and then, nearer to home, we took a new look at old acquaintances, such as the terre of Val Bavona in Ticino and the bell-towers/ville of the Veneto.
In the great empty spaces of the desert and in the crowded density of great cities, high rise extremes and horizontal scatter, they offered a revealing sample of the many ways in which those reasons, those “basic frameworks”, even after long submersions and adventurous migrations, continue to interact within an infinite diversity of historical and geographical, geopolitical and ethno-anthropological contexts.


Study Days 2008 were dedicated to Eugenio Turri (1927-2005),
to his travels, to his writings, to the legacy of original ideas, critical intelligence and social passion that he contributed
to this field of work.


On Friday February 1st, at the end of the first Study Day, the geographer Claude Raffestin held a public talk.
An exhibition of photographs by Eugenio Turri, curated by his daughter Lucia Turri, and Corrado Piccoli, will be open until the 30th March 2008.


Scientific Committee
The Landscape Study Days are devised and planned by Domenico Luciani, with the collaboration of the other members of the jury of the Carlo Scarpa International Prize for Gardens (Carmen Añón, Monique Mosser and Lionello Puppi) and of the permanent associate experts (Margherita Azzi Visentini, Hervé Brunon, Luigi Latini, José Tito Rojo, Massimo Venturi Ferriolo)