Marco Casagrande is a Finnish Architect born in 1971 in Turku, Finland. He graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology Department of Architecture in 2001. From the early stages of his career Casagrande started to mix architecture with other disciplines of art and science landing with a series of ecologically conscious architectural installations around the world.
The widely published works have been exhibited three times in the Venice Architecture Biennale (2000, 2004 and 2006) and in Havana Biennale 2000, Firenze Biennial 2001, Yokohama Triennial2001, Montreal Biennial 2002, Puerto Rico Biennial 2002, Demeter Hokkaido 2002, Alaska Design Forum 2003, Echigo-Tsumari Triennial 2003, Taipei on the Move 2004, London Architecture Biennial 2004, Sensoria Melbourne 2004, Taiwan Design Expo 2005, Urban Flashes Mumbai 2006, 7-ELEVEN City 2007, World Architecture Festival 2009, Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennial 2009 and Victoria & Albert Museum 2010 among others.
The works have been awarded in the Architectural Review’s Emerging Architecture 1999, Borromini Award 2000, Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2001, Lorenzo Il Magnifico Award 2001, La Nuit Du Livre Award 2006, World Architecture Community Awards 2009, World Architecture Festival Award 2009, Architectural Review House Award 2010 and World Architecture Community Awards 2010 competitions.
Casagrande’s works and teaching are moving freely in-between architecture, urban and environmental design and science, environmental art and circus adding up into cross-over architectural thinking of «commedia dell’architettura», a broad vision of built human environment tied into social drama and environmental awareness. «There is no other reality than nature». He views architects as design shamans merely interpreting what the bigger nature of the shared mind is transmitting.
Casagrande has been teaching in a numerous universities since year 2000 including the Tokyo University Tadao Ando Laboratory, Aalto University, Helsinki University of Art and Design and Bergen School of Architecture. He was a visiting professor at the Taiwanese Tamkang University 2004-2008 and currently runs an independent cross-disciplinary research centre Ruin Academy in Taipei in cooperation with the Aalto University’s SGT Sustainable Global Technologies Centre. Casagrande views cities as complex energy organisms in which different overlapping layers of energy flows are determining the actions of the citizens as well as the development of the city. By mixing environmentalism and urban design Casagrande is developing methods of punctual manipulation of the urban energy flows in order to create an ecologically sustainable urban development towards the so-called 3rd Generation City. The theory of the Third Generation City views the future urban development as the ruin of the industrial city, an organic machine ruined by nature including human nature and urban acupuncture as: a cross-over architectural manipulation of the collective sensuous intellect of a city. City is viewed as multi-dimensional sensitive energy-organism, a living environment. Urban acupuncture aims into a touch with this nature. and Sensitivity to understand the energy flows of the collective chi beneath the visual city and reacting on the hot-spots of this chi. Architecture is in the position to produce the acupuncture needles for the urban chi. and A weed will root into the smallest crack in the asphalt and eventually break the city. Urban acupuncture is the weed and the acupuncture point is the crack. The possibility of the impact is total, connecting human nature as part of nature. The theory opens the door for uncontrolled creativity and freedom. Ruin is something man-made having become part of nature.
Marco Casagrande is the Principal of the Casagrande Laboratory (2003-), a Finland based internationally operating cross-over architectural studio and a former co-owner of the Architect Office Casagrande & Rintala (1999-2003). Casagrande is WEAK! together with Hsieh Ying-Chun and Roan Ching-Yueh.