Marco Casagrande (born 1971) 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.
He is the laureate of the European Prize for Architecture 2013, Committee of International Architecture Critics CICA Award 2013 for conceptual and artistic architecture and UNESCO & Locus Foundation’s Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2015.
Casagrande’s works and teaching are moving freely in-between architecture, landscape 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.
He 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 Third Generation City. The theory views the future urban development as the ruin of the industrial city, an organic machine ruined by nature including human nature.
Urban Acupuncture: a cross-over architectural manipulation of the collective sensuous intellect of a city. The City is viewed as a multi-dimensional sensitive energy-organism, a living environment. Urban acupuncture aims into a touch with this nature. UA: Sensitivity to understand the energy flows of the collective chi beneath the visual city and reacting on the hot-spots of this chi. Architecture as environmental art is in the position to produce the acupuncture needles for the urban chi. 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.
Casagrande has been teaching in 65 academic institutions in 25 countries since the year 2000 including the Aalto University, Helsinki University of Art and Design, Tokyo University Tadao Ando Laboratory and China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He was a visiting professor at the Bergen School of Architecture 2001–2004 and Taiwanese Tamkang University Department of Architecture 2004-2009, Principal of the independent cross-disciplinary research centre Ruin Academy in Taipei and Taitung, Taiwan (2010 -) and Artena, Italy (2013 -) in cooperation with the Aalto University’s SGT Sustainable Global Technologies Centre. Casagrande is the Vice-President of the International Society of Biourbanism (2014 -).
Marco Casagrande is the Principal of the Casagrande Laboratory (2003-), a Finland based internationally operating multi-disciplinary design and innovation office and WEAK! together with Hsieh Ying-chun and Roan Ching-yueh.