Acknowledging that the city is nothing but the product of a myriad network of interactions and emergent flows, re-organized and regulated by a highly evolved system of pattern recognition, the project designed by Gijo Paul George from Studio Toggle aims to find urban solutions for the city of Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy.
Taking fields, nodes and agents as the building blocks of urbanity, the relations and perturbations are mapped, giving rise to generative patterns. Based on this logic, the project strives to find a balance between adaptive non-programmed spaces and typological specificity. The site, SantÉlia has the notoriety for being the badlands of Cagliari. Often this image is exaggerated, contributing to the resident’s hostility to the city and vice versa. This spectacular stretch of waterfront land towards the southern tip of Cagliari happens to be disconnected from the rest of Cagliari due to massive infrastructural figures, which creates canyons in the urban fabric, also due to the negative ramifications arising from a dysfunctional social housing project, from 1970’s.
The project had specific goals including, reconnecting SantÉlia to the rest of Cagliari by colliding the island grids, bringing the city closer to the sea and thus developing the waterfront, revitalizing the social housing and improve conditions and to develop strategic nodes into multimodal urban ecologies. The focus was on de-canyonizing the fabric and overlaying the terrain with a new urban organism, which irrigates the territory and bridges the programmatic archipelago.
Rediscovering the spatial matrix of field conditions as described by Stan Allen, and further elaborated by Keiichi Matsuda in his ‘Cities for Cyborgs’, an emergent matrix of potential (pheromonal) fields acts as the substrate on which an agent-based system is populated. The constant material and information feedback between the to systems gives rise to generative patterns and densities which in turn mutate into inhabitable spaces and nested typologies, there by creating the fabric.
The project in itself becomes a discourse in how the intuitive and emergent processes can work together to produce an urban fabric, and occupy it at the same time, not losing the balance between adaptable emergent spaces, and the specific typologies which seed the territory.