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João Nunes / PROAP

Gui Auditorium / Knowlton Hall
January 27, 2016 - 5:30pm

João Nunes, Glimcher Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Knowlton School, will present a lecture titled "HOW THINGS MERGE" in Knowlton Hall’s Gui Auditorium at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. The talk is free and open to the public.

A Visiting Professor in Landscape Architecture at Harvard GSD, Nunes is founder and CEO of the landscape architecture studio PROAP, where he develops conceptual and creative design, leads project development and defines the strategic orientation of the research process. In 2010, he published PROAP – Landscape Architecture, a monograph which documents the approach, philosophy and projects of the office’s first 25 years. He is also co-author of Lost Competitions (2011).

A professor at Mendrisio Architecture Academy, Nunes also teaches at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia of Lisbon and has been a visiting professor at UPENN, IUAV (Venice), Poltecnico di Milano (Milan and Mantua), Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona) and École National Supérieure du Paysage (Versailles). He serves as Director of the International Master in Landscape Architecture coordinated by ETSAB and ACMA.

Nunes studied at the Instituto Superior de Agronomia of Lisbon and received his Master in Landscape Architecture at ETSAB–Barcelona.

About "how things merge"

Modernism grounded our Thought around an obsessive importance given to the concept of limit. Limits help us acknowledge, interpret and understand reality for they simplify, replacing the range of diffuse transitions with sharp contrasts between discrete values.

In landscape analytical systems this thought stipulated that any process of reading landscape would be grounded in categorization and the invention of borders between rigid and defined categories. The development of options on land use based on those borders has transformed analytical and abstract boundaries into real limits, configured with the abhorrent sharpness of a supernatural transition of qualities.

In all fields which center on the relation between Man and Environment, this stern will to acknowledge and define limits has maximized the concern for the border between natural and artificial, between the cultural and ‘spontaneous’, between anthropic and non-anthropic. Nowadays, when disappointment on the work of Man has shaped a primary moral of suspicion and rejection towards anthropic signs, it is important that those who study and work on themes relating to landscape and landscape transformation, propose that rather than discussing where natural and cultural oppose, distinguish and contradict, it would be more interesting to understand how they merge in the construction of a world where – such as in ourselves – those limits are impossible to draw, producing a reality, not characteristically natural nor cultural, which constitutes a third entity.

The lecture comprehends a first theoretical and introductory part and a second illustrative part, in the shape of a presentation of projects which focus on the ideas of limit, crevice, dynamics, permanence, continuity and Time.

-João Nunes