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the last grand tour
stefano boeri

Park Books publishes The Last Grand Tour – Contemporary phenomena and strategies of living in Italy edited by Michael Obrist and Antonietta Putzu, which features, within the chapter devoted to Milan, a dialogue between Michael Obrist and Stefano Boeri entitled The anti-city and us.

Emulating the tradition and itinerary of the classic Grand Tour followed by European aristocrats, the book offers a glimpse of Italy today, using the aspect of housing as its focus: housing is examined as a complex construct, acted upon by divergent interests and needs and historical legacies. In the format of a graphic and textual atlas, the volume explores Italy at various scales, zooming in on themes, cities and regions, and allowing for associative and nonlinear understanding and reflection. The spatial aspect of living, with its enormous impact on the limited resources of land and landscape, is the starting point for the proposals and strategies the book offers.

In this context, the dialogue with Stefano Boeri focuses on the shape of the city, especially the European city-how it has changed over time, what challenges it has faced and is about to face in a nearer and more changing future than expected.

“There are two impulses that are almost always present in the practices of living: on the one hand, a genuine reflection on the modes of collective living, on the sharing of our lives and on the forms of encounter, relationship and closeness that living offers; on the other hand, a tendency towards accentuated individualism, towards a form of spatial egoism that leads to the self-representation of one’s own person.
The history that arises from the constant balance or loss of balance between these two forces could be called the “history of the practices of living in the city,” declares Stefano Boeri.

To read the full volume: