Vol. 21 No. 1 (2023): Paradoxes of water

Per un’estetica dei ‘piedi grandi’: Dialogo con Kongjian Yu

Wei Chen
Università Roma la Sapienza

Published 2023-12-14

How to Cite

Chen, W., & Yu, K. (2023). Per un’estetica dei ‘piedi grandi’: Dialogo con Kongjian Yu. Ri-Vista. Research for Landscape Architecture, 21(1), 50–65. Retrieved from https://oaj.fupress.net/index.php/ri-vista/article/view/14900


The design research conducted by Turenscape Group, where water has become the dominant principle for constructing contemporary sustainable landscapes, effectively exemplifies the complexity and duality of the relationship between water resources and landscape design. It also embodies the dialectic between aesthetic meanings and functional characteristics, constantly evolving within cultures and eras.

The current climate crisis urges the pursuit of new aesthetics of water that can reveal a deeper meaning of beauty. Through a dialogue with Professor Kongjian Yu from Peking University, the leader of Turenscape Group, this article aims to explore the references, visions, methodologies, and some results of their design experiments. By reviewing the Chinese agricultural tradition and paying attention to various climates, they propose an innovative interpretation of the city to overbear the challenges of urban water management and the restoration of aquatic ecosystems. The theoretical reflection translates into a design approach that interprets diverse geographical and climatic conditions, primarily focusing on ecosystem interactions within the design.