Future Landscapes is a research project on the construction of the new high-speed railway Turin-Lyon (TAV) and the protests of the NO TAV social movement. Situated in-between design and journalism the project really took shape in April 2014 during a fourteen-day hike across the Alps, along the future trajectory of the tracks, covering 300 kilometers between Turin to Lyon.
Future Landscapes looks at the socio-political conflict around the railway construction and proposes its own interpretation. While doing so, the role of design is explored: can a designer gather empirical information and share it as a unique story? Does this help to make a complex and highly controversial topic visible and understandable?
The project investigates the traces of the conflict on the ground. What is the status of the actual construction process? How does it affect local communities and landscapes along its way? And what maps and signs has the NO TAV movement left on the territory during more than twenty years of resistance. This documentation aims to represent the conflict based on the physical impact it has had on the actual ‘battle ground’.
The TAV conflict is a clash of interests that involves all kinds of environmental, political, social and economical aspects: the struggle between local well-being and the global economy; the natural environment and need for speed of travel; the concept and the practice of democracy, progress and common good. Such conflicts can be found anywhere in the world, but in a European context it demonstrates how two perceptions collide: the top-down and the bottom-up construction of Europe.