CA+A(+) is a research and traveling program founded by Francesca Cigola that focuses on the study and dissemination of contemporary architecture and its intersections with art, landscape, and curatorial practices. The curated journeys to art+architecture case studies are open to professionals in the creative fields: their are moments of reflections on the contemporary built environment not only for its aesthetic value, but for its economic, social, environmental impact.
This interdisciplinary research started at the Polytechnic of Milan Architecture School with a study on factories and industrial landscapes through the lens of their connection to the surrounding and expanded landscape. After graduation the research evolved to the theme of industrial landscapes and their reuse as exhibition spaces and expanded to the theme of outdoor museums. As a result, the book “Art Parks. A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens” (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2013; Milan: Sassi Editore, 2013) was first published in 2013, along with several articles appeared on various media outlets.
Between Summer and Fall 2019 I went back visiting the American North East and traced an imaginary line that connects outdoor museums in the Hudson Valley all the way to the MassMoca, as an example of regenerative practices through art and architecture.
In Spring 2019 I organized a private visit to Detroit, a key case study on the decline of modern industrial city and landscape, that is now a laboratory of innovative ideas about urban regeneration, land use, art experimentation, urban policy making. Industrial architecture – and the resulted landscape – is a field of research I have developed since my Architecture Master’s Thesis “Designing the Factory: Places, Spaces Architecture between Technological Innovation and Environmental Sustainability” and that has greatly influenced the creation of art fields, leisure spaces, buildings and land innovative reuse, new infrastructural landscapes, environmental practices in architecture, art, curation since the Sixties.
In Spring 2017 I traveled to Marfa (Texas) another seminal case study of the intersection of art, architecture, landscape included in “Art Parks”.
Continuing a Japanese Journey that has started in 2013 (Tokyo, Kyoto, Miho Museum and Campus), and again in 2014 (Tokyo, Kyoto, Benesse Art Sites and Noguchi Museum), in the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 I went back exploring the innovative Setouchi Triennale & Benesse Art Sites in Japan on the islands of Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima, and nearby art sites, including the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum and Awaji Island; and the more remote Echigo-Tsumari Art Field.
Between 2008 and 2012 I travelled extensively the United States visiting countless sculpture parks, outdoor museums, corporate headquarters, private and public art gardens, university campuses, meeting and writing with artists, architects, curators, museums professionals, conservators, guides, photographers, to gather the research material that theoretical foundation of Art Parks and CA+A(+).
Read Francesca Cigola full reportage for Design Milk, media partner for the 2017 tour, here:
CA+A(+) Founder and Program Director
Francesca Cigola is a New York-based architect, art&culture professional, writer, and curator. Her research, articles, and book “Art Parks. A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens”, (Princeton Architectural Press | Sassi Editore, 2013) focus on the intersection of contemporary architecture, art, and landscape with curatorial practices. She is the co-founder with Matteo Milani of m[h]ouselab, a creative platform based in New York that promotes architecture through research, publications, exhibitions, design projects. She worked as a contributing editor from New York for Domus and Domusweb (2018-2019), and member of the International Committee of Paysage Topscape since 2013. Her writings and work have been featured in international architecture, design, and art magazines including Elle Decor, Il Post, Design Milk, Constructs Yale Architecture, The Art Newspaper, Arte Magazine, Art+Auction, Corriere Della Sera, Life+Times, International Sculpture Center, among others.