Dwelling in the Leftovers: Investigation on Design Experience and a Glimpse Into Cyprus Buffer Zone

Dwelling in the Leftovers: Investigation on Design Experience and a Glimpse Into Cyprus Buffer Zone

Fiamma Colette Invernizzi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2823-5.ch019
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In a world studded with forgotten leftovers and abandoned buildings, there is a need to consider rethinking the traditional approach to design and architecture by imagining, instead of great new works, myriad precise interventions that bring all those spaces back to life appear forgotten and without value. Working on dismissed buildings is about multiple stories, forgotten beauties, and human absence. It's about fighting over-production and over-consumption in a world in which it's totally normal to buy and throw away things even if they are still new. Society needs to use what it's already built because it's enough. Society needs to use what it's already built by thinking of it in a new, more flexible, sustainable, and ethical way. Cross-disciplinary approach, short-time interventions, and low-cost interventions are the clue solution to make those abandoned architectural leftovers live again. This chapter proposes ethically, flexibly, and sustainably considering the variety and complexity of these spaces as a starting point and value and an effective opportunity to study contemporary urban dynamics.
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Introduction: Leftovers And Complexity

Forgotten, abandoned, corrupted, ruined, vandalized, closed, walled, obscured, filled with graffiti, dusty. This is how most of the abandoned buildings are presented which, like those of lunch, it can be called leftovers. From a definition that Professor Crespi proposes in one of his writings (Crespi, 2018) such leftovers are read as “some places that have stopped playing their initial function, now find themselves without citizenship in a sort of grey area. Not waste, if the waste is something that is eliminated after a selection because it is poor. Too unattractive - in the eyes of real estate operators, unlike the large, dismantled industrial areas - to be able to enter into urban retraining. Too recent and still recognizable to be able to take the noble and romantic rank of “ruin”. Not so special to deserve the interest of the Superintendents or to be restored. Leftovers, in fact”. Bearing in mind this definition as a starting point for a broader reflection, it is hoped to underline here the importance of a study carried out by means of case studies as fundamental elements of the process of analysis of the leftovers themselves, in order to investigate effective methods of intervention that designers can perform on forgotten spaces. In the following pages, in fact, it shall proceed with a reflection on what are the criteria for describing the best practices in the area and how these interventions can be effective in different real situations. Next, it shall proceed with the analysis of two significant case studies for the theme of leftovers, to show the effectiveness of the reading and the possible interventions on the spaces, to conclude with a broad reflection and narration of a particular international case study related to the Buffer Zones of Cyprus. The choice to examine such a complex portion of territory is given by the desire to show how the theme of the conscious reuse of abandoned spaces can lead to a valid alternative to traditional architecture and restoration in relation to the themes of memory of spaces and respect for the historical values of contemporary urban realities.

The purpose of the paper is to instil a spark of reflection linked to the ethical and sustainable possibility of intervening on leftovers and to respond to an increasingly evident phenomenon of demolition and reconstruction that sees no alternative to a type of architecture and design subjected to the contemporary economic market.

The first real necessity is to identify a scientific and effective way of classifying and reading them. Starting from the selection criteria, to continue with a detailed description of the adopted criteria, it is good to make the use of case studies a complete and effective method of analysis of contemporary reality linked to abandoned interiors.

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