land around

Complementary to Montagna’s photography, the mapping process works with the more invisible aspects of the landscapes photographed.
These patterns are typically hidden from the human perception; and this is not only because such patterns are not visually accessible, but also because their temporal pattern does not follow anthropocentric ones.

Three types of vegetation corresponding to three different heights are represented: grasslands, shrub lands, and more ecologically established areas populated by trees. Referring to the ecological succession diagram, they correspond to three different temporal patterns. The different vegetation also corresponds to different antrophic environments that the bulls figure generate; their influence on the surrounding.
From these drawings, other conditions of urbanity can be extracted as well; in this way thinking of the urban through landscape.

Representation of landscape in the photography of Maurizio Montagna
for the book ‘Toros - The Making of a Territory’
Role: Maps and Infographics
Published by Artphilein Editions, Lugano, 2022

Photographs: Maurizio Montagna
Editor: Elisa C. Cattaneo
Texts: Ethel Baraona Pohl, Elisa C. Cattaneo

Visualisation of Montagna’s journey; showing photographed locations per trip, length of trip, distance between locations, and time between trips. 

The unmistakable silhouette of the Osborne bull is so deeply rooted in our minds, it has become a vernacular object in photography: widely used in art and cinema, due to its widespread recognizability and the powerful image it evokes, they could be considered one of the most potent images of the recent decade.

In Montagna’s photographies, the big Osborne signs an articulate and controversial dialogue with the surrounding areas. They become a means to describe the landscape, opening a diatribe with the social and natural environment and revealing the role of images as interference between public/and private, power/perception, politics and people.
Montagna’s images unveil the mechanisms of forming a disputable meaning in the landscape.

Diagram illustrating scales of scientific inquiry, Adrian Lahoud, 2015

design with environments

The scope of the course is to develop methodologies for design research in an interdisciplinary and interscalar way, enabled by computational logics. From territorial analysis to digital fabrication, the course aims at providing students with the critical and technical skills to draw and embed environmental entities and forces into a design output, exploiting computation as a trait-de-union through scales, disciplines and materials.

Design Class at Polis University in Tirana

Role: Visiting Lecturer, with Iacopo Neri and Eugenio Bettucchi

Territorial data visualization


Physical model, water and soil simulation

earthy indexes

“Earthy Indexes” explored the ecological impact of cities from a spatial perspective, analyzing and visualizing the impact that cities have on the surrounding territory and beyond. By exploring a computational methodology, the speculative exercise aimed at helping designers investigate what and where the “urban” is, recognizing the blurring of rural and urban phenomena. It also aimed at bringing designers closer to the abstract world of environmental indexes.

Participants were invited to create their own ecological index, according to their analysis, following different environmental narratives.

The workshop introduced students to geospatial data mining through Google Earth Engine in Grasshopper 3D. It aimed at providing students with a pipeline, to dynamically access and manipulate petabytes of online georeferenced data.

Workshop led by Erze Dinarama, and Iacopo Neri

The workshop was part of CAADRIA 2022  Conference - Post-Carbon, Sydney, Australia
International Conference for The Association for Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia

Drawings by: Tania Papasotiriou and Ilaena Napier
Land requirement to fulfill the demand for: Coffee, Beef, and Wood.

More info at

tirana datascape workshop

The workshop explored data storytelling for different aspects of Tirana’s urbanscape, and how those stories can be represented through computational drawings and robotic fabrication.

The workshop focused on the application of advanced computational tools for designers to explore and represent city dynamics.

Workshop led by Eugenio Bettucchi, Erze Dinarama, and Iacopo Neri. 

The workshop was part of 8th eCAADe Regional International Symposium held at Polis University in Tirana. 

More info at

calligraphies of disturbances

A testing ground for an augmented ecology

Disturbances is a concept used in Ecology to describe changes in environmental conditions that cause changes in the ecosystem. The project recognizes disturbances as a constant state of the landscape and architecture, and looks at ways which this concept can generate an architectural and landscape idea through ecological thinking and computational tools.

academic supervisor: Elisa Cattaneo


The project transforms a toxic and dying landscape, the coal mining in the vicinity of Prishtina, into an open seedbank - a site of ecological research, studying changes in ecological patterns in a constantly disturbed site. The constructed ecology is an experimental data landscape, an open seedbank, which will carry its research on how the “toxic” agents interact with the ecological patterns in a constantly disturbed site.

Architecture is used as a tool to include hyperobjects (relating to Timothy
Morthon’s writings), their appearance and disappearance and their complex nature in the design process and the thinking of architecture.

The toxins produced by the coal mining industry are tracked as they travel through soil, water, and air. Then, a remediation process (building new vegetation patches that would then spread throughout the intended area) is proposed in the designated paths, which extends far beyond where the mining activities occur.
The design proposal takes into account the ecological pattern that exists on site; considering geology, hydrogeology, hydrography, topography, climate conditions, and vegetation, as interconnected and inseparable layers of the site.

seedbank - data landscape

The project functions as an open seedbank or “data landscape” and is conceived not only as a knowledge accumulation site for scientists but as a public work as well. It would not only provide an understanding of the interaction of heavy metals with the natural systems on site which serves the scientific community globally but will accumulate knowledge on how to combat climate change locally as well.  Acting as a large public work, it will include the public in the process of mining, end/transition of coal mining activities, remediation process, learning about endemic and invasive species, keep track of the toxins on the ground through indicatory gardens, etc.

performative landwork

Overburden machines that place “waste” material on site, as industry continues to work, now also engage on creating a new land art on site. Following the curvature of the river the mining overburden machines are used to create the performative landwork. This land art will function as wetlands that sustain the cycles of the flood, and remediate the soil and water. Instead of eradicating the signs of the industry, they are transformed in a performative land art that will act as a monument to the finale of the industry.

Landscape/architecture modules are used as performative instruments in the project. This component becomes the most important feature of architecture. The modules are generated by dicretizing the space into voxels. This approach extracts the connection of each voxel, allowing the voxels to mutate into a range of different connections between them. The algorithm makes it possible to recognize the relationship between the faces of the voxels which are given numerical connotation based on their relative location.

The architectural proposals is sited in a constructed landscape where the ecological processes and technological ones meet. Following the constructed wetlands, the architectural instrument is placed on the lowest point of the project area where the water passes a last step before being filtered to aquifers. It also serves as a data center for plants, a research center, exhibition of species, and an exhibition of an artificial geology.

+39 327 633 6139   +383 44 135 472
Erzë Dinarama unless otherwise specified

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