Interview: Francesca Benedetto

Students: Can you think of a future for these infrastructures which today represent a landmark devoid of its function in a natural area? Or are they destined to remain the ‘’white elephants‘’ under-utilized?

Francesca Benedetto: These infrastructures represent an important resource for Sardinia from different points of view. Both for the richness and uniqueness of the ecosystem that have generated, large lakes surrounded by scrubland, either because they can be considered the important and new geographic centres are able to reconnect and put in the hinterland territory system.

SCan you use the same distinctive design approach of urban renewal and rehabilitation of an architectural project, even in the recovery of infrastructure? In other words, can an object thought in a purely engineering point of view to be deactiavted in order to accommodate human activities?

FB: Just think of the railway stations of Milan. At this precise moment in history the reuse of infrastructure is and will be one of the most important issues in the city transformation processes.

SDo you think an architect today can solve such a strong problem, as in the case of dams in the Sardinian territory by going back to value the natural and environmental geography? Today can you think of other ways to repopulate the interior of Sardinia?

FB: An architect can show the possible scenarios, the project at such a large scale can only choral operation between many actors representing different interests (political, economic, geographic etc.) To repopulate the hinterland or make it productive is necessary to regenerate the economy in respect of geographical and environmental resources. The failure of the Omodeo project is to be found only in specific intrinsic problems or to the place of such large-scale projects involving social economic and environmental fields so vast, are per se common problems relating to the inability to design an entire region? Francesca Benedetto: The Omodeo project was not a failure, but in those years was an exemplary model for the whole world. Why today these water projects are underused is mainly due to the big changes in the production of world-scale electricity market.