Water as a source for living environments: building devices for collective knowledge

Lidia Decandia
10th july 2014

Water, an important common good, has been one of the primary elements for the construction of the uniqueness of territories. Water is a generating element in the creation
of environments for living in communities. The use and management of this important resource has not only influenced the location and structure of settlement, but also formed the very character of the landscape itself.

The use and the presence of springs, wells and troughs in
the countryside, the irrigation channels for the gardens, the mills and guarchiere along the streams or river courses, the aqueducts and the fountains in the city and the historical centres are only a few of the traces that reveal the presence of spatial territorial cultures. The various cultures are closely intertwined and related to the presence of water, which has been used not only as functional or productive instruments, but also as a means for establishing emotional, symbolic and cultural relationships.
The lecture will start out with an introductive general
part about the role of the water system in the process of construction of urban and agricultural landscapes, and be followed by an analysis of a particular case, to outline the methodological frames through which sites and laboratories of "collective" knowledge are built. Starting from a careful reconstruction of the profound links not only functional,
but also emotional and memorial – established by different communities with water and waterscapes, the laboratory works to emphasize and remember, spaces and modalities for caring for this important common good.