Project: MODSCAPES - Modernist reinventions of the rural landspace

MODSCAPES deals with rural landscapes produced by large-scale agricultural development and colonization schemes planned in the 20th century throughout Europe and beyond. Conceived in different political and ideological contexts, such schemes were pivotal to nation-building and state-building policies, and to the modernization of the countryside. They provided a testing ground for the ideas and tools of agronomists, politicians, environmental and social scientists, architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects and artists, which converged around a common challenge. Their implementation produced new rural landscapes, which have seldom been considered as a transnational research topic. Hence, MODSCAPES aims to raise awareness of this largely unrecognised shared cultural heritage which today forms tangible evidence of recent European history. MODSCAPES is carried out by a team combining expertise in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, planning, art history, and anthropology. It is led by five experienced individual investigators, with the support of four associated partners internationally relevant. MODSCAPES combines research-driven and bottom-up participatory activities based on the collection, processing, elaboration, and critical interpretation of visual data and multiple narratives concerning 12case studies located in 6 EU countries and 3 non-EU neighbouring countries. Introducing the concept of landscape as a unifying paradigm for a trans-disciplinary approach to the topic?s tangible (the built environment) and intangible legacies (the related cultural and sociopolitical context), this project aims not only to establish the European relevance of the topic, but also to bridge research, practice, and policy. Hence, it aspires to test research outcomes against the current challenges faced by modernist rural landscapes as a resource for future 'reflective societies' and 'inclusive environments'. MODSCAPES' deliverables engage and target diversified audiences to enable a better understanding of the common patterns and rich variety which shaped our national identities and may help to support shared European narratives.

Acronym MODSCAPES (Reference Number: HERA.15.097)
Duration 01/06/2016 - 30/05/2019
Project Topic REFLECTIVE-1-2014
Call HERA Call “Uses of the Past”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) Coordinator Belgium
2 ABC - Dept. of architecture, built environment and construction engineering Partner Italy
3 Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Artística do Porto - CESAP Partner Portugal
4 Dept. of Architectural and Urban History - Institute of Architecture Partner Germany
5 Estonian University of Life Sciences Partner Spain
6 Centre International pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage Observer Belgium
7 DOCOMOMO International - DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the MOdern MOvement Observer Portugal
8 ECLAS - European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools Observer Austria
9 CIVILSCAPE Observer Germany