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Informal rooting. An open Atlas (2020)
Alessandro Tessari

This work is based on the observation that within contemporary metropolises, there is a worldwide rooting process of informal cities which are structured around themselves and persist; they settle in the collective imagery producing a new social-cultural mutation. This paradigm shift is more and more triggering processes of “non-replacement” which can also be observed on the physical pattern of these settlements that begin to mutate and adapt to the logic of stabilization and reorganization. This work is intended to deal systematically and accurately with the interpretation of this phenomenon, analyzing in morphological terms the urban tissue of four favelas in Rio de Janeiro, a favorable context from which the informality can be observed. After having traveled across these territories for a long time, after having observed them, surveyed the land, mapped them, redrawn them, they are analyzed on a territorial scale, in order to explore the incidence of the rooting process on the metropolis, and on a spatial scale, in order to detect and understand the syntax of the evolution and the micro-transformation of their urban tissue. The basic idea is to observe these territories, not yet explored, with the accuracy required by scientific literature, through the “eyes of the architect”, overcoming the wall of the unknowable represented by the hyper-complexity, the marginalization and the difficulty to access these territories. The aim is to create a specific and new “informal catalog” that gathers the heritage of actions, forms and urban spaces created “within the rooting process”, and that can be used to accurately know and interpret the informality.


Bio Alessandro Tessari has studied in the University Institute of Architecture of Venice and in the University of Architecture of Seville. He finished his degree with Bernardo Secchi and Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra, with whom he collaborated from 2005 to 2008. He is Ph.D. in Architecture at Villard d’Honnecourt - IUAV of Venice and in Urbanism at PROURB - URFJ of Rio de Janeiro. He has been visiting professor at IUAV of Venice, Roma Tre of Rome, Catholic University of Pereira and Javeriana University of Bogotá. He has been professor since 2017 till 2019 at Politecnico of Milan and since 2016 till 2020 at University of Ferrara. Alessandro is researcher from 2019 at FAU Mackenzie of São Paulo. Alessandro Tessari has founded in 2008 ETB, an International Architecture and Urbanism office based in Seville and Treviso.

2020, 180x260mm, 270 pages

Title Informa Rooting. An Open Atlas Informal Rooting. Un Atlante Incompleto
Author Alessandro Tessari
Editor Alessandro Martinelli
Publisher LISt Lab