Through this lecture Elena Cogato Lanza presents the Swiss Plan Wahlen, a regime of intensive food production and food rationing, introduced during the Second World War in an effort to increase food self-sufficiency of the nation. The talk establishes a degree of symmetry between the historical struggle for food self-sufficiency and the contemporary effort to achieve food security. Elena Cogato Lanza identifies three points on an « active » heritage, and it shows how in her current research activity she tries to establish new analytical and perspectival tools in approaching food security from a design and planning point of view.
Elena Cogato Lanza has been working since twenty years in interdisciplinary research projects, involving principally the domains of architecture, landscape, environmental engineers, and sociology. Graduating as an architect from Venice and following a PhD thesis at EPF Lausanne on the “networks and materials of urban planning in Geneva in the 1930s”, Dr. Cogato Lanza has since been a research fellow at the Department of Architecture EPFL, the Institute of Geography, University of Neuchâtel, and the Fondation Braillard Architectes, Geneva. She is Maître d’enseignement et de recherche at the Laboratory of Urbanism, EPFL and the president of the foundation board at Fondation Braillard, Geneva. Along with her research and teaching activities, she is engaged in the editorial field, as founder of the collection vuesDensemble for Metispresses, and as a member of various international editorial boards.