ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN - LABORATORY IV (LAB A)

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Versione italiana
Academic year
2021/2022
Teacher
NICOLA MARZOT
Credits
11
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

Knowledge

The laboratory aims to stimulate a reflection on urban regeneration, tracing back its premises to the financial-economic crisis internationally widespread from 2008 onwards, in order to critically asses its effects on territorial and urban transformation. Since the field of investigation is not yet grounded on theories and consolidated praxis, students will be guided through the analysis of the most important practices available, both at national and international level, referring them to the preliminary investigation of four distinctive phases, mutually related and articulated according to scalar differentiation. They have to derive from the interpretation of the context’s material and immaterial aspects and are articulated as follows: the identification of potential stakeholders; the definition of the corresponding rules of mutual engagement; the promotion of design actions, distinguishing technical and urban aspect, economic and financial feasibility and communication strategy; the definition of the activities to allocate in the space. Due to those premises, the design assignment will focus on a decommissioned industrial site within a middle-size metropolitan area. The proposal should set up a reactivation strategy of the site. Starting from the changing horizon generated by the crisis, students will be invited to rethink instruments and objectives of the work of the architect, taking into particular attention his/her social role within the contemporary conjuncture.

Ability

Students are expected to acquire a deep knowledge regarding the complex dynamics dealing with society, economics, politics and culture, which are qualifying the contemporary time, understanding their fundative principles and the reciprocal interrelations. In that perspective, it is crucial to identify the “regeneration potential”, which establishes the capacity of the architectural design to involve the all aspects into which ideally the social reality is internally articulated. In such a way, architecture can guarantee their own cross-fertilization through its action. Coherently, students have to recognize the necessity to act within multidisciplinary team, thought which it is possible to recognize the different instances developed by stakeholders claiming a role within the transformative processes.

Prerequisites

KNOWLEDGE

Students, in order to fruitfully dealing with urban regenerations, should demonstrate a clear attitude to multidisciplinary, mutually relating the plurality of the investigated phenomena. The knowledge acquired in the course of Theory of Architectural Research, especially in relation to Urban Morphology and Building Typology, are considered fundamental. Moreover, it has to be reminded that the Lab of Architectural design III is a mandatory perquisite.

ABILITY

Students, in order to fruitfully dealing with urban regenerations, should demonstrate a clear attitude to multidisciplinary approach, mutually relating the plurality of the investigated phenomena.

Course programme


Coherently to formative objectives and prerequisites, the laboratory title will be “Regenerating the decommissioned. The city as limit”. The course will start from the programmatic state of indeterminacy prompted by the contemporary urban phenomena, literally suspended between the “not anymore” delivered by the creative finance recent failure and the “not yet” of the community to come. Students will be asked to critically reflect on a case-history which emblematically states the complexity of the current situation, of course preselected by Lab responsible people. Both the preliminary analyses and the first explorations have to demonstrate their inherence to uncertainties, programmatic instability and multiplicity already reminded, developing it in order to define challenged “research questions”. The design assignment shall answer those questions, both in compositional and materials terms. To guarantee the aim, all the disciplines will run parallel to achieve the expected results according to the following contents:

ARCHITECTURAL COMPOSITION

The module will offer students the general framework into which the critical reflection on the relation between design and preexisting conditions progressively developed from the post-World War II onwards. The narrative will be articulated according to clearly defined cultural seasons. This achievement will guarantee students to achieve a deep knowledge of the actual condition and its necessity.

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

The module will offer students the specific case studies, representatives of the general framework dealing with regeneration process, in order to learn the lesson of the protagonists.

URBANISM

The module will offer students the basic legislative instruments to deal with regeneration processes. In such a way, it will be possible to understand the economic-financial and social-political implications of their own hypotheses in relation to the elected site-specific conditions.

Didactic methods

Teaching activity is articulated into two complementary but distinct phases. The first one, lasting 4 weeks, mostly deals with the analysis of the site-specific conditions (both material and immaterial), to define the “research question”. The second one, lasting 8 weeks, will be entirely addressed to fully materialize the design proposals. The interrelation among the two will be guaranteed by the in between development of compelling and all-embracing site-specific design proposal, intended as an original interpretation of the offered general theme. The site will be selected according to the following parameters: high level of intermodal accessibility; evidences of abandonment and decay; consistency of Planning previsions and possibility to deal with experimental practices, aligned with the most up to date experiences.

Learning assessment procedures

The first phase will be developed through lectures and seminars. Lectures will address students basic arguments in order to orientate themselves within the broad spectrum of decommissioning processes generated by the crisis and the necessity to regenerate the related built manifestations. Lecture will be articulated according to reflection on texts, design proposals, exhibitions and artworks, in order to stimulate unexplored possibilities. Seminars will be conducted by students themselves, coached by tutors, by deepening selected texts, to built up a shared body of knowledge. The second phase will run through studio meeting and public presentations on the work-in-progress. Visiting critics will be asked as well to give lecture in order to deepen issues raised during the laboratory, also being involved in student presentation assessment. The assessment of the learning activities will be checked through weekly exercise, whose content and increasing level of complexity will increase in compliance with the above mentioned formative objectives, articulated into four phases, according to an incremental process. The final evaluation will take into consideration both the exercises and the final exam.

Reference texts

Urban Task Force, Towards an Urban Renaissance, E & FN Spoon, London, 1999
KCAP, Situations, NAI Publishers, Rotterdam, 2005
LSE, Deutsche Bank,The Endless City, London, Phaidon, 2008
Martina Baum, Kees Christiaanse,City as Loft, London, GTA Publisher, 2013
G. Clement, Manifesto del terzo paesaggio, Quodlibet, 2005