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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

Architectural design laboratory aims to direct students in dealing with territorial transformations and its complexity. The laboratory at the fourth academic year strengthens previous years knowledge about complex design projects within multi-part urban background.

The course focuses both on big interventions and small ones, tiny projects, public spaces as well as big urban changes.
Today’s sudden changes in term of quality of our spaces require new methods to be taught, a brand-new critical thinking rather than forced models.

Gained knowledge will be:
Capacity of reading reality is the foundation of design exercises proposed during the course.
urban landscape values, through the analysis of existing buildings fabric, and city structure.
Within the issue of urban complexity, every student will be aware of architectural design aim (the atmosphere)
The noticeable relationship between things’ reality and abstraction, used as design tool
The implications of building structural forms, as a reality reading key and essential element of design process

What students will able to do
Ability to deal with complex design projects at different scales
The Lab provides a unique set off analytic and creative strategies in order to undertake personal and imaginative architecture solutions.
Ability to design for urban transformations as close as possible to conceived objectives
Strategic vision as a design tool, in order design a new urban fabric matching with the existing one.
Project design actions start from concrete and tangible output, the atmosphere, analysing and disassembling things’ reality.
Ideas, raw material, elements of space making.
Most important, the design Lab’s objective is grounded in finding out new urban energies, able to regenerate the existing building environment


Fundamental requirements students should have gained from previous courses are:
Simple house design and residential building
Specific-use building design
The ability to integrate both of the into a simple urban context
Design project visualization through two-dimensional and three-dimensional drawings
The basis of architectural cultural required to understand the complexity of reality

Course programme

Throughout the duration of the Laboratory, links among community, physical element and project design areas will be investigate, in order to find out valuable urban regeneration strategies

Architectural composition (84 hours)

Fair knowledge in architecture design and urban fabric. Emotional analysis. Structural Forms. Transparency and lightness. Natural and urban landscape. Building up a specific atmosphere. Abstraction and reality. Urban regeneration through trade and commerce spaces. Urban liveliness trigger.

The above-mentioned topics will be integrated by specific contributions about: urban sociology, new technology and smart city, citizen participation. These aspects will led students to focus on flexible urban design solutions. Particular attention will be dedicated to building up spatial atmospheres of design proposals.

Economic Evaluation of projects (24 hours)

This lesson plan brings students to real estate dynamics. The aim and the core of the lessons will be the relationship between design quality and cost control. Today’s socio-economic context imposes to architects the need to be aware of project feasibility, in its specific economic aspect and other several fields.

Landscape architecture (24 hours)

This lesson plan explores landscape topic from multi-scale analysis, outstanding interactions between anthropic actions and environment, and the display of ever-changing landscape.
Some global trends will be taken into consideration: new land making, urban extensions, new environmental issues, the effect of new technologies on landscape.
The aim of this course is to provide students with brand-new strategies they can take advantage of during design process, looking for resilient and flexible landscape, natural and artificial hybrid environment

Didactic methods

Overview lectures about project tools and design method.
Teaching method includes single exercises and group assignments, peer reviews and collective discussions.
Students will be asked to produce installations, text writing and other kind of self-expression output.
New design tools will be explained, and workshops on specific topics will occur.
On site tours and visits are integral parts of the course.
The above-mentioned workout will converge into the main design project exercise.

Learning assessment procedures

Learning achievement will be regularly observed and guided throughout design reviews. Therefore presentations, individual and group reviews will be weekly scheduled.
The sum of all exercises, including the main design project, will be finally evaluated.
During the exam, design coherence with conceptual premises and composition tools, the method and its effectiveness will also be verified

Reference texts

B. Secchi, La città del ventesimo secolo, Laterza, 2005
M. Zardini, Sense of the city. An alternate approach to urbanism, Lars Muller Publisher, 2005
V. Codeluppi, Ipermondo. Dieci chiavi per capire il presente, Laterza, 2012
P. Zumthor, Pensare architettura, Lars Muller Publisher, 1998
K. Frampton, Tettonica e architettura, Skira, 1999
R. Koolhaas, Junkspace. Per un ripensamento radicale dello spazio urbano, Quodlibet, 2010
G. Clement, Manifesto del terzo paesaggio, Quodlibet, 2005