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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.

Urban Design (-- hours)

This lesson plan (shared by the three laboratories) will bring students to the analysis of the city fabric and the urban space. The course, made up through lessons, is intended to describe methodologies to be able to read the existing urban context. This knowledge is the base-line of complex urban transformations, and it represents an essential step of architectural and urban design developed by each laboratory course.

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

The course will take place on a weekly basis. On Monday, students, gathered in groups of no more than three students, will set up the papers required by the schedule and discuss them collectively with the instructor, other students, and some invited guests. Revisions will be supported by the google meet jamboard plug-in.
Communications from the architectural design faculty will be held on Monday. The project must be transdisciplinary and for this reason some professors have been invited to give communications on related disciplinary areas such as sociology, philosophy, urbanism, art, social innovation. The contributions will always be on Monday and the names of the various guests have already been included in the calendar of Laboratory B.
In the month of March, always on Monday, three exercises on the project area will begin, whose delivery and collective presentation is scheduled for the following Monday, which will have to produce a carnet of images on A5 paper format obtained through photomontages, sketches, cad drawings, etc.. in which reflections will be elaborated by the individual groups on the following themes
- The Replacement (tactics of constructing new buildings through the insertion of existing projects within the area);
- The Boundary (fence, landscape and border or edge?);
- The Built (Building in the Built):
The groups' work will be divided into two phases:
In the first phase, until the first critic, which will take place after Easter, on April 19, , the work will focus on how to define guidelines for the development of the urban project. Each group will present its urban proposal.
In the second phase, each group will develop autonomously the architectural project and will have to arrive at the second critic with the architectural elements of the project defined.

Learning assessment procedures

The first phase is developed through ex cathedra lessons and seminar activities. The first will offer students the basic arguments to orient themselves with respect to the general theme, namely the phenomenon of the disposal of real estate as a growing effect of the crisis, in its various manifestations, and the desire for its regeneration as a value, in the conditions of space and time now possible. The seminar activities will be conducted by the students themselves, who will be called upon to delve into suggested readings and to offer a critical reflection on them to their colleagues, in order to build a common space for sharing on the changes that have occurred in contemporary society, which have given rise to the present condition.
The second phase will be articulated through revisions, collective intermediate checks on the progress of the work and external contributions. These contributions, in the form of lectures, as well as being a useful moment of deepening of the issues that the laboratory intends to address, may also become an opportunity for extended verification of the development of project themes.

Reference texts

Alessandro Gaiani, Sovrascritture urbane, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2017
Jason W. Moore, a cura di, Anthropocene or Capitolocene?, PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2016
Giorgio De Finis, a cura di, Atlantide, Bordeaux, Roma, 2015
Marc Augè, Futuro, Bolati Boringhieri, Torino, 2012
Maurizio Carta, Futuro, politiche per un diverso presente, Rubettino, Catanzaro, 2019
Mauro Cerruti, Francesco Bellusci, Abitare la complessità. La sfida di un destino comune, Mimesis, Milano, 2020