The current program will be part of a coordinated activity between the Housing and Neighbourhood Workshop (offered in the Master of Science in Urban Planning and Policy Design: proff Stefania Sabatinelli and Massimo Bricocoli) and the Architecture of Interiors Design Studio 2 (offered in the Master of Science in Architecture: proff. Gennaro Postiglione, Stefania Sabatinelli and a professor in Photography not yet appointed). Joint seminars and presentations will be aiming at exploring the interactions and connections between urban policies and architectural design. We will also foster the cooperation between students from both Curricula.
THEME AND TOPICS
During the 20th century the issue of dwelling in the city was mainly solved with the production of mass housing. “Home” as social right, as project category, as economic datum, ended up in a model narrowing down the natural experience of dwelling in a thick network of scientific parameters (typologies, functional schemes, values taxonomies, hierarchies of behaviours), even translating it in a spatial and interior design project inspired to a pure calculation of structural, ergonomic, industrial, standards, within a framework of blurred, but still normative, social and ethical representations.
At the turn of the 21st century this model shows patent signs of crisis. Not because of the obsolescence of the technical tools developed over time, but rather because of the fading away of its cultural premises, of the ideology that had shaped it, of the social project that defined its role and scope. In order to design forms, uses and interiors of contemporary dwelling it is, therefore, necessary to shift from the functional concept of dwelling asan object to the cultural concept of dwelling as an experience, focusing the analysis on the ‘dweller’, with its corporeality, behaviour patterns, social interactions.
A further major transformation challenges architecture: while the production of new dwellings has dramatically reduced, due to ecological concerns and the economic recession, it is the renewal, re-use and transformation of the existing housing stock that could come to the front-scene, in order to answer in a more proper way to quantitative and qualitative needs of contemporary dwelling. What type of dwellings? What forms and uses? For whom? At what price?
Global economic and political factors as well as changes in the labour market, in the family formation patterns, in the ways of living, give origin to a number of “new” social needs that have implications on the forms and meanings of dwelling.
In this light, the concept of home itself is to be reconsidered as more and more for many people it tends to turn into a plurality of different places which are simultaneously (loss of unity) and/or temporarily (loss of stability) used as dwellings. Multi-local living and cohabitation are growing trends that go in parallel with, and indeed stem from, the pluralization of job positions and of family arrangements andassets. The various – and changing – ways and solutions in which the people organise and re-organise their living in the city in order to be able to afford their housing costs (despite the scant public support) and at the same time cope with the labour market requests and their family life needs, is to be more closely investigated, as this brings along significant changes in terms of housing cultures, patterns of solidarity/community, and socio-spatial organisation.
The phenomenon of temporary dwelling has become more and more relevant: it can characterize different steps and phases in the individual life; it regards very different profiles, individuals and families. Temporary dwelling is a condition of many students and young adults in search for educational, training and/or working experiences (that due to the increased flexibility of the labour market more and more often require geographical mobility and impose short-term contracts); of many professionals pursuing their career and sharing their life in more than one city (multi-local living); of many people with family ties in different places. But temporary dwelling is also a severe need for extremely fragile people. Two profiles have become particularly urgent in recent years: individuals and families unable to guarantee themselves a roof over their head, mostly for reasons related to the Great Recession (typically evicted people); refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants reaching Europe under extreme circumstances in search of life opportunities.
Temporary dwelling is therefore a temporary need for each single individual or household, but it has come to represent a structural need for societies and for cities, where this need becomes concretely visible. Societies and cities need to cope with the challenges posed by these phenomena, which largely descend from global factors out of the control of local and even national actors. What is more, they need to do this in conditions of not only contingently but structurally decreasing resources.
The workshop will tackle questions such as the following:
What profiles of inhabitants of the cities need to live in more than one home and/or to be temporarily accommodated?
What are their conditions and needs?
How to provide them with appropriate and affordable housing solutions?
How to transform existing structures in order to respond to unmet needs?
The workshop intends to explore these themes in the city of Milan, through three main working phases:
- Exploration and mapping of places, practices, policies and options at work. Exploration will be carried out in the city of Milan. Best(and also worst)practices from other contexts will also be considered and reviewed.
- Research and analysis: What is temporary dwelling? What meaning(s) does it assume? What are its implications?
- Drafting of scenarios, of visions, focused on [H&N: regulation, policies, programs and interventions; AoI: envisioning spatial scenarios]
An introductory set of lectures and of complementary activities such as field visits will be relevant supports to the work and a reading list will be available to provide references (as in the past years, a whole set of books on the discussed topics will be made available for the workshop participants in a specific section of the Department library).
A final public seminar will be organized to discuss and disseminate the results of the workshop which will be collected in a joint final report.
[Architecture of Interiors]
Issues of temporary dwelling will be analysed in their strict relation to both mapping the use of space and behaviours and envisioning possible design solutions (via Photography and Architecture of Interiors).
The drafting of the final scenario can be (freely and not compulsorily) understood as a first step towards the identification of a theme for the MSc final thesis.
[Housing & Neighbourhoods]
Issues of temporary dwelling will be analyzed in their strict relation to other fields of policy, regulation and interventions, and chiefly welfare policies, with particular reference to the local welfare system and to the public and non public actors contributing to design and implement it.
Bricocoli M. & Sabatinelli S. (2016) House sharing amongst young adults in the context of Mediterranean welfare: the case of Milan, International Journal of Housing Policy, 16:2, 184-200.
G. Postiglione (2013). Methods of Research and Criticality. In: (a cura di): G. Brooker, L. Weinthal, The Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design . p. 50-60, London:Bloomsbury, ISBN: 9781847887450
E. Lupo, G. Postiglione (2007). The Architecture of Interiors as re-writing of space. In: E. Hollis. Thinking inside the box. p. 145-154, London:Middlesex University Press, ISBN: 9781904750222