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Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Cfu 12.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio
Didattica innovativa L'insegnamento prevede  1.0  CFU erogati con Didattica Innovativa come segue:
  • Soft Skills
Docente Briata Paola Giuseppina , Hanninen Andolina Petri Giovanni , Postiglione Gennaro

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Nome Sezione Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The Final Design Studio provides a complex and multidisciplinary planning experience, combined with the deepening of some specific issues at the center of the practice, culture and contemporary architectural debate. Through a design experimentation characterized in the different laboratories by the various topics and in-depth scale addressed, the common goal is to develop a synthesis project that combines the theoretical argumentation of the proposed theme with the applied activity based on the skills and know-how gained during the three-year educational path.

An innovative teaching activity (1 cfu) entitled "Projectelling" is planned with the aim to increase the communication skills of the results of the design activity.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

After the studio experience the student is able to systematize the different knowledge learned both during the previous years and within the studio, promoting the synergy between scientific, technological, artistic and humanistic disciplines in order to enrich and integrate the reference areas that occur in the design activity.

Argomenti trattati

people places practices

Paola Briata, ICAR/21 - Urban Ethnography and Policy and Design
Gennaro Postiglione, ICAR/16 - Interiors and Domestic Culture
Giovanni Hänninen, ICAR/17 - Ethno-photography

PDF presentation



The course will be held in a truly integrated way by an expert of Interiors and Domestic Culture (Gennaro Postiglione) - 4CfU, meant as a practice able to connect people, places, spaces and objects; an expert of Housing/Urban Policy and Design (Paola Briata) - 4CfU, meant as a practice of control and care of places through space control; and an expert of Photographing Contemporary Dwelling (a photographer to be appointed) - 4CfU.

This is a studio-based course that, coming at the end of the third year of the formative program of a Bachelor Degree in Architecture, aims at bringing the students' back to the “roots of places” through the direct observation of the intertwining between people, spaces and practices of everyday life, in some way keeping the design dimension on the background. Hence, the title of the studio: Gratosoglio Ground Zero.

Ground zero has a twofold meaning here:

  • on the one hand the centrality of an exploration of “what is already there”, what works and what does not work in a place, before any intentional project/form of intervention;
  • on the other hand, an exploration addressed at observing the ground floors of a big housing estate in the South of Milan.

Field work is the crucial word/work.

Students will be guided in understanding:

  • the role played by the space and its design in organizing the social life of people living and using those spaces (e. g. spaces may connect people, being helpful in defining social groups, families, communities, but also in separating them; may reproduce some kind of social order, but also disrupting it; may define “proper” and “un-proper” uses etc);
  • how direct participant observation of people, spaces and practices of everyday life as well as “listening” in an active way to “spatial cultures” may play an active role in designing spaces that are more sustainable and able to respond to people needs.

Gratosoglio Ground Zero will propose an urban exploration, literally entering in the research object – meaning that a core role will be given to direct observation of a place/field.  The working site is the Gratosoglio neighbourhood, located in the Southern part of the periphery of Milan. It was built as a public housing estate in the 1960s, and it is composed by high-rise buildings of towers and blocks of flats. The area that will be considered by the course hosts 18.679 inhabitants. Despite a series of critical issues, the Gratosoglio neighbourhood is not considered in the plan for the peripheral areas of the Comune di Milano. For this reason, the local associations asked help to the university to make their problems/potentialities more visible, putting them “on the map” of Milan’s policy making. These means that during the course it will be possible to count on a strong “mandate” and commitment from the local population and associations.


Students will be invited to develop their work according to three different strategic dimensions:
observing, representing, collecting, comparing;

walking, speaking, interviewing, photographing, drawing, doing maquettes and editing postcards, writing and video-recording

people, materiality, resources, policies, boundaries, practices, dimensions, places, uses.



Lectures, short excursions and field exercises, meetings with the local associations and stakeholders, as well as a set of open seminars given by invited scholars and professionals on the course approaches and topics will be organized also jointly with other cooperating and partner courses.

Materials, documents, texts and references presented in class will be made available online to the participants.

The Studio is scheduled in three main working phases:

  1. Exploration and mapping (of places, practices, policies and options at work)
  2. Research and analysis (of collected information and data)
  3. Drafting of scenarios (based on a comparative perspective with projects developed in similar situations)


Reference list

Bricocoli M., Savoldi P., Hänninen G. (2010), Milano Downtown. Azione pubblica e luoghi dell'abitare, Et. Al, Milano.

Cefaï D. (2013), ¿Qué es la etnografía? Debates contemporáneos. Primera parte: Arraigamientos, operaciones y experiencias del trabajo de campo, in Persona y sociedad, 27 (1): 101-119 (available in French and Spanish)

Cranz G. (2016), Ethnography for Designers, Routledge, London & New York.

Hanley L. (2007), Estates. An Intimate History, Granta, London.

Iseki, K. S. (2018), Architectural Ethnography, Toto, Tokyo.

Lambertini A. (2013), Urban Beauty! Luoghi prossimi e pratiche di resistenza estetica, Editrice Compositori, Bologna.

Sontag S. (2008), On Photography, Penguin, London.


Previous Studio work

Video 01
Video 02


During the educational path the sequence of the courses and the order of registration of the related exam must follow the priority specified in the study programme regulation.

Modalità di valutazione

Given the character of the course, attendance is compulsory. The course will be strongly based on an open interaction between the teaching staff and the students. Active participation and interaction of students in class will be welcomed, encouraged and evaluated.

Every week, students will be required to deliver a “performed research action” that will lead to a series of tiles composing the final project work consisting in a written text, a photographic essay, a collection of postcards and a booklet in which all these materials will be assembled following a specific narrative.

Students will be requested to deliver the project work one week before the exam and to prepare a presentation for the day of the exam (generally this takes place generally ca 4 weeks after the Studio is finished). Due the Exhibition based format, students will be invited to enrol to the exam on the same date.

The evaluation will be mainly based on an oral presentation of the products elaborated in the field exercises and on their discussion: it is our tradition to invite stakeholders and external guests to take part at the presentation and to deliver feedback to the class in order to get a wider audience and a more interesting discussion.

The work will be developed, according the different phases, in bigger and smaller groups as well as individually.

The three main working phases #1; #2; #3 have the following impact on the final evaluation grade: 40%; 30%; 30%, but at the final presentation, the groups can implement their previous work (phase #1; #2 and #3) to get a better evaluation than the one awarded during the semester at each delivery.

The evaluation will be carried out taking into account the quality of the project developed and the ability of the student to present it with reference to the topics and themes dealt with in the Studio. The final evaluation will be determined by the contents of the project, by the candidates' exhibition capacity and by the student's work through all the Studio.


Software utilizzato
Nessun software richiesto

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 144:00 156:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Italiano
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
schedaincarico v. 1.9.1 / 1.9.1
Area Servizi ICT