DbR Studio 2019 - From Co-Living to Urban Hacktivism
Architecture of Interiors - Design Studio 1
Prof Jacopo Leveratto (Interiors) and Fabrizio Leonforte (Building Physics)
Themes and topics
DbR means “design by research”, a formula that inverts the traditional relation that links the two terms, turning design into the purpose and research into the method. Its conception comes from the acknowledgement of the fact that particularly complex or urgent design issues cannot be simply solved by applying a set of predetermined strategies. On the contrary, they require a tactical form of investigation that can individuate the most effective and locally relevant solutions by means of innovation. Therefore, DbR also indicates a format that looks after real and actual design issues, by focusing on the renewal and hybridization of design processes, elements and imaginaries.
In this regard, the DbR format applied to the architecture of interiors studio means exploring the operative design features that characterize interior disciplines, to solve an issue that could hardly be faced in different ways. This year, that issue is represented by the decay of private suburbs, a problem that neither the public institutions, which lacks of any legal instrument, nor the real estate market, which has no interest in that, can realistically face. Moreover, it is represented by a specific case of a multiethnic suburb that, despite its vibrant social life, lacks of any tool for improving its environmental quality. For this reason, DbR Studio 2019 will investigate different forms of self-organization, in relation both with single residential units and urban commons, through which architecture can be upgraded from bottom up. The purpose is to imagine some mechanisms of scalability of these tools, to colonize the whole building, and create a critical mass that could expand to the block and the suburb.
From this point of view, therefore, DbR Studio 2019 will invert the traditional process of architectural design, by starting from the definition of a simple aggregation of two or three apartments and a playground, to extend to the block and the city. Thus, in doing that, it will start from the 1:20 and 1:50 scales, to test later a possible system of scalability. The aim, however, is always the same. It involves the adaptation in terms of size, organization and equipment of the apartments to the emerging demand trends, the improvement of functionality and usability performances of the buildings, and the intensification of the utilization ratio of the built estate. Everything in a process that goes from the study of new forms of co-living to a pervasive and parasitic transformation of the suburb.
DbR format entails the idea of a classroom as a unique research and innovation design unit. Therefore, it involves a variable geometry organization that will adapt during the course according to intermediate outcomes, contingent needs, and individual skills. However, a pre-defined set of lectures and complementary activities will introduce the work with a specific knowledge that will form the common ground of the different design experimentations. In particular, it will concern:
- The interior domain(s): from a positional sphere to a philosophy of action;
- Inclusive design: the scale of multicultural relations;
- The private suburbs: challenge, problem and potentials in Italy and Europe;
- What is co-dividuality: exploration and mapping of places, practices, and policies of co-living;
- Sharing zones of daily life: tactical urbanism and commons.
Moreover, due the central role of energy efficiency and sustainability, because the high degree of technical and functional degradation, a fundamental contribute on building physics will inform the students on the more relevant topics on the theme:
- Introduction to energy and environment conscious design methods in the contest of strong sustainability;
- Energy balance tools in design process: dynamic simulations software;
- Thermal comfort and visual comfort in architecture: the role of orientation, shape, structure, envelope and openings to achieve comfort in buildings;
- Strategies to enhance natural ventilation;
- Renewable energy systems.
Hence, all the gathered knowledge will be used to implement specific design experimentations that will take into account both qualitative and quantitative factors, thus combing retro-fitting interventions with interior and exterior upgrading, according both to the above mentioned project goals and to students’ specific ideas for future cities.
Specific bibliography related to technical and theoretical issues highlighted during the design process will be provided along the development of the course.