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Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Docente Pacchi Carolina , Tropea Stefano , Zucchi Cino Paolo
Cfu 16.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio

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

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

In this Studio advanced methodologies are applied for describing and interpreting physical and product contexts - practical and theoretical - of contemporary architectural culture, with the aim of experimenting with the transformation of the environment built through the design of architecture. The laboratories are based on the integration of specific architectural composition expertise with others from the urban studies sector. In this way, paradigms are set up to understand and understand, in historical perspective and in different scales, the space inhabited in its multiple configurations: morphological and typological, ecological and environmental, economic and social, anthropological and cultural. In the labs, integrated knowledge allows to modify the choices made by the architecture project in relation to the complexity of the urban and territorial contexts to which it is addressed. In this framework, the techniques, tools and methods acquired in the field of architectural and urban planning are used to investigate complex relationships such as those between open spaces, constructed and relationships, infrastructures and landscapes, cultural heritage and neglected or vulnerable areas, permanent and temporary structures, public uses and private destinations. The didactic goal is to prepare students for the task of improving the quality of human settlements, promoting the conscious use of resources and measuring the inherent fragility of the built environment

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

According to the Dublin Descriptors (DdD), passing the exam certifies the acquisition of the following results:

DdD 1 knowledge and understanding

- knowledge of the fundamental elements of the architectural and urban composition for their use in the design process for the transformation of places.


DdD 2 ability to apply knowledge and understanding

- ability to control the compositional aspects of the project, its typological and functional characteristics, which regulate the qualitative relationships of the architectural forms of the space.


DdD 3 (autonomy of judgment), 4 (communication skills) and 5 (learning ability)

- ability to operate and communicate independently the design choices made (DdD 3, 4 and 5).

Argomenti trattati


The aim of the Architectural Design Studio 1 is to research “on the field” the relationships between the physical metamorphosis of an existing urban landscape and the changes in its environmental qualities and social relevance.The chosen site for the design exercise is located in Milan’s urban fabric. Although sited in context which shows a clear urban structure, produced by a series of facts in time which determined its shape and architectural substance, the area is waiting for a new program and role, respectful of its features but responding to the values and needs of a contemporary metropolis.

The design program will include a number of different functions of different nature, capable of generating a building complex enhancing urban life, plus the creation of a meaningful public open space in the form of a new square or urban garden. The design task covers a quite demanding range of scales and themes, from the urban design level and the design of open spaces to the precise definition of an architectural artefact at rather detailed scales through drawings and models.

The Studio will offer visits to Milano’s post-WWII architecture, lectures on specific subjects by the teachers and guest critics, and reviews of the student design work, alternating individual moments with collective ones.


1.1 Permanence and change of urban structures

What we call urban design could be seen as an act of “grafting” a new organism onto an existing one, introducing a new physiology in an existing pattern. Rather than the mere application of an abstract model, a new urban intervention is the result of a complex interplay between the typological and morphological paradigms that a design culture feels appropriate in a point in time and the conditions and limits of a specific place and its context.

As in biology structures and organs change to perform new roles, so the topography of an existing environment creates a number of physical constraints and resources which can in time host unexpected activities and lifestyles. In the occasion of an urban transformation, what exists (in a physical sense, but also seen as a “habit”, a “custom” or an expectation) interacts in more than one way with the projections of possible new words onto this background.

Starting from an interpretation of the area chosen for the studio project, the course will propose a reflection on the complex relationship between spaces and uses, taking into account the different ways people transform and appropriate urban spaces in their daily activities. This relationship will be discussed at different scales and for different types of urban actors, with reference also to modes and rhythms of use, in a dynamic perspective of urban change.


1.2 New urban environments

While treasuring the experiences of good design practices of the recent past, the conditions and goals of today lead us to reflect on the urban phenomenon in an innovative way. The new demands of our society – the blurred borders between living, working and leisure spaces, a collective sensibility toward ecological issues, the need to redesign modes of transportation in the modern metropolis, the questions raised by multicultural society - do not act as a “program” onto which construct from scratch, but should rather be used as a “check” of a tentative spatial hypothesis pursued through culture and innovation. As opposed to the approach of the first modern age and its obsession for the “degree zero”, a contemporary designer should to be aware of the complex resonances every act or spatial decision can create, recombining known events in unseen configurations.

How can we design collective places today, and the in-between spaces which act as “buffers” or mediators between the individual dimension and the public one? Today’s metropolitan dimension - with an increasing “transient” population whose social focuses or modes of aggregation are often quite far and independent from their physical neighbours - adds a problematic side to the design of shared spaces.

The design of contemporary public spaces can today be seen as the intersection between a “spatial” dimension – determined by the geometry and the surface quality of the architectural envelopes which surround – and “environmental” one, relating to the texture of the surfaces we walk or sit on, the colour, smell and texture or the plants, the radiation of the sun, air temperature and humidity, the way spaces reflects or absorbs sounds and the movement of people in them.


1.3 A recursive design method

The overall philosophy of the studio is that a form is not logically contained in a program, and it cannot be mechanically derived from it through a deductive logical process. We can only work by guessing a draft hypothesis on the base of our insights and culture and quickly subject it to intense criticism by confronting it against experimental data. As Christopher Alexander says, we can only check “misfits” or “malfunctions” on a first hypothesis and ameliorate it until they reach a satisfactory state.

In this sense, rather than deducting the scheme from the site itself, we have to confront our formal “prejudices” (an intentionally disturbing way to name our models) with the limitations of the place.

Fragments or deformations of existing paradigms, both at the urban and architectural scale, can be freely used in the actual design phase, and this “sampling” method is welcomed; but the student is responsible for the choice of which one to pick and the transformations needed to fit the requirements of the program and site. This proposed “recursive” mode appears to constitute a contemporary alternative to the “modernist” one, treasuring its functionalistic attitude without ignoring the resilient capacities of existing forms.

Cino Zucchi, Innesti. Il nuovo come metamorfosi/ Grafting. The New as Metamorphosis, in Innesti/Grafting, catalogue of the Italian Pavilion, 14.Architecture Biennale, Editore: Marsilio, Anno edizione: 2014, ISBN: 9788831719711

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaCinoZucchi"Urbanity" as Emulation and Habit in Common Ground. A Critical Reader, Editore: Marsilio, Anno edizione: 2012, ISBN: 9788831714358

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaElena Granata, Carolina PacchiLa macchina del tempo. Leggere la citta' europea contemporanea, Editore: Marinotti, Anno edizione: 2011, ISBN: 9788882731274

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaAA.VV.Lotus 161 Meteo Milano, Anno edizione: 2016, Fascicolo: 161

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaCorinna MorandiMilan. The Great Urban Transformation, Editore: Marsilio, Anno edizione: 2007, ISBN: 9788831793650

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaChristopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo AngelA Pattern Language. Towns, Buildings, Construction, Editore: Oxford University Press, Anno edizione: 1977, ISBN: 9780195019193

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaChristopher AlexanderNotes on the Synthesis of Form, Editore: Harvard University Press, Anno edizione: 1964, ISBN: 0674627512

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaCino ZucchiUn galateo urbano/ Urban Manners, in Carlo Berizzi, Milano. Architectural Guide, Editore: DOM Publishers, Anno edizione: 2015, ISBN: 9783869223964

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaPierluigi NicolinLa verita' in architettura. Il pensiero di un'altra modernita', Editore: Quodlibet, Anno edizione: 2012, ISBN: 9788874623044

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaGio PontiAmate l'architettura, Editore: Rizzoli, Anno edizione: 2008, ISBN: 9788817027755

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaAA.VVSan Rocco 4, Fuck Concept. Context, Anno edizione: 2012, ISSN: 203849124, Fascicolo: 4


Modalità di valutazione


The goals of the studio are quite demanding, and the students are expected to participate actively in the moments of collective research and discussion, even if their work and performance will be elaborated on a personal basis. The design tasks will be carried individually or in very small groups of not more than three students; in the case of group work, there should be a clear definition of the individual responsibility of the single student.

The assessment of the work of the students will take in consideration (in order of importance):

- the quality and depth of the design work by the student, concerning urban strategy, open space design, building distribution, architectural character, material and linguistic details.

- the quality of the intermediate and final presentations in terms of conceptual clarity, graphics and architectural models.

- the attendance and participation of the student to the individual and collective reviews and discussions.

- the capacity of the student to interact with the teachers and his/her progress in relationship to his/her previous design experiences.

The laboratory will alternate individual and collective reviews of the design work by the students, emitting intermediate design progress evaluations which will contribute to the overall grade given at the exam on the basis of the final design outcome.


Software utilizzato
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Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 192:00 207:59

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese

Note Docente
schedaincarico v. 1.6.9 / 1.6.9
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