Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni
Cfu 4.00 Tipo insegnamento Monodisciplinare
Docenti: Titolare (Co-titolari) Marshall Stephen

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

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Argomenti trattati

The Studio assumes the theoretical background that considers Urban design to be  part art, part technical and part socio-political. As such, the practice of urban design is underpinned by academic knowledge in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. This means it is grounded in what we know about the world as it is (hence the need for scientific and technical understanding), but it also needs to understand the world as it could be. The latter brings the responsibility to be aware of the socio-political dimension of urban design: who were are designing for, and why - as well as the opportunity for novelty and experimentation.

These considerations come together in the interpretation of place. Place embodies not only the physical environment but also relates to the human use of space and its meaning. As such the urban designer is not simply a manipulator of three-dimensional urban geometry, but must understand how a given space relates to other spaces and to the wider physical and human geography, including through time. Urban design becomes the art of making place.

The Studio aims to enrich the understanding and application of urban design by exploring theories of form, design and place in the context of a specific site and situation. This understands urban design as a specific kind of place-making activity involving not only urban form and function but place, which relates to the human dimension of cities. The workshop aims to explore how to conduct urban design consciously as an art of place-making, informed by a range of theories from art, science and social science, as well as practical site observation and morphological context. As a result the students – already well equipped to handle the geometric manipulation of three dimensional space – should gain a deeper understanding of place to create more satisfying site-specific solutions.

Students will be encouraged to draw from the work of urban design theorists whose work relates to place, whether classics such as Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City (1961) or Christopher Alexander’s Pattern Language (1977), but always learning from the most up to date developments in cognition of place, urban typology, morphology, etc.. They will also be invited to consider the application or adaptation of classic theories linking the morphological/typological approach to architecture and landscape architecture to urban design (e.g. Caniggia and Maffei, 2001; Unwin, 2003; Kellert et al, 2011; Von Meiss, 2013); or other contemporary approaches to urban design (e.g. Romice et al, 2017).

Students will be asked to takle a “real world” problem in a particular place, working to a given brief as urban designers. They will study a particular location, understand it as an existing place, its problems and opportunities; including understanding both the physical morphology and the people who use it (currently and in future) and who have a real-world responsibility for its ongoing use and management (e.g. municipality). They will explore, develop and adapt urban design principles to help guide the development of a particular location, along lines that should also be sufficiently robust and coherent to be applied elsewhere. Such design principles should be workable ‘here and now’ while also being in principle adaptable in future – as we might expect of any urban evolutionary process.

The chosen site will be inside or very near the city of Piacenza, in order to allow direct experience and knowledge.


Alexander, C. Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jacobson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I. & Angel, S. (1977). A pattern language: towns, buildings, construction. Oxford university press.

Caniggia, G., & Maffei, G. L. (2001).Architectural composition and building typology: interpreting basic building. AlineaEditrice.

Kellert, S. R., Heerwagen, J., &Mador, M. (2011). Biophilic design: the theory, science and practice of bringing buildings to life. John Wiley & Sons.

Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city. MIT press.

Marshall, S. (2009). Cities, design and evolution. Routledge.

Marshall, S. (2012). Science, pseudo-science and urban design. Urban Design International17(4), 257-271.

Marshall, S. (2015). Refocusing urban design as an integrative art of place. Proceedings of the ICE-Urban Design and Planning168(1), 8-18.

Marshall, S. (2016). The kind of art urban design is. Journal of Urban Design, 21(4), 399-423.

Romice, O., Porta, S., Feliciotti, A., & Barbour, G. (2017). Masterplanning for change: Design as a way to create the conditions for time sensitive place-making. Placemaking: Rethinking the Masterplanning Process. London: ICE Publisher, 195-207.

Unwin, S. (2003). Analysing architecture.Psychology Press.

Von Meiss, P. (2013). Elements of architecture: from form to place. Routledge.


Modalità di valutazione


The Studio will involve group work with an identifiable individual contribution. We will undertake site visits as a class, to be further improved  by individual site visits. We will have lecture presentations on urban design theory and urban design case studies and also, as far as possible within the time constraint, a presentation reflecting the Municipality view of the site and context. We will encourage expression in different media. We will specifically ask for part of the exercise to use hand sketches, drawings and models as well as the latest forms of software.

The project work will be undertaken in groups but we will ask for the contribution of each student to be visibly identifiable: while the work as a whole must be seamless and coherent, when viewed overall, each student should be able to ‘point to’ a part of the whole that they were specifically responsible for contributing. All members of each group should be able to explain the overall approach of the group.

The core of the workshop is studio working, where the students working in groups will have regular feedback from their tutors. All groups will present their work to the whole class at an intermediate point in the programme – this will be an opportunity for formal written and informal verbal feedback.

The workshop detailed schedule and the characteristics of the presentations and deliverables will be given at the beginning of the workshop and published on the Studio BeeP page as well as any further indications.

Compulsory attendance is required.

Assessment method

The work of each group will be submitted in the form of a project report – augmented where specified by drawings and (if possible) models of the site – and presented to the class with a verbal presentation at the end of the Studio. This work will be evaluated by the workshop leader in conjunction with the tutors. There will be a basic group mark with an additional individual mark component.

Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaLynch, K, The image of the city. , Editore: MIT press., Anno edizione: 1960
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoriaMarshall, S., The kind of art urban design is.Journal of Urban Design, 21(4), 399-423., Anno edizione: 2016

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 40:00 60:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
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
schedaincarico v. 1.10.0 / 1.10.0
Area Servizi ICT