The laboratory deals with the architectural project from the point of view of the internal space. As a founding phenomenon, independent of the scale to which it is applied, it is characterized by particular attention to its users and their gestures of relationship and openness to others and to the world; it is captured and determined as a concrete body built, in dynamics, verified down to the scale of detail, between its built-in margins, the light that animates it, the furnishings that equip it, the materials and the decorative elements that qualify it; aims to define a precise identity of each place, in the dialectic between space plant, figuration, sizing, structural aspects, environmental control, energy performance. The Studio pays particular attention to the recovery of the existing and often fragile building and architectural heritage, interpreting the themes of contemporary living, from those of the residence to those of complex and multifunctional organisms for culture, museum systems and social life, up to those of the redevelopment and equipment of the open spaces.
The disciplinary integrations that characterize each section (Architectural design, Architectural technology, Landscape architecture, Restoration, Urban design) allow, in the intertwining of the theoretical contents of each discipline, different thematic angles and design variations explained in the individual programs.
Risultati di apprendimento attesi
According to the Dublin Descriptors (DD), passing the exam certifies the acquisition of the following results:
DD 1, knowledge and understanding:
- knowledge of the fundamental elements of interior architecture and its methods of application in the design process for the purpose of transforming inhabited places and spaces.
DD 2, ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
- ability to control the compositional aspects of the project and its typological and functional features, which regulate the qualitative relationships of the architectural forms of the space.
DD 3 (autonomy of judgment), 4 (communication skills) and 5 (learning ability):
- ability to operate and communicate independently the design choices made (DD 3, 4 and 5).
The course will be held in a truly integrated way by an expert of Architecture Design and Interiors (Francesco Leoni ICAR/16) – 6CfU; and an expert of Planning and Urban Policy/ Design using ethnographical approaches (Paola Briata ICAR/20) – 4CfU.
The field work and the project will be developed considering the ground floors (Ground Zero) of the Gratosoglio neighbourhood, located in the Southern part of the periphery of Milan. It was built as series of public housing estates 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 neighbourhood was 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.
In the Urban Design part, an ethnographical exploration will be proposed, giving a core role to direct observation of the places. In particular, 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). At the same time a core role will be given to understanding 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’s needs.
Based on the in-depth analysis and ethnographical observation, in the Architecture of Interiors part, the course will guide students into ways of rethinking and re-designing a series of public/ shared spaces of the neighbourhood. Given the particular structure of the neighbourhood, the ground floors will be explored and projected without distinguishing between interiors and exteriors, as well as between public and private spaces. This may result in designing “urban interiors” such as the squares, as well as interior spaces such as the meeting points, the commercial spaces, or a wide range of informal places of worship, just to give some examples. In some cases the facades of the buildings may create a relationships with the urban interiors, so even the balconies or the windows on the first floors can collaborate in improving urban and social quality. The scale of the project will therefore vary from the urban one down to the detail of the furniture (urban or interior), always keeping the focus on architectural quality.
Lectures, short excursions and field exercises, 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 two main integrated working phases that will proceed in parallel:
Analysis: exploration and mapping (of places, practices, policies and options at work)
Design: Interior Design (small urban scale and interiors’ one).
The work will be developed, according the different phases, in bigger and smaller groups. The design activity will advance in parallel with the analytic one.
Every week the staff will work with the students to verify the analysis process, and its possible relationship with the design phase which will therefore be modeled from time to time with each other.
A series of intermediate submissions will be related to different stages of the projects, and define the pace of the overall work. These submissions will not affect the final evaluation grade, but will be useful to implement and improve the final work.
The evaluation will be carried out taking into account the quality of the project developed, and the ability of the students 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 students’ work through all the Studio.
It is our tradition to invite stakeholders and external guests to take part at the final presentation and to deliver feedback to the class in order to get a wider audience and a more interesting discussion.
Given the Studio character of the course, attendance is compulsory. The Studio 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 (20% of the evaluation). Students will be requested to deliver the project work one week before the exam (50% of the evaluation), and to prepare a presentation for the day of the exam (30% of the evaluation).
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, lecture by Paola Briata in English)
Cranz G. (2016), Ethnography for Designers, Routledge, London & New York.
Moneo R. (2004), Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects, The MIT Press.
Moneo R. (2010), Remarks on 21 Works, The Monacelli Press.
Hanley L. (2007), Estates. An Intimate History, Granta, London.
Zumthor P. (1998), Thinking Architecture, Birkhauser
Zumthor P. (2006), Atmospheres: architectural environments, surrounding objects, Birkhäuser
Modalità di valutazione
Cefaï D. (2013),, Qué es la etnografía? Debates contemporáneos. Primera parte: Arraigamientos, operaciones y experiencias del trabajo de campo, in Persona y sociedad Note:
available in French and Spanish, lecture by Paola Briata in English
Cranz G., Ethnography for Designers, Editore: Routledge, London & New York, Anno edizione: 2016
Moneo R., Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects, Editore: The MIT Press, Anno edizione: 2004
Hanley L., Estates. An Intimate History, Editore: Granta, London, Anno edizione: 2007
Zumthor P., Thinking Architecture, Editore: Birkhauser, Anno edizione: 1998
Zumthor P., Atmospheres: architectural environments, surrounding objects, Editore: Birkhäuser, Anno edizione: 2006
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