The main principles of this studio have emerged from projects that involve disciplines of urban design and landscape architecture as an integrated body of architectural design.
We’ll develop a strategy that will approach a specific design problem in its broader site context, both in terms of physical ground and social program.
Urban projects that qualify the territory, more than aiming to achieve a final formal image, they are interested in allowing to happen different possibilities of functional and formal organization. Their basic quality is openness to future developments and structural variations.
Basic attributes establish beforehand are size and dimensions of objects and the overall density of the new intervention in relation to the surrounding areas, as well as their capacity of transforming it.
The construction of the project should investigate a ground, not related to the classical Euclidean geometry but one where the urban and geographical materials of open space and the built fabric have equal value.
The process of sculpting a territory is framed between the following two poles: neither confrontation between figure and ground nor dissolution of the built structures into the landscape.
Such a balance has to be defined considering the “landscape” in a multidisciplinary perspective, considering both the role of the visible and the “invisible” elements involved in the concept. On the one hand, this leads to the consideration of the local and social habits, the traditions that originate the landscape in its cultural and historical sense. On the other hand, it takes to the role of the multisensory scenario – sounds, smells, tactile elements etc. – in the interpretation of our relationship with the space. According to the “Landscape Aesthetics” module, a special investigation will focus on themes such as the “soundscape”, the “atmosphere”, the “sphere”, pointing out their importance for the architectural design.
Infrastructures have a heavy physical impact on today’s cities. Too often, due to its lineal edges, create strong borders that prevent easy connectivity between adjacent urban tissues.
Multilevel infrastructure deals with integrating different urban functions into the same hyper-structure in order to create a mix-used element. It deals with holding between its levels of segregate communication (highway, road and service lanes), functions such as sewage lines, public transportation, parking facilities and other possible amenities. It works transforming traffic junction leftovers into accessible areas of park and sport, creating public amenities or social housing in the underused protecting zones.
The project for multilevel infrastructure works in section superimposing levels of use, and in plan displacing borders to soften limits with adjacent zones.
On one hand the historic examples of Eugène Hénard, Le Corbusier and Robert Moses and, on the other hand, dynamic geometry investigating with curves, slopes and tilted planes will help to create new waves of transversal connectivity.
The city is a place of relationship and trade, of culture and commerce, briefly a place of human encounter. Urban life takes place mainly in the public realm. The notion of the outdoor room understands architectural projects not as merely isolated objects but belonging to a larger context that they might transform and modify.
One of the main concern is with the boundary between interior and exterior; indoors and outdoors. The demarcation of interior and exterior space has been too rigid in the case of historical architecture. These spaces must be inter-related to the extent that they are made ambiguous.
Implicit in this approach is that qualities of interior and exterior spaces are not always physically different, nor do they require different concepts of function and use. Therefore an architecture that involves outdoor rooms and indoor exteriors is suggested. In this way, the question of ‘exterior’ and ‘interior’, which is often tied to notions of public as opposed to private realm, is re-stated. Is the public realm always outdoors? Is private space necessarily indoors?
Outdoor Rooms proposes a new ground for architecture. It is a ground with less precise limits between interior and exterior, between public and private. A new ground that is more flexible and continuous, less disciplinary. It is a ground that might allow us to deal with new problems on new territories.
The image of the “sphere”, which nowadays plays a very significant role in the philosophical and architectural debate, represents a possible reference in this sense. Sloterdjik’s aesthetic theory – based on the concepts of “bubbles”, “globes” and “foams” – brings out the characters of contemporary space as continuous and articulated, referred to an interior and exterior experience, which includes both the physical aspects and the social, cultural and metaphysical ones.
The chosen site to develop the previous concepts would be complex sites in the periphery of european cities. Areas which have been excluded from the normal processes of urbanization, that’s to say, places and sites that remained out from city life and became what french landscape architect Gilles Clement called ‘tiers paysage’ and Ignasi Solà – Morales named ‘terrain vague’.
The program focuses on the concept of ‘city of film and image’, involving public spaces, public facilities, commercial and housing as a holistic social condenser which will be able of transforming and requalifying a site nowadays considered as a leftover of the city.
Following the precedent concepts, the project must pay attention not only to the building of the new convention center, but also to the “invisible”, cultural and multisensory elements involved in the consideration of the landscape, to the pollution impact of infrastructures, which must be included as main project materials.
The Aesthetic part of the course aims to provide students with the tools for a sensitive approach to Space. During the workshop they will be involved, through theoretical lessons and collective exercises, to define the aesthetic space within their urban project.
Theoretical part: Theoretical lessons will be held in the classroom in which the basic concepts of sensitive space and the history of landscape aesthetics will be illustrated through the historical examples of contemporary French Phenomenology that are related with the topics used in the workshop about invisible and multisensory spaces. Authors such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Gaston Bachelard, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Georges Perec, Gilles Clément, Guy Debord will be introduced.
Visiting Site: During a first inspection of the area on which the students will be involved in their projects, they will be asked to highlight some useful elements to create Phenomenological Maps à la situationistethrough which to highlight the first characteristics on which to work.
Exercises: will be held in the classroom during which the students will be involved in creating a discussion on the primary elements of a spatial identity by telling their own city and their own intimate spaces. They will then be involved in doing the same exercise with their projects and then create a part of the final evaluation of the aesthetic spaces of the project.
Innovative aspects: Blanded classromm + co-relation with external companies (poly light startup + MyMovies)
The teaching shows a high degree of innovation.
Through the 'blanded classroom' method, the Studio will provide:
-materials capable of processing digital and interactive maps
-video able to give detailed information;
Both the materials and the videos and the tools will be provided to the students so that they can work and rework them autonomously and in a team and will be supported by practical classroom design exercises) with the professors and tutors, with whom they will implement and apply the techniques previously learned, also through 'transversal' strategies and methodologies.
The action will also make use of the specific contribution of:
a Start up, especially as regards the most closely linked virtual modeling activity, aimed at returning 'creative products', with a high level of advanced technology.
Magazine MyMovies (Director: Giancarlo Zappoli), regarding the issues related to urban representation and relations with the Experimental Center of Cinematography of Milan (Reference: Professor Bartolomeo Corsini)