Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
History and design studio D
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Architecture - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Armando Alessandro ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 ICAR/14 48 12 0 30 5
Piccoli Edoardo ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 ICAR/18 48 12 0 25 3
SSD CFU Activities Area context
B - Caratterizzanti
A - Di base
Progettazione architettonica e urbana
Discipline storiche per l'architettura
Subject fundamentals
The Atelier "Composizione e Storia" D proposes a dialogue between architectural and urban history and design. The two disciplines will intertwine continuously, both in the lectures and through the exercises, around the problems, theories and practices, which affect architectural design, both in present and in past times.
Expected learning outcomes
The History and Design Atelier aims at promoting the following skills:
- the knowledge of the histories and theories of architecture and the related disciplines;
- the understanding of the social and cultural background in which the architectures, the cities and the built environment are (and have been) shaped and transformed;
- the awareness of the processes that guide the architect in the choice of the solution that adequately answers to the programme requirements;
- the ability to gather, organize and interpret correctly the historical information at the different scales in, at least, one foreign language;
- the ability to work in team in order to find appropriate solutions to design problems by taking into account the programme requirements, the social and cultural values, as well as the limits and potentialities implicit in contexts;
- the capacity to apply the acquired tools and methods to the single disciplines, and recognise their mutual interactions;
- the capacity to critically analyse the design process referred to the single building in its relation with the pre-existing conditions, the urban and the environmental scales;
- the capacity to elaborate a simple historical/critical text about the city and its architectures;
- the capacity to comply with the deadlines of practical exercises and delivery of papers, analogously to what typically happens in the professional world;
- the capacity to complete an architectural project within a given deadline.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
The basic skills and competencies acquired during the first year course of History of Contemporary and the Urban Planning/Architectural Design Atelier will be taken for granted. In particular, it will be necessary to use the competences related to the course of "Storia dell’architettura contemporanea" and the "Atelier di composizione e urbanistica".
"Traces, layouts for an architecture within the city"

1. This Atelier will tackle two objects: architectural design as a practice and the history of architecture as a problem. That is: how to design and what the history of architecture should mean for a trainee architect.
We said "should": the history of places and of architecture, in our perspective, is neither just an optional matter, nor a simple evident fact. Temporality is a basic dimension of reflection and action both for the architect (who acts in the present by projecting a possible future) and for the historian (who usually is dealing with the past, but still lives in present time and from this evolving position has to investigate backwards).

2. We decided to define the program of this years’ Atelier by discussing and producing urban architectures. We would be clearly assume that for the architect the city – and the historical city as well – is a place of the present: it is made of practices, places and of transitory conditions where every architecture is the result of many different (and not only individual) actions. Every new building or urban work is not just a fixed point, but also a leverage which triggers a change. This present time, moreover, is complex and the city has to be recognized as a major place of complexity and stratification. This is the reason for we want to consider the history of the city not as a mere chronicle, but rather as a heritage made of projects, conflicts, practices and actions to be investigated along time.

3. The course is aimed to reflect on the way how an architectural object, a building, an urban project can modify the status and the mode of operation of an urban site. More, the course wants to investigate and exercise the architect’s tools and devices aimed to understand and design the existing city. Design and history will dialogue in order to investigate these processes of mutation, change, and use.

4. Finally, the course has a practical aim. The architect and the historian of architecture are two professional figures who are using specific tools: throughout a series of exercises the course will help the students to master and practice some of these tools. The two main operative instruments are writing (narration, description, analysis...) and drawing (sketching, making sections, axonometric views, automatic drawing...).
Still, professional culture – such as critical knowledge about theory and history of architecture – is also a tool, without which one hardly could think of acquiring any kind of scientific authority or professional skill. Thus the Atelier would help the students to start to build their own professional culture in the fields of architectural history and design. (Obviously, there are many other "fields" which cannot be included within this course, but still they are fundamental for the architects’s education: such as the wide range of technical and scientific disciplines which complete the educational basis of the "Architecture" bachelor programme).

5. The course will be divided into three parts: Architecture within the City (lessons and exercises), 5 weeks / Architecture and project (lessons and exercises), 4 weeks / Planning in the city (lessons and final exercise), 5 weeks.
The exercises will follow this path through a series of steps and exercises on the following themes: the narration of architecture and project; urban type and fabric; aggregations, repetitions and variations in the city; urban variety, stratification and conflict; axonometric representation and multidimensionality of the urban project; urban transformation and use of tracings.
The last weeks of the course will be devoted to the development of a design theme on the urban scale and a parallel historical research.
Delivery modes
The course is divided into lessons on individual subjects to which both teachers will be involved, bringing their different 'point of view' on the issues faced.
Lectures will lead to a series of weekly or two-week long exercises, with hand-ins in class. The rhythm will be intense, quick, and largely based on individual exercises.
At the end of the course, students will face a more "dense" and complex design exercise in small groups, which will combine a 'historical' project on a given theme.
All material produced during the course, including sketches and notes written in lesson, visits, etc. will contribute to the final evaluation.
Classroom activities include, in addition to lessons, project and text reviews, conducted individually, or by group by tutors and assistants. Intermediate revisions and student work returns are subject to collective discussion and also subjected to criticism of external guests, who will be invited also to lecture. The tutors will work frequently together, lecturing and participating together in the reviews of all in-course work. The difference in skills will therefore be a tool for integrating training outcomes, with no clear-cut separation between design and architectural history.
Tutorial deliveries, bibliographies, and lecture references will be organized on a blog, where students will have to submit their work within pre-set deadlines. Didactic materials, cartographies, pdf texts will be uploaded to the teaching portal.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
All texts and materials (cartography, lecture notes, presentations, dispensations and documentary excerpts) will be defined during the lessons and made available, where necessary, using the teaching portal and course blog.
The construction of specific bibliographies by students as an object of training within the atelier, however, does not exclude to provide for the following minimal list of preliminary texts:
- Argan G. C. (2010), Walter Gropius e la Bauhaus, Einaudi, Torino (1951)
- Armando A., Durbiano G. (2017), Teoria del progetto architettonico. Dai disegni agli effetti, Carocci, Roma
- Ballantyne A. (2002), Architecture. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford
- Forty A. (2004), Words and buildings. A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture, Thames and Hudson, London
- Kubler G. (2002), La forma del tempo, Einaudi, Torino (1976)
- Connors J. (2005), Alleanze e inimicizie nella Roma Barocca, Laterza, Roma-Bari
Assessment and grading criteria
1. Attendance to lectures, seminars and other activities is an indispensable prerequisite of this Atelier.
2. The evaluation will be unified for each student, with an equal weight of the two involved disciplines (History of Architecture, Architectural and Urban Design) in composing the final grading; each discipline will count at 50% in defining the grade.
3. The final grades will be the result of the following elements: exercises (about 50%); notebook for drawings and sketches (10%); historical report about urban places and historical urban sections (20%); final urban design project (20%).
4. Although the Atelier’s activities will be carried on collectively in groups of 2-3 students, the final grading will be individual and will take into account the intermediate revisions and discussions as well as the individual participation to the Atelier all along the semester.
5. The ability to elaborate an architectural project within a given deadline, represents a specific skill of the architect’s work and will be assessed during the final exam that will take place in the first week of the winter session, immediately after the end of the semester. In case of incompleteness, or lack of sufficient materials, students will have a second opportunity to take the exam in the summer session, but in this case, the final grade will be strongly penalized.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18

© Politecnico di Torino
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY
WCAG 2.0 (Level AA)