Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2015/16
Open Systems
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Systemic Design - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Bistagnino Luigi ORARIO RICEVIMENTO     42 0 0 38 6
Comino Elena ORARIO RICEVIMENTO A2 ICAR/03 48 0 0 29 8
Peruccio Pier Paolo ORARIO RICEVIMENTO O2 ICAR/13 42 0 0 29 12
Pedone Giuseppe       42 0 0 29 6
SSD CFU Activities Area context
C - Affini o integrative
B - Caratterizzanti
B - Caratterizzanti
B - Caratterizzanti
Attività formative affini o integrative
Design e comunicazioni multimediali
Design e comunicazioni multimediali
Scienze umane, sociali, psicologiche ed economiche
Subject fundamentals
This obligatory laboratory is multidisciplinary: it therefore includes contributions in various disciplinary fields that integrate to configure a new development model (economic and social) in which the outputs of a system become the input of another and new relational links among production, community and territorial context therefore emerge, with the goal to tend to zero emissions. The laboratory leads to a single exam. It lasts for six months, is held in the 2nd semester and can be attended indifferently in the 1st or 2nd year. We strongly recommend you follow this course after completing the module Components of the Product.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the students will have:
- Knowledge of new productive and consumption scenarios based on a systemic systemic perspective (according Science Generative), in which the "output" of a productive supply chain become the "input" of another, with the objective reduce of waste and creation of an "open"relational system between production, society and environment.
- Ability to develop analysis aimed at the knowledge of the environmental and productive context
- Ability to outline the energy and matter that flow from one productive system to another, and their impact on the environment and territory
- Ability to define objectives, contents and phases of the system design
- Ability to realise an "open" relational system between production, community and environment
- Ability to elaborate new economic-productive models
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively and to discuss the proposals elaborated and familiarity with different communication techniques (written, oral, graphic).
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Established knowledge in the field of industrial production in relation to natural systems, the technology of the use of scraps (output) and natural techniques to purify outputs of the individual processes of transformation.
The Laboratory activity is centred on one theme: the configuration of an open and autopoietic system starting from an holistic survey of the current state identifying the flows of matter and energy that are used. The activity is carried out by the students in groups (around 3 per group). Starting from the current linear system of a concrete case provided by an industry or agricultural business, an event or a territorial ambit, we identify the resources used, waste obtained, the public and private participants in the creation and their relationships in order to redefine the process and obtain an open system in which the output generated becomes an input to be used as a resource. We obtain a general vision of all the flows that lead to a consistent decrease of environmental impact; we will also study in depth the single steps of transformation with the environmental, economic and social spinoffs. Each group will be required to carry out individual analysis and discuss it with the others so as to be able to share a common critical vision on the topic. During the project, the presentation of the individual works will be carried out with external experts and organisations with whom we collaborate, to discuss the results reached in open dialogue between the parties.

The laboratory is interdisciplinary in character. The disciplinary contributions include:
SYSTEM DESIGN (6 CFU, 60 hours)
coordinates laboratory activities, supplies theoretical lessons on the design methodology of the system approach, accompanies the students (through the "learning while doing" methodology) in developing the analysis of the system, in reading the flows of matter and energy that are present and with which they interact, elaborating the overall open system and evaluating it in both technological feasibility, present locally, and the economic spinoff of the entire system compared to the previous one, analysing the difference between the linear productive system and the systemic one, and dealing with the possibility of industrial evolution from the linear model to the systemic one.

provides an overall and critical vision on the environmental problems relating them to national and international (EU) laws, analyses its global and local spinoffs. Themes undertaken: logics of "no remorse"; anomalies and logics of zero impact; concept of system in ecology; sustainable development, GSP and environmental costs, national emission scenarios and the Kyoto protocol, energy statements, productive supply chain; global and local economies; traditional approach and systemic approach, traceability of the supply chain of food products, evaluation of environmental sustainability of the dynamics of soil consumption.

provides an historical-critical reading of systems thinking starting from its origins and ending today through the theoretical contributions of the various thinkers. Its origin is not recent: the concept of system has been enriched with meanings over the centuries, from Heraclitus to Nicola Cusano, from Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz to Gianbattista Vico up to the 20th century with the investigations in the field of modern physics and a reading of the phenomena through an holistic approach that is culturally close to some Eastern religions and ancient philosophies.

provides general concepts on the economic evaluation of the productions and activities connected, the essential elements of in depth study of the economic, patrimonial and financial profile, the result indicators and the tools of finality of the results; it studies in depth real cases and develops the evaluation of a project using the tools mentioned above.
Delivery modes
The Laboratory’s activities, which will be proposed by the main teachers of the various contributions, will be undertaken in different ways and include some lessons but mainly analysis, planning and inspection activities carried out in class with the teachers.
They all have some common organisational elements:
- they all lead to a clearly identified product (written or graphic),
- the results of each activity, considered intermediary stages in the development of the final product, are presented at prearranged times to the entire Laboratory body (teachers and students) leading to group discussion and comparison, and an initial evaluation that will conclude with the exam.
The ability to present, in a clear and effective way, and to discuss the developed products is considered an important element of the training that the Laboratory aims to give the students, as it is an indispensable component in the real processes of consultation and negotiation that accompany the definition and carrying out of complex programmes.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
A summary of the topics under discussion, a copy of the power point slides used during the lessons and documents used in organising the group activities will be distributed directly to the students.
Some reference texts:
- L. Bistagnino, Design Sistemico, ebook 2° edizione, Slow Food editore. Bra 2011
- L. R. Brown, Piano B 4.0, Edizioni Ambiente, 2010
- F. Capra, Il punto di svolta, Feltrinelli editore 1984
- G. Pauli, The Blue Economy, Edizioni Ambiente, Milan, 2010
- C. Petrini, Terra Madre, Giunti/Slow Food editori, 2010
All the texts indicated are also available in English.
Assessment and grading criteria
Regular attendance is required, also for the final grade that will be given in a single exam mark. The activities carried out will undergo intermediary evaluations, both mono-disciplinary and in seminars covering all subjects. Said intermediary evaluations will go towards the final grade, based on the presentation and discussion of final examination papers (written and graphic). Laboratory activities are carried out by students in groups, but each student will be given an individual result (expressed with a single grade), which will take into consideration the intermediary mono-disciplinary and seminar evaluations (written, oral, graphic), the evaluation of the presentation and discussion of the final examination papers and individual participation in the task and the presentation.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2015/16

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