|Politecnico di Torino|
|Academic Year 2017/18|
Architecture and urban space
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Architecture Construction City - Torino
01RUM; 01QJA; 02GNP
In the Design Unit 2, the students will continue to enhance their skills in managing a complex architectural project autonomously, already trained during the design experience of Design Unit 1, especially for the constructive aspects. The topics of Design Unit 2 will be the elaboration of a complex urban design, in the urban and architectural components, and in any case integrating the architectural design of a building to demonstrate the possession of the techniques, the methodologies and the specific abilities of the European architect.
Through the knowledge and in-depth analysis of the specific design theme, the students will acquire an understanding and interpretation of the complex phenomena that characterise the contemporary processes of urbanisation and urban regeneration, at both levels local and global.
The overall educational goal of the "Architecture and Urban Space" Design Unit is elaborate a complex urban project from the knowledge and skills provided by two specific subjects, complementary between them: Architectural Design, and Urban Planning, the latter providing specialist knowledge about the urban dimension of architecture. To these two subjects are associated in the Design Unit the specific knowledge and skills provided by one or more related and integrative disciplines, selected in relation with the specific design topics of every Design Unit.
Through the experience of the Design Unit, the student will acquire not only the general design skills, but also the specific knowledge and skills in Urban Planning, mandatory in the Master’s degree, as an alternative to the 2nd Year Course in "Town Planning".
Expected learning outcomes
The Design Unit 2 deepens and develops the advanced knowledge and the design skills learned during the Design Unit 1: such a knowledge is acquired within the Design Unit and through a series of mono-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary lectures, and through studies and in-depth modules on theories, relevant to the design themes and issues. The advanced progresses in knowledge and understanding will be assessed through mid-term and final evaluations during the Design Unit, especially aimed at assessing the students’ capability to synthesise and to integrate the different disciplines contributing to the Unit.
In the experience of the Design Unit "Architecture and Urban Space", the understanding of the complex phenomena that govern urban and territorial transformations, both in its architectural and urban components, occurs through the knowledge and the in-depth analysis of the specific design theme. The instructors provide multi-disciplinary knowledge of all the aspects of the complex context within which the design has to be developed. The ability to understand and interpret the complex phenomena that characterize the practices of urbanisation and urban regeneration, at both local and global levels, also occurs in the ability to work in un international context, understanding cultures and traditions not only national, also through the choice of topics and design sites in international context, in the capacity of a design and narrative synthese, and in the ability to carry out individual research, aimed to connect architectural design, history, urban culture and decision processes.
In the design experience during the Design Unit, the capability to apply knowledge and skills is primarily defined by the ability to independently manage a complex urban project in a given time, through the mastery of techniques, methods and skills specific to the job of the Architect. The capability to independently manage a project of urban and territorial transformation is expressed in the ability to analyse complex and non-univocal information, to interpret them into a shared decision-making process, but also in the ability to exert leadership in a necessarily multi-disciplinary design team, even toward languages and social and public practices. The experience of the Design Unit, characterized by an intense experimentation, is configured as a partial simulation of effective design practices in the real-world. As such, it ensures the acquisition of the ability of applying knowledge and understanding. This ability is assessed through intermediate and final evaluations within the Design Unit, with the contributions of guest experts from practice, with especial attention to the capability to integrate and synthesise the various disciplines involved in the Unit, as well as to meet the timetable of the activities, which requires the students to complete the project at the end of the semester. The ability to process a complex architectural project in a given time represents a specific ability of the work of the architect: this will be verified at the exam that will take place during the first week of exams, in the first examination session consecutive to the Design Unit.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
The basic critical and design skills, along with the concepts and introductory tools in Urban Planning are assumed to have been acquired during the Disciplinary Courses and the Design Ateliers of the Bachelor Degree in "Sciences of Architecture". It is necessary to possess the knowledge and skills trained during the Design Unit 1, especially the ability to process autonomously a complex architectural project in a given time. A last prerequisite is represented by the knowledge and skills learned in the Courses of First Semester "Building Information Modelling" and "Building physics and energy system in architecture".
The Design Unit addresses the issue of quality in phenomena of large-scale urbanization in the Chinese city. The construction of hundreds of new cities is progressing rapidly all over the Country, without stratification or diversity. The grain that "makes the city" is no longer the house, as it was in traditional China, but large mono-functional blocks, avoiding any chance of keeping the human dimension at the center of the project.
Our project area is Tongzhou, within the metropolitan area of Beijing: more than twenty square kilometers that the Chinese Capital is radically reshaping, with the aim to relocate there its administrative center. In collaboration with Tsinghua University and Ecole Poliytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Design Unit will study, on the one hand, the design aspects; on the other hand the dynamics of settlement and social integration, as well as the mechanisms of appropriation of urban space through the contributions of Economic and Political Geography and Urban Sociology. The aim of the project is to realize an urban space that, in line with the dynamics of growth, focuses on neighbourhood making, social coherence and quality of places.
In particular, classes and exercises are articulated in the following way:
- The contribution of Architectural Design (8 credits) presents a series of public spaces and buildings for social activities that emerge in the Chinese urbanization in certain privileged contexts: but they tend to fail in the "ordinary" urbanization.
- The contribution of Urban Planning (6 credits) will focus on emerging transformations in territorial dynamics and on the way in which contemporary urban design aims to address them, both in the East as in Western countries. To do this, particular attention will be paid to:
(i) the way in which analyze and represent complex metropolitan systems across multiple scales of intervention and development,
(ii) the way in which design cultures involved in the reshaping of infrastructural and environmental systems emphasize their role in the organization of a collective landscape.
- The contribution of Economic and Political Geography (3 credits) provides an overview of the recent urbanization process in China and, in particular, its links with:
(i) the economic and political dynamics at different scales ( the dynamics of economic globalization, devolution processes , neoliberal urban policies, redefinition of the relationship between the State and the market),
(ii) the processes of migration from the countryside to the city and the socio-spatial inequalities emerging in the process of settlement .
- The contribution of Urban Sociology (3 credits) will focus on the urban and social fabric of the Chinese city, and particularly Beijing with its recent great transformation.
The first part of the course is conducted on two levels: a mapping analysis at the large scale of Tongzhou New Town; in parallel, lectures, movies and readings aimed to provide the theoretical and methodological tools for the definition of the project. Then, after about 3 weeks, the design area be divided by smaller areas of urban design, and by individual themes of architectural designs. Italian students will act sometimes as "consultants" of their Chinese colleagues working at Tsinghua, with regard to public spaces and buildings with a social purpose (civic centers, cultural facilities, services to the citizens).
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Wakeman R., Practising utopia: an intellectual history of the new town movement, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2016.
Rowe P.G., China's Urban Communities, Birkhäuser, Basel 2016
Ren X., Urban China, Polity Press, Cambridge 2013.
Rowe P.G., Emergent architectural territories in east Asian cities, Basilea, Birkhäuser, 2011.
Keeton R., Rising in the East. Contemporary New Towns in Asia, Sun, Amsterdam 2011.
den Hartog H. (ed.), Shanghai New Towns: Searching for Community and Identity in a Sprawling Metropolis, Rotterdam, 010 Publishers, 2010.
Campanella T.J., The Concrete Dragon. China’s Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World, New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.
During the classes some articles published in several international journals (Urban Studies, City, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research) will be recommended. More specific texts will be assigned in the classroom depending on the choice of the actual project area.
Assessment and grading criteria
Fully attendance and engagement in lectures, seminars, and further activities of the Design Unit is a required precondition for the positive participation in the planned activities.
The final exam will take place in the first week of the examination session consecutive to the Design Unit. In case the final design work is not completed on time or is judged inadequate or incomplete, the student may submit the final project in the second examination session consecutive to the Design Unit. The final grade will consider the student inability to develop a complex architectural design in a given time.
The final evaluation will be individual and will use throughout the whole of the votes available. It is carried out through group discussion of DU professors, taking strictly into account the weight of each discipline (in terms of credits) and considering carefully the following criteria.
Criteria regard the DU central experience, that the project activities: left to itself the assessment of other specific activities, according to the needs of lecturers (eg, written tests or theoretical checks). They consider a background value the student's ability to bring together in the project, as the experience of synthesis, what acquired from the different disciplines of the DU.
1. INVESTIGATION OF THE PROJECT
Evaluating the ability to analyze and to return the context of the project, physical and social, through original elaborations. Evaluating the ability to manage the complexity of the information, provided by the teacher or found themselves, and to interpret the architectural context.
- Reading and synthesis
- Interpretation and critical processing
- Return results
Evaluating the ability to conceptualize an argued proposal, as a strategic answer to the identified problems from the inquiry. Evaluating the ability to describe the general aspects (repeatable) of the project and its feasibility in relation to the ordinary practices.
- Clarity of argument
- Autonomy in the elaboration of the proposal
3. ARCHITECTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF PROJECT AND RESULTS
Evaluating the ability to develop, within an available time, a coherent project in the individual joints compared to a unitary interpretation, through a circular process (development / discussion / feedback). Evaluating the quality of the final result, as the last maturation of this process.
- Critical capacity and self-criticism in the early stages of development
- Adaptation to the feedback of the mid-term reviews
- Completeness and quality of the final papers
Evaluating the ability to represent and transmit the project, at all stages of the learning experience. It also evaluates the ability to communicate, in an integrated manner to the project and also in innovative ways, the specific aspects of different disciplines.
- Compliance with the agreed rules of communication
- Conscious use of presentation tools
- Effectiveness of public presentation and discussion
5. DISCIPLINARY CONTRIBUTIONS
Evaluating the ability to identify disciplinary problems in a relevant way of the proposed project case. Evaluating the ability to intercept a complex design theme using cross-fertilization of knowledge.
- Maturation of sufficient knowledge in all disciplines
- Disciplinary relevance of individual contributions in the project
- Integration of disciplines at different scales
Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18