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Grazia Marrone, Francesca Dellisanti ed Erick Huaman with their graduation project “ESCOLA DO SOL - Clever Tech design between innovation and tradition: development of education in Farim in Guinea Bissau”, supervisor prof. Imperadori, won the first prize - A1-Graduation projects section.
GRADUATION THESIS – SECTION A_1
AUTHORS: Grazia Marrone, Francesca Dellisanti, Erick Anthony Huaman Sedano
TITLE: ESCOLA DO SOL - Clever Tech design between innovation and tradition: development of education in Farim in Guinea Bissau
The thesis concerns the design of spaces for education and reception environments in the city of Farim, a village located on the banks of the Cacheu river in Guinea Bissau. The difficult socio-economic situation, together with the limiting climatic conditions, provided significant food for thought for the design of the multifunctional building. The project was born following the real experience of designing and building a small educational space for women and bricklayers, built for the mission of the Oblate Fathers of Mary in Farim (project area) in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, called Gazela. This direct experience has allowed us to deeply understand the difficult social reality that characterizes the country: the mission arises in a context in which infant mortality, malnutrition and poverty are constant. The mission with its existing services, including an infirmary, a nutritional centre and Gazela, represents a point of reference that draws from the nearby towns several families and children who need care, reception spaces and school education of base.
It is with the idea of supporting the existing services of the mission that Escola do Sol was born, a related school complex of work and living spaces that can accommodate families, students and teachers. A concrete and active solution that sees architecture and the use of local resources at the centre of the evolutionary process. An architecture that is based on the active involvement of locals can be a powerful means of growth as well as decisive in terms of economic and social through education. The thesis path included the experimentation of clever-tech design, through the study of architectural and technological themes in an equatorial climate, minimizing the use of reinforced concrete and consciously using local resources, favouring sustainability and feasibility. The design process, based on the in-depth study of the local reality, aims to create a dialogue with the place in an attempt to build a bridge between innovation and tradition. The interpretation of the local construction and its subsequent innovation involved a study of the natural resources present and through an in-depth study of local architecture. Among the natural materials identified there are bamboo and raw earth: a choice that, even before having a technological-constructive character, favours the conscious use of resources, also combining process innovation through the introduction of technological aids and know-how by the collaboration between Italy and Guinea Bissau through the Oblate Fathers. Particular attention was paid to the structural theme, both of the clay walls and the bamboo supporting structure: the goal is to provide rules and methods for introducing simple engineered systems into traditional local buildings, often affected by collapses. The project adopted bioclimatic energy strategies to ensure comfort concerning the equatorial climate, equipping the buildings with adaptive architectural features. To provide a solution to the lack of services and ensure independence from the unfriendly state electricity network, rainwater and grey water recovery and reuse systems have been designed, as well as a system of photovoltaic panels with storage batteries.
A SYMBOLIC PLACE OF STUDY / WORK CONSCIOUSNESS HISTORICALLY DEVELOPED IN LECCO CITY: A FORGOTTEN BUILDING, BUT WITH HUGE POTENTIAL. HOW TO REVIVE IT?
The project proposal for the 'Officina Badoni 2030' competition of ideas by the team of two students of the Politecnico di Milano has been awarded as one of the most deserving. The intent of the competition, promoted by Fondazione Comunitaria del Lecchese Onlus, is to return the building known in Lecco with the name of 'Broletto', a symbol of the city's industrial past, to the local community by characterizing the internal spaces for the pursuit in the Lecco area of objectives 4, 8, 15 and 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The team is made up of students attending the master's degree in Building Engineering Architecture at Polo territoriale di Lecco: Alessandro Possenti and Alessandro Soldati.
The design idea develops in parallel to creating the new group Fondazione Comunitaria del Lecchese YOUNG and the design of the spaces and functional program of the Officina Badoni building.
The scenario studied dictates a paradigm shift: a new Foundation, in other words, 'new home, new life'. The Foundation is required to be co-director and co-actor in the process of promoting and enhancing the culture of study and work in the world of youth in synergy with the rich fabric of associations actively co-participating in achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.
No one is excluded from this process; on the contrary, everyone, women and men, are called to active and complicit participation. The spaces of the Officina Badoni will be redeveloped in an inclusive and transparent way.
The group of students has been invited to actively participate in the next phase of the project: from the ideas gathered in the participatory design to the spaces and activities that will host the building.
The Italian Architect Award is the most significant national Award for architecture. Promoted by the National Council of Architects, Planners, Landscapers and Conservators and therefore represents the entire universe of Italian architects, which, at approximately 150,000 professionals, is the largest in Europe, representing almost one-third of the continent's architects.
The Award intends to contribute to the discussion by bringing the works of Italian architects that respond to the characteristics under debate throughout Europe.
The initiative aims to give visibility to the Professional or the Studio that is considered to represent technical and professional excellence and that has been able to meet the challenges that contemporary architecture imposes today through an ethical and innovative approach to the profession.
A new European cultural project is underway that goes beyond environmental and economic goals.
Europe is questioning what the most effective design solutions to achieve inclusive, accessible, sustainable, environmentally regenerative and 'beautiful' spaces are. A beautiful take on different meanings that extend beyond the formal dimension to include creativity, art and culture. The result is a comprehensive and widespread reflection on the value of the project and, consequently, on the determining function of the professionals who think and realize it.
The communication of the outcome and the delivery of the Awards took place in the headquarters of the Venice Biennale at Ca 'Giustinian, November 5, 2021, as part of the "Feast of the Architect 2021" was awarded to ifdesign the Architect of the Year 2021, through a broad judgment on the professional history of the study, the cultural profile, the quality of the complete production, the ethical value and the international level of the shape.
Franco Tagliabue Volonté and Ida Origgi graduated from the Milan Polytechnic. In 2002 they founded the ifdesign studio, which operates in urban redevelopment and residential and non-residential built architecture, with particular attention to social and collective issues, through an architecture that is at the service of the community.
Philosophy of the studio
The imprint in the landscape of the culture of a people is manifested through architecture, in small as well as in vast works, where the welfare resides and perhaps even more in the conditions of need.
Investing in ideas means recognizing beauty as a non-exclusive but shared right and corresponds to the ability to transform a condition of difficulty into a positive factor, even if not in advantageous economic conditions.
The future will be represented in increasingly restricted environments and the cohabitation of several functions, desired or forced, is already the condition within which spaces must be conceived.
Starting from these assumptions, the studio's work stands out for its ability to generate interaction and nurture inclusion and interaction.
The professional activity has always been accompanied by research and publications, as well as popularization and teaching.
FTV is a professor of Architectural Design at Politecnico di Milano, visiting professor and lecturer in many international universities.
He currently coordinates the "Rural-Urban" program of the Universidad Tecnologica Particular de Loja in Ecuador, which deals with the redevelopment of informal neighbourhoods in the Andean city through the design and construction of public spaces, such as the one realized within the Barrio of San Cayetano Alto in 2019.
FTV is the author of books, articles and essays, including "Per Forma", "Lo Spazio Sociale", "Stem Procedures" on the second post-earthquake emergency and "Fragmentos de un discurso Arquitectonico" on the topic of informal settlements.
Awards and acknowledgements
The works of ifdesign have been exhibited in Barcelona, New York, Toronto, Shanghai and Tokyo, and the studio has been called several times to represent the new Italian architecture in the most important international exhibitions.
The studio has been invited to the "2009 Shenzhen/Hong Kong Biennale for Urbanism and Architecture" on the theme of public space and has participated in several editions of the Venice Biennale.
Among the projects, the Laboratories and Socio-Educational Center were also nominated for the Mies Award 2022 and won the National Mention at the Inarch Award 2021, while the civic centre won first prize at the Ecola European Award in Berlin in 2012 and is a finalist for the Gold Medal.
Other projects include the Cereals and Tubers Cluster at Expo 2015 (with A. Rocca), the Wigglyhouse (first prize at the CID Award in Chicago), the Zona K theatre school and exhibition centre in Milan, while public spaces include the redevelopment of the landscape of the Sormano Wall and the Piazza Nera Piazza Bianca in Giussano, which won Honourable Mention of the Jury at the European Prize for Urban Public Space of the CCCB in Barcelona in 2006.
Many projects have been awarded in international competitions, including the second prize for the Roman Theatre of Aosta, the first prize for the project for the gymnasium of Gorizia. Among the current projects is the new school compartment Palermo Sud, winner of a competition in 2018.
Jury Explanation: The jury awards the Italian Architect 2021 prize to the Ifdesign studio, formed by architects Franco Tagliabue and Ida Origgi. The studio, founded in 2002, works in urban requalification and built architecture with particular attention to social and collective issues. Develops over the years with consistency and disciplinary rigour a design activity that has always been confirmed carefully in the innovative and expressive use of the material that substantiates their achievements.
A refined, intelligent and low-tech approach. Always great projects, able to give backspaces and places of extreme quality and architectural richness.
ifdesign is currently involved in the "Rural-Urban" program of the Politecnico di Milano and the Universidad Tecnologica Particular de Loja in Ecuador, which deals with the redevelopment of informal neighbourhoods of the Andean city also through the design and construction of public spaces, such as the one realized within the Barrio of San Cayetano Alto in 2019.
Congratulations to the AUIC theses (BEI and LLH) that received special mention at our graduates' Barcelona Landscape Biennial: Francesca Porro, Monica Moschini, Alessandra Paparcone, Ida Orlando, Valeria Rellori, Giulia Stecchi, Cong Dinh Huynh.
This is the Jury's comment:
The work from Politecnico di Milano made it to the shortlist of many members of the jury. The work is articulate and beautifully thorough, delivering engineering solutions that are poetic rather than prosaic. Representations allowed the jury to see how entities in the landscape might work together. The proposals are timely in their focus on climate change-driven water issues, both too much and too little, and speculate about creating a balance of the two throughout the year. The level of understanding of constructed and natural regional water systems, combined with clear and compelling drawings, grounded their proposals and imbued the work with a high level of design resolution.
Congratulations to our students of Ingegneria Edile - Architettura/Building Engineering-Architecture for the great results.
Description of the winning project: Faubourgs Area (South of sector) | Winning projects | Students Reinventing Cities | Reinventing Cities (c40reinventingcities.org)
Winning team: ELA
Team members: Eva Lannoy, Antoine Perveyrie, Lisa Schillinger - Politecnico Di Milano
Advisor: Francesco Pittau - Assistant professor, PhD Politecnico di Milano, ABC Department, Architecture, Built environment and Construction engineering
The proposal aims to achieve carbon neutrality for the Sud des Faubourgs neighborhood. The team develops efficient buildings in terms of energy, by using efficient insulators, green roofs, and producing green energies on the site. There is a meticulous choice of building materials, choosing bio-based materials that can be produced close to the site in order to reduce carbon footprint.
The team wants to energize the neighborhood from a socio-economic point of view by creating pockets of economic activity and social gathering places. The project consists of a pavilion that provides a warm space during winter, greenhouse structures that offer bars and street food. The intervention also includes the construction of a dome structure with warm indoors and benefits of solar radiation. All the design choices respect the identity of the place and take into account the specific climate of Montreal.
As part of the New European Bauhaus, the European Commission awarded the New European Bauhaus Prizes 2021 - an award for projects that represent the values of sustainability, aesthetics and inclusion. Reserved for young talents under the age of 30 are ten Rising Stars prizes each worth €15,000. These also include the two projects of alumni of the Politecnico di Milano, graduated in Building Engineering-Architecture:
The School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano has recently obtained two excellent results at international level.
In the Bee Breeders Architecture University Ranking, the students of the School ranked second in terms of number of participation in competitions.
Bee Breeders is one of the world's leading organisers of architecture competitions, especially aimed at students, seeking creative and innovative designers for the challenges of today's world.
The second award is for our Laurea Magistrale course of study “Architecture and Urban Design” (equivalent to Master of Science), which was placed 12th in the BAM-Best Architecture Masters Ranking 2021.
It is a classification that ranks several master's degree courses of the best architecture schools according to the current edition of the QS Ranking by Subjects - Architecture / Built Environment, as well as other relevant global rankings, such as the Design Intelligence Rankings and The Guardian University Guide.
A committee of experts, made up of 15 professors from some of the top ranked universities, selected 22 universities. The courses were compared and evaluated using the BAM Methodology, consisting of universal indicators for evaluating training performance, and validated by the Expert Committee.
Censis Ranking of Italian Universities 2021/2022
In this year's ranking, the Politecnico di Milano was confirmed in first place among Italian polytechnics. In particular, the Master's degrees in architecture and civil architecture, landscape architecture, urban and environmental planning and building systems engineering at the Politecnico di Milano ranked first in Italy. The score scale (from 50 to 110) covers three parameters: overall score (109.5); career progression (110); international relations (109)
Marianna Arcieri and Riccardo Bargna from the School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering were awarded the Marco Biagi 2020 prize, founded by the Municipality of Milan, with their Master's degree thesis in Architecture “Abitare diffuso. Un modello sostenibile per la terza età”, (“Diffused living. A sustainable model for the third age”) (supervisor: Professor Oscar Eugenio Bellini).
The prize is open to students and researchers, both Italian and foreign, under the age of 35, who in the last two years have focused on the theme of work through degree or doctoral theses, articles, monographs and essays, with a particular focus on areas such as social innovation and the suburbs, work and new migratory phenomena.
From the 44 entries in this year's edition, the selection committee selected Marianna and Riccardo's paper and Martina Derito's thesis from the Politecnico di Torino as joint winners.
Marianna and Riccardo's joint thesis proposes a new sustainable model of residential care for the self-sufficient elderly that involves the recovery of abandoned real estate, offering a possible example of application within the Walls of Città Alta (Bergamo). The project was recognised as worthy of winning on this basis:
The work focused on a topic of extreme interest in this particular historical phase, an interest which is of a general nature but which is also specific to local authorities faced with the issues at the heart of the thesis, the management and provisioning of the needs of elderly people who are still self-sufficient. The paper features a solid methodology in its development, carries out an in-depth theoretical analysis and examines existing best practices, offering operational solutions, an innovative housing model, for the implementation and development of these projects that appear to be significantly useful for a local administration.
We are pleased to announce the 2021 recipient of the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship is Weronika Zdziarska from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, for her project 'Don’t Stay Out Alone: addressing women’s perception of safety and freedom in cities by design.'
Weronika’s project will evaluate previous interventions carried out by international, regional, and local organisations in South America, to improve the safety of women in cities. Five cities have been selected for evaluation, each representing different attitudes and responses to this area of research: Medellín, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Santiago, Chile; Montevideo, Uruguay and Curitiba, Brazil.
The proposal seeks to demonstrate the relationships between gender inequality and design, and to outline best practices for building more inclusive cities.
The judging panel also commended ‘Biofuel Producing Technology; Algae: An Alternative Energy Source’ by Basant Abdelrahman from the American University in Dubai, UAE.
The 2021 judging panel comprised of:
Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Thames Bank (Founder and Executive Chairman, Foster + Partners; President, Norman Foster Foundation)
Elena Ochoa, Lady Foster of Thames Bank (Publisher and curator; Vice-President, Norman Foster Foundation)
Professor Ricky Burdett (Professor of Urban Studies, and director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme; Trustee, Norman Foster Foundation)
Sofie Pelsmakers (Assistant Professor Sustainable Architecture and Sustainable Housing Design, Tampere University; Co-founder & Director, Architecture for Change (AfC))
Professor Alan Jones (President, RIBA)
The beginning of Weronika’s travel will be subject to the respective government’s confirmation that the travel specified may be safely undertaken.
The old Littorio of Caronno Pertusella, a disused building in Via Italia, focused on the Master's thesis in Architecture and Urban Design during the graduation session of June 9, 2021.
Our graduate, Eleonora Ripa, has deepened the topic by developing her thesis "The Palazzo Littorio of Caronno Pertusella (VA) ninety years after its foundation. 1931 - 2021", with Prof. Giuliana Cardani as thesis advisor and Prof. Fausta Fiorillo and Rolando Pizzoli as co-supervisors.
On June 29, 2021, at the Agora in the municipal building with the mayor and the Councillor for Public Works, Connectivity Systems of the Municipality of Caronno Pertusella, Eleonora has illustrated her thesis.
This thesis stems from the will of the Municipality of Caronno Pertusella (VA) to place at the center of the public debate a real estate with a profound historical value such as Palazzo Littorio. Built in 1931, it lived through various important phases of the city, often placing itself as a fundamental and vital element of the community. The total abandonment, which took place at the beginning of the twentieth century, led not only to its slow but continuous physical degradation but also to a gradual abandonment of memory, of its historical baggage. Through a general knowledge of the period that preceded the Second World War, of the architectures and infrastructures produced by and for Fascism, it was possible to place in a rather exhaustive way the Palazzo Littorio di Caronno P., one of the approximately 11,000 Houses of the Fascio built. However, in addition to the knowledge of its founding intellectual values, the thesis continued on the understanding of material values, of physical construction, arriving at the first ideas on a new enhancement of the building. [Eleonora Ripa]
Shanghai Jiao Tong School of Design write to our School:
"The 2021 FourC Challenge 24-hour Design Charrette Contest, organized by Shanghai Jiao Tong School of Design has drawn to a close after 24 hours full of excitement and creativity.
The theme for this year has been “ReVive” - to enhance the wellbeing of humankind and the rehabilitation of a post-pandemic society. It was decided to use “Flow” as the topic, was because change may be the only unchanging truth of our world. From the flowing water, quicksand and clouds in nature, to the endless city crowd, the free-developing globalization, and the ubiquitous connection driven by digitalization, the world is all about flow. However, the world was being pressed the “pause button” due to the sudden strike of the epidemic. We are eager for an orderly opening after all these blockade and isolation, and together we welcome the world to flow and connect again.
The competition invited academics from Harvard University, Tsinghua University, Cornell University and Northwestern University to present keynote speeches, providing participants with innovative input. Nearly 300 students from 70 colleges and universities around the world registered for this year, they completed six innovative challenges in 24 hours, including in the areas of team building, problem solving, group definition, design concepts, prototype production, and video and exhibition board production. The final products were presented in short three minute videos with amazing results. Professional faculty from more than 20 colleges and universities consisted of our jury panel and mentors, provided oversight and guidance throughout the competition. They came from the Politecnico di Milano, the University of Sydney, the National University of Singapore, IE University, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Zhejiang University, Tianjin University, the Harbin Institute of Technology, Hunan University, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and more.
After two rounds of concentrated evaluations, groups were presented with one Grand Prize, two First Prizes, three Second Prizes, and six Winning Award. Winning works have been publicly displayed both offline at Design Shanghai exhibition and on the official website and official account of Shanghai Jiao Tong School of Design at https://www.bilibili.com/read/cv11696020. Their design involves all arounds of social life, including public transportation, pet facilities, outdoor recreation system, applications and other aspects of clothing, food, housing, and commuting.
They were conceived to provide humanized, and warm design ideas of value to both society and industry in the post-epidemic era.
The awards accorded to your institution are:
This competition innovatively conducted a nearly 40-hour live broadcast on Lark and Bilibili, attracting more than 2,000 viewers during the peak period. The competition received extensive attention and positive reports from more than 70 mainstream and design professional media platforms in China and abroad.
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"A multidisciplinary, intensive and crossing-boundaries experience. There is no other way to define such experience, that we were honored and excited to join as Polimi students for this second edition of the FourC Challenge - hosted by Jiao Tong Shanghai, school of design.
Despite some initial difficulties related to the 6-hours behind time zone and some English communication limits, we can now say that we are amazed to see the challenging and interesting projects and concepts we all were able to design and achieve in only 24 hours, without knowing each other and with different disciplines on the field - from Architecture and Urban Design to Product Design and Industrial Design. In a short time, we understood each other's strengths, and we were able to work as super teams, to challenge ourselves in the challenge’s topic: the post-pandemic “Flow”.
What also finds us all in agreement, is our amusement to the Asian way of thinking, reasoning and acting, which is completely different from ours: they are extremely visionary, and have no limits when it comes to projects, and as architects we could never have a more pragmatic example of how much context-sensitivity and the cultural background is relevant.
Most importantly, we had a lot of fun spending this intensive 24 hours, and not only we manage to achieve great results, but we also formed friendships and networks with our Asian colleagues.
We think that every student of Polimi should try to experience this adventure, since it has been a wonderful opportunity to test our limits and our creativity! We are all very grateful to our school for giving us the joy and excitement of participating in this event.
Can’t wait for the next edition!
Nicolò, Greta, Junmei"
G10 – AIRHEALTH GRETA WEBER – WINNING PRIZE
Our project interprets the idea of flow in terms of mental health. Loneliness has always been an issue and it has been highlighted and exacerbated by working from home during the pandemic. As working from home is set to be the future of work, it is not difficult to fathom the isolation problem in our post pandemic world. Our project thus proposes a new system, Airhealth, which involves a fleet of drones and is tied in with our app of the same name. No longer will citizens of megacities be alienated in our ever increasingly fast paced world as Airhealth assesses your mental state and suggests an appointment with our air ambulances that whisk you away right from your window. Our ambulances provide a new and refreshing air getaway therapy, as continuous and personalized healthcare is available for anyone and at any time. They serve as a physical and metaphorical separation from the hustle and stress as they circle high above the city. You can soak in the view and put a break on your rushing thoughts as a professional therapist serves to be your listening ear in a calming and soothing environment filled with plants and soft fabric.
G16 – THE URBAN INTERIOR – NICOLO' CHIERICHETTI – SECOND PRIZE
During the pandemic, house was the place of isolation, the headquarter of lock-down - but as the overall situation is improving we need to solve this paradigma. The introverse environment of the interior of an house gets reflected into the outer public space, with the Interior as a metaphor for the Urban landscape, in which the precedent private spaces are mirrored back into the outside world. Rooms of the house - such as the kitchen, the living room and the office - keep their character but are transformed into outdoor spaces and services to bridge the gaps and lacks that we suffered during the pandemic: a new gathering opportunity for citizens in the form of a safe environment, which can be shaped according to personal and groups' needs and that relies on a participatory design. A prototype, suitable to different contexts, which can be assembled and which is not only designed FOR people, but also BY people.
This historical moment shaped our minds, our necessities and our spaces: now it's our turn!
The flow is ready, are you?
G25 – REVIVING CURRENTS– JUNMEI WANG – WINNING PRIZE
In a post-pandemic era, transnational mobility is somehow still restricted, as well as large-scale gathering. Among those affected events, Expo, especially business Expo and multicultural Expo are less probable to be reactivated, which results in the underuse of extra-large exposition spaces, economic recession particularly concerning small or medium-sized enterprises in international trades, and the loss of exploration opportunities for the public. The "flow", reminds us how ocean currents, in the Age of Discovery, linked islands by sailing and bred early prosperity. To revive and rehabilitate, by embodying this metaphor, we try to redefine the existing XL spaces, using a series of modular "islands" containing the much-diversified exhibitions, while generating by apps a secure, customized, and interactive visiting journey for each individual, which is referred to be the "currents".
Three Polimi students win The Tree House architecture competition | The project of a tree house that seeks a strong contact with nature
Three students of the Politecnico di Milano won the first prize at the international architecture competition The Three House, organized by D&A Publishers.
Sara Alinovi, student of Architecture - Built Environment - Interiors, Elda Arcieri, student of Building Architecture, and Lorenzo Piermarini, student of Building Architecture, with the project Framing the Nature, explored the tree house theme highlighting its childlike appeal, recreating a childlike atmosphere and looking for a strong relationship with the natural element.
The tree house takes its shape through the encounter of three modules that appear as the essentiality of the archetypal form of the mountain dwelling and that acquire complexity in the relationship between them. Each module has specific functions designed for a temporary stay in search of contact with nature. Small and large windows frame the natural context from different points of view, allowing you to admire now the dense forest, now the starry sky.
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The AUIC School and the Course Coordinator in Landscape Architecture. Land Landscape Heritage (LLH) Prof. Antonio Longo are proud to announce that the 2021 WorldLandscapeArchitect Student Awards have awarded two major prizes to two projects by our first cycle graduates.
2021 WLASA Announcement | A success of the students is a success of the School and the Course Landscape Architecture. Land Landscape Heritage.
Sara Ingignoli, followed by Miriam Garcia and Eleonora Santoro followed by Hope Strode and Michael Jakob.
Thanks to Sara Ingignoli and Eleonora Santoro, who have trusted the Course in Landscape Architecture project. Land Landscape Heritage and to the professors who have guided you.
The Ignite Woods project has a double soul: on the one hand it wants to bring attention to the issue of the increase in forest fires close to urban centres in relation to climate change; on the other hand, it wants to feed several “cultural bonfires” hidden among the woods born from the abandonment of agricultural practices.
In Italy one of the areas most affected by the process of abandonment is that of the Po River Basin, where there are predominantly wooded areas on the mountains while the plain is mainly occupied by intensive agricultural practices. Where the two areas meet, a fragmented transition zone with urban areas is formed. Before most of these territories were dedicated to agriculture and nowadays we can see the results of a race for the reconquest of land by forests and urban areas, uncontrolled and unplanned process that has generated situations where cities have surrounded wooded areas.
As a result of climate change, cities will soon experience rising temperatures and prolonged periods of drought. Regions that initially did not have to worry about wildfires are now experiencing frequent fire activity. In Piedmont -Italy – the fire alert covers the period from the 1st of November till the 31st of March. The maximum alert status, instead, in 2020 has been postponed by almost one month more than the ordinary period of danger. This postponement is likely to be increasingly prolonged in the coming years, making forests more vulnerable.
But which forests are we talking about? There are many facets to it, but we are used to thinking that woodland equals pure Nature only, forgetting that they were our homes when we still lived in their crown and moved along the highways of branches. They were and are a source of different resources and now they are also seen as sanctuaries for the soul. Within a forest there is much more humanity than we may think.
The goal of the project is to mitigate the future risk of fires in the Sizzone Valley – Piedmont, Italy – and to enhance and reactivate an area with many values, from ecological to productive and touristic values. To achieve this, landscape adaptation tools have been used: starting with agroforestry practices, which allow erosion reduction, to protect crops, to improve water quality and diversify farm enterprises; introducing ecological spots, which increase the biodiversity of the site and the food available for wildlife; reclaiming former agricultural canals as rainwater harvesting to irrigate, mitigate drought and facilitate mobility within the woods when not in use.
To verify the effectiveness of the tools introduced, two fire risk prediction maps – GIS-based – were produced with and without mitigation tools. Comparing them, wildfire danger decreases on average throughout the valley with the introduction of the project.
In seventy years so, we will see our woods ignited or we will ignite our woods?
Formes de Mar. Deltas are one of the most threatened landscapes nowadays, they are spaces of transition that water forces draw over time and where the habitats that comprise them live in a continuous state of tension and change. In addition to the current challenges and transformations that these landscapes are already called to face, climate change is posing further challenges that will deeply influence the configuration of these spaces.
The project focuses on the threshold between land and sea, the main stage where transitions take place, the space of confluence of marine and terrestrial habitats and the one that will be in front place fighting climate change and the main pressures coming from both extents: sea and land.
In the Llobregat delta, the wide shallow plain forged by the Llobregat river on the West side of Barcelona, the interaction between different landscapes materializes in a great diversity of aquatic environments in a relatively small space: lagoons, ponds, wetlands, canals and marshes. How can we preserve the uniqueness linked to each of these water landscapes considering the inevitable shift that they will face as a consequence of climate change, and more in particular, of sea level rise?
The aim of the project is to envision new configurations and future scenarios of water landscapes taking advantage from the rising sea to draw new opportunities and configure a morphological and psychological variability that enables a continuously changing experience of the coast. The horizon of the project is set beyond what is usually conceived as the imaginary line of the sea, thus considering also the marine medium and engaging a comprehensive design in which sea and land come together creating new situations of transition that empowers both environments and provide protection for the future. As the sea will rise, it will trigger new coexistences unfolding in time, in which water becomes again the structuring element of this landscape, answering to the risk of simplification of ecosystems with a diversification of opportunities. How can we design the ‘meeting’ of sea and land?
The delta’s coast has the opportunity to become the future metropolitan maritime park of Barcelona, addressing land fragmentation, coastal vulnerability towards climate change, public awareness and biodiversity issues through a unique vision. As time passes, current landmarks of the area will turn into ‘water hubs’: water-based recreational, didactical, research and productive hotspots that will lead to a strong matrix of interconnected experiences where to follow the new shape that the sea assumes when clashing with land.
An original mapathon experience was held on 26 March, a collaborative and humanitarian event with the aim of mapping of informal settlements in Bogotá, in Colombia.
It was all part of the master’s thesis by Maria Alejandra Rojas Bolanos and Silvia Raviscioni, two civil engineering students at Politecnico di Milano who are carrying out their research at IMM DesignLab, under the supervision of Professor Massimo Tadi.
This investigation into the redevelopment of these shanty towns had the ambitious goal of proposing a solution to a worldwide phenomenon that affects many cities globally, namely the proliferation of illegal residential settlements due to rapid urbanisation.
The time and resources required to map areas for study purposes, however, are often disproportionate to the results obtained.
The idea therefore was to set up collaboration with the PoliMappers, a group of volunteer students from the Politecnico, part of the international network YouthMappers as first European local chapter, who aims to form a new generation of mappers, promoting in their activity the culture of free and open-source software. This collaboration proved to be extremely worthwhile.
In this way, after a crucial first phase of data collection in the field with the application of Mapillary by the NGO Techo, the group, with the coordination of Chiara Ponti and Federica Gaspari – respectively president and faculty advisor of PoliMappers – and with the support of the Colombian local chapter YouthMappers Semillero Geolab UdeA, organized an online mapping event in OpenStreetMap environment that involved 70 people from the Politecnico and beyond.
The meeting on 26 March was also part of the innovative "Collaborative and Humanitarian Mapping" course, from the Passion in Action catalogue, which is supported by the MSc in Geoinformatics Engineering and coordinated by Professor Maria Antonia Brovelli. It was attended by 61 students of the Politecnico di Milano.
The excellent result achieved means this experience is now a pilot project for voluntary mapping that can be replicated in other sectors where the Politecnico is conducting research into territories, such as Dakar, Maputo and Quelimane.
The first Italian course in “Architecture for Human Space Exploration” at Politecnico di Milano has been brought to an optimum end with an high degree of exams’ results. The course, in English and with an elevated internationalization level, has been chosen by 91 students coming from both from bachelor and master careers.
The lecturer, Valentina Sumini, Visiting Professor at Politecnico di Milano and Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab, carried the students through a dense interdisciplinary path, with the support of several international experts of the aerospace sector, concluding with the realization of impressive projects as testified by the pictures.
In the framework of human space exploration and human-computer interaction, Valentina Sumini is among the organizers of the SpaceCHI2021 Workshop, (https://spacechi.media.mit.edu), promoted by MIT Media Lab, Politecnico di Milano, NASA, TU Wien, San Jose State University and University College London, and focused on Space Human Computer Interaction within the conference Computer Human Interaction, CHI 2021.
At the coming Biennale di Venezia 2021, two projects to which Valentina Sumini collaborated will be exhibited.
Sanad Wir, a graduate from our School, is recently entered a competition (Pavilion Of Humanity Held By Bee Breeders) with two other colleagues from the University (Diogo Ferreira, And Juan Jaramillo Londoño).
They ended up receiving Honorable Mentions for their work.
They have mentioned to them that they were Students at Politecnico di Milano and they wanted to let us know as they consider this a win for both them and the University!