The experimental workshop practice found, in the last fifteen years, more and more space in the schools of architecture. It consists on a design experience able to train the student, in a short or a medium duration time, in the processing speed, in the organization of the development and in the synthesis ability: a design process based on the dialectic among debate/clash and conflict/dialogue with the consequent search for a design proposal as a result of cultural, methodological, linguistic and communicative integration of various participants. It is a pedagogical and cultural exercise, even before than technical, which incorporates and declines in new forms the practice of the ex tempore. Indeed, the workshop finds its remote roots right in the design ex tempore, that is the written test which, in the faculties of architecture, was presented as a designing exercise taking place in a limited time, usually within the three/four hours, on a specific topic within one year monodisciplinary course. An essential step to exercise and test the skills of the individual student or of a small group of students. Starting from these considerations and from the awareness, by now known, of the increasing necessity of processing speed, development organization and of the synthesis ability, in order to address the complexity required by design activity, the workshop is a working methodology that recovers the idea of ex tempore, and tests the potentiality in different forms, in government administrations, research organizations and universities. The workshop extends and reinterprets the ex tempore test, necessarily as a collective practical work, on a specific design theme in response to a real need detected in a given territory. The academic workshop is developed in a period that usually goes from five/six days up to a maximum of fourteen days, starting from the presentation of the study area. The local actors (institutions, public authorities, cultural operators) or directly the teachers from the proposer university formulate the demand for projects coming from the city and/or from territories. The workshop argument is verified and supported by the first site inspection in the project areas, that opens the scenario of direct knowledge in the field. So is launched the diagnostic and project path during which students compare themselves to the knowledge and, above all, they absorb the demands of those who inhabit the investigation places, without the filter of local actors and/or of the reference teachers. Students interview the inhabitants, they return several times in the project areas, they strengthen, solidify and re-discuss the initial beliefs and certainties, acquired from the class training and (... as often happens), thrown into crisis by the report/verification of real everyday needs of those who live and inhabit the places to rethink. From the didactic point of view, the cognitive process put in place is highly effective: the student, through active learning, acquires awareness and starts the interaction between new knowledge and his cultural background, feeling 'architect’ called to give a comprehensive and non -sectorial response. Ultimately, the student, with his working group, is thrown into a new reality that simulates the professional environment, with all its issues, different from the ones he can experiment in the classroom. The collaboration and the teamwork in a national and/or international context, the continuous debate with the institutional actors and stakeholders (customers, administrators, residents, etc.) lead students to develop skills of interaction and mediation: It becomes crucial being able to establish, manage and maintain good relations, to respect others, to collaborate finding a balance between the own project ideas and priorities with those of the group, and to respect the time schedule given. Not least, the ability to deal with conflicts, to recognize them and try to resolve them within a common and shared vision among the group, becomes essential. As observers/teachers we remark two more aspects: the removal of linguistic barriers through language of design, and the good 'competition' that develops between the groups during the workshop, that brings them to work also a lot after the fixed time, and in interactive ways that belong to the new generations. Professors in the workshops play a supervisory role in the constant and almost equal dialogue with working groups. Also for the same teachers, the workshop becomes an opportunity of learning, growth and strengthening of conflict mediation skills. The Atelier de Reflexion Urbaine (ARU) falls within this experimentation: it is a workshop organized in the first two editions (2013 and 2014) by the partnership between the Faculty of Architecture of Sapienza, University of Rome and the Department of Genie Urbaine, Universitè Paris Est Marne la Vallée. At the latest edition (2015) participated also the Faculties of Architecture of Belgrade University and of the School of Architecture and Design ‘E. Vittoria’ of the University of Camerino. The format of the ARU workshop includes a one-week design experience at the Faculty of Architecture of Sapienza University of Rome, for a total amount of approximately fifty hours. The students work in mixed groups and are assisted by tutors, young architects and/or Ph.D. students, under the supervision of the teachers’ group. At the end of the work a jury, made up of university professors, public administration employees and professionals, assesses, on an agreed set of criteria, the work done, after attending the presentation of projects and analyzing the displayed graphic materials. The mention of the winning project is symbolically awarded to the project proposal considered more responsive to the requests made by the competition announce mentor by the design demand, expressed by the participating administrations themselves. The presentation of the work at the French University, concludes the annual experience and opens up the scenario for the organization following edition. The workshop is associated with the study tour: to the French students is essentially the 'prologue' of the workshop week while for Italians students is, however, the 'follow up' of the presentation of the works in France. The first two editions addressed similar issues in different geographical contexts (Rome and Paris), favoring the relationship between contemporary design and historical city, the existent city, the infrastructure and industrial dismissed areas, the existing urban centers and/or envisaged by the planning instruments. The latest edition, on the other hand, focused on a single theme: the requalification of architecture and of open spaces of the Rowing Club Tirrenia Todaro, along the Tiber River in Rome. In this case, the pedagogical value of the workshop went beyond the mere teaching experience: it addressed directly the private demand and its project needs. In all editions the response of the students was large, interesting and participated, so that, for some of them, the workshop themes became, later, the subject of the final degree work. The expansion of the partnership in the edition of 2015 has been very profitable: the level of integration and of dialogue among the participants was greater than the previous editions and, inevitably, the prosperity of ideas and solutions strengthened the exchange between the future architects, engineers, landscape and urban planners with different cultural and professional backgrounds. Students by the promoting universities, Erasmus students, young graduates from Central America, Latin America and Middle East and Russian PhD students attended the three last edition of the workshop. They all contributed, individually and specifically on their skills, to strengthen the common expertise on different knowledge and practices that is, basically, the first objective of the workshop, understood as an experience of cultural and design practice exchange. The good outcomes and the cultural integration achieved encouraged the promoter professors to repeat the same partnership in other typologies of workshops, such as with overseas colleagues of the Universidade Estadual do Maranhao (Brasil) within the Equinox workshop, whose last edition of 2016, "Well-being and creative city", took place in Ascoli Piceno, (12-23 of September). Also in this case it was succesful both in terms of design results, and for the development of those key elements of the workshop, which have been mentioned briefly at the beginning of the text. We are convinced that the practice of the workshop should not present only an add value, but it should be an integral and essential part of the curriculum of a student. The workshop training activity, different from the conventional “classroom” schemes, enriches in a short time the relational and design skills of the student or, at least, gives him awareness of those skills.

Atelier de reflexion Urbaine Progetti per la città- Projects pur la Ville- Design for the city 2013_2015 / Giofre', Francesca; Trusiani, Elio. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 1-192.

Atelier de reflexion Urbaine Progetti per la città- Projects pur la Ville- Design for the city 2013_2015

GIOFRE', Francesca
;
TRUSIANI, ELIO
2017

Abstract

The experimental workshop practice found, in the last fifteen years, more and more space in the schools of architecture. It consists on a design experience able to train the student, in a short or a medium duration time, in the processing speed, in the organization of the development and in the synthesis ability: a design process based on the dialectic among debate/clash and conflict/dialogue with the consequent search for a design proposal as a result of cultural, methodological, linguistic and communicative integration of various participants. It is a pedagogical and cultural exercise, even before than technical, which incorporates and declines in new forms the practice of the ex tempore. Indeed, the workshop finds its remote roots right in the design ex tempore, that is the written test which, in the faculties of architecture, was presented as a designing exercise taking place in a limited time, usually within the three/four hours, on a specific topic within one year monodisciplinary course. An essential step to exercise and test the skills of the individual student or of a small group of students. Starting from these considerations and from the awareness, by now known, of the increasing necessity of processing speed, development organization and of the synthesis ability, in order to address the complexity required by design activity, the workshop is a working methodology that recovers the idea of ex tempore, and tests the potentiality in different forms, in government administrations, research organizations and universities. The workshop extends and reinterprets the ex tempore test, necessarily as a collective practical work, on a specific design theme in response to a real need detected in a given territory. The academic workshop is developed in a period that usually goes from five/six days up to a maximum of fourteen days, starting from the presentation of the study area. The local actors (institutions, public authorities, cultural operators) or directly the teachers from the proposer university formulate the demand for projects coming from the city and/or from territories. The workshop argument is verified and supported by the first site inspection in the project areas, that opens the scenario of direct knowledge in the field. So is launched the diagnostic and project path during which students compare themselves to the knowledge and, above all, they absorb the demands of those who inhabit the investigation places, without the filter of local actors and/or of the reference teachers. Students interview the inhabitants, they return several times in the project areas, they strengthen, solidify and re-discuss the initial beliefs and certainties, acquired from the class training and (... as often happens), thrown into crisis by the report/verification of real everyday needs of those who live and inhabit the places to rethink. From the didactic point of view, the cognitive process put in place is highly effective: the student, through active learning, acquires awareness and starts the interaction between new knowledge and his cultural background, feeling 'architect’ called to give a comprehensive and non -sectorial response. Ultimately, the student, with his working group, is thrown into a new reality that simulates the professional environment, with all its issues, different from the ones he can experiment in the classroom. The collaboration and the teamwork in a national and/or international context, the continuous debate with the institutional actors and stakeholders (customers, administrators, residents, etc.) lead students to develop skills of interaction and mediation: It becomes crucial being able to establish, manage and maintain good relations, to respect others, to collaborate finding a balance between the own project ideas and priorities with those of the group, and to respect the time schedule given. Not least, the ability to deal with conflicts, to recognize them and try to resolve them within a common and shared vision among the group, becomes essential. As observers/teachers we remark two more aspects: the removal of linguistic barriers through language of design, and the good 'competition' that develops between the groups during the workshop, that brings them to work also a lot after the fixed time, and in interactive ways that belong to the new generations. Professors in the workshops play a supervisory role in the constant and almost equal dialogue with working groups. Also for the same teachers, the workshop becomes an opportunity of learning, growth and strengthening of conflict mediation skills. The Atelier de Reflexion Urbaine (ARU) falls within this experimentation: it is a workshop organized in the first two editions (2013 and 2014) by the partnership between the Faculty of Architecture of Sapienza, University of Rome and the Department of Genie Urbaine, Universitè Paris Est Marne la Vallée. At the latest edition (2015) participated also the Faculties of Architecture of Belgrade University and of the School of Architecture and Design ‘E. Vittoria’ of the University of Camerino. The format of the ARU workshop includes a one-week design experience at the Faculty of Architecture of Sapienza University of Rome, for a total amount of approximately fifty hours. The students work in mixed groups and are assisted by tutors, young architects and/or Ph.D. students, under the supervision of the teachers’ group. At the end of the work a jury, made up of university professors, public administration employees and professionals, assesses, on an agreed set of criteria, the work done, after attending the presentation of projects and analyzing the displayed graphic materials. The mention of the winning project is symbolically awarded to the project proposal considered more responsive to the requests made by the competition announce mentor by the design demand, expressed by the participating administrations themselves. The presentation of the work at the French University, concludes the annual experience and opens up the scenario for the organization following edition. The workshop is associated with the study tour: to the French students is essentially the 'prologue' of the workshop week while for Italians students is, however, the 'follow up' of the presentation of the works in France. The first two editions addressed similar issues in different geographical contexts (Rome and Paris), favoring the relationship between contemporary design and historical city, the existent city, the infrastructure and industrial dismissed areas, the existing urban centers and/or envisaged by the planning instruments. The latest edition, on the other hand, focused on a single theme: the requalification of architecture and of open spaces of the Rowing Club Tirrenia Todaro, along the Tiber River in Rome. In this case, the pedagogical value of the workshop went beyond the mere teaching experience: it addressed directly the private demand and its project needs. In all editions the response of the students was large, interesting and participated, so that, for some of them, the workshop themes became, later, the subject of the final degree work. The expansion of the partnership in the edition of 2015 has been very profitable: the level of integration and of dialogue among the participants was greater than the previous editions and, inevitably, the prosperity of ideas and solutions strengthened the exchange between the future architects, engineers, landscape and urban planners with different cultural and professional backgrounds. Students by the promoting universities, Erasmus students, young graduates from Central America, Latin America and Middle East and Russian PhD students attended the three last edition of the workshop. They all contributed, individually and specifically on their skills, to strengthen the common expertise on different knowledge and practices that is, basically, the first objective of the workshop, understood as an experience of cultural and design practice exchange. The good outcomes and the cultural integration achieved encouraged the promoter professors to repeat the same partnership in other typologies of workshops, such as with overseas colleagues of the Universidade Estadual do Maranhao (Brasil) within the Equinox workshop, whose last edition of 2016, "Well-being and creative city", took place in Ascoli Piceno, (12-23 of September). Also in this case it was succesful both in terms of design results, and for the development of those key elements of the workshop, which have been mentioned briefly at the beginning of the text. We are convinced that the practice of the workshop should not present only an add value, but it should be an integral and essential part of the curriculum of a student. The workshop training activity, different from the conventional “classroom” schemes, enriches in a short time the relational and design skills of the student or, at least, gives him awareness of those skills.
City, workshop, Design, Urban enviroment
Giofre', Francesca; Trusiani, Elio
06 Curatela::06a Curatela
Atelier de reflexion Urbaine Progetti per la città- Projects pur la Ville- Design for the city 2013_2015 / Giofre', Francesca; Trusiani, Elio. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 1-192.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/994998
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