EFA studio di architettura

notes on architecture

Experiences of contemporary design

Emilio Faroldi
Mimesis Editions
Sesto San Giovanni, Milan

Seven notes of architecture. Experiences of contemporary design. Reality is the driving force behind the act of designing: it is from reality and for reality that the academic project, as well as the professional one, must move its statute. The mutation of the practice of building has brought changes to its theory. The reformist and innovative instances are concentrated in an effective correlation between the training objectives of the courses and the related articulation of university studies, with the structure of knowledge, skills and professionalism required by the socio-cultural and productive system, in tune with the evolutionary lines and renewed opportunities of the world of work. The teaching of architecture is involved in an ongoing process of profound review: this is a global issue that is confronted with a renewed role of the profession deriving from the significant changes stimulated by the economic crisis, by a universal opening of access to knowledge and to the labour market, and by innovative methods and tools available to design action. Elements both endogenous and exogenous to architecture that constitute the basis for critical rethinking of teaching practices in various European schools of architecture. The present publication is set within this scenario, involving, as an example, a number of master's thesis works relating to the two-year period 2013-2015, coinciding with a significant moment of transition between the previous School of Architecture and Society and the current School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano. The selection of the works was inspired by a twofold and complementary criterion: the pedagogical interest of the dissemination of excellent results and the repetition, in terms of method and cultural attitude, of some recurring and paradigmatic themes of contemporary design. The studies provide design experiences that are aware of the complexity of the architectural and construction phenomenon: in this context, historical research, the study of the social and cultural context, artistic sensitivity, constructive verification and compositional instances merge into an integrated competence that the student-designer draws on to configure the transformative hypothesis of a place. The works concern contexts in Spain, Portugal, Chile and Brazil, in addition to the national context. A design action of considerable international importance, made possible by a process of immersion in the specific realities involved, elected as a working method capable of sensitising the future architect to a comparison with a wide reference framework without political, geographical or cultural boundaries. In this context, the figure of the lecturer represents the methodological guide for the intellectual and technical organisation of the work, reinforced and facilitated by the presence of interlocutors, architects, friends and international lecturers, representing the contexts explored. Writings by Alberto Campo Baeza, Alessandro De Magistris, Antonio Lipthay, Inês Lobo, Fabio Mariz Gonçalves, Nuno Mateus, Isabel Salamaña Serra. Contributions by Maria Bonacina, Tommaso Borghesi, Tommaso Campiotti, Margherita Censi, Tommaso Certo, Francesca Daprà, Francesca Favero, Michele Floris, Caterina Franco, Anna Frigerio, Michele Fumagalli, Luca Montanarella, Manuela Scotti, Chiara Signoroni, Paolo Volpetti. Commentary by Maria Pilar Vettori.