University I Design Challenges

Biennale Sessions 2016
26 novembre 2016
November 26, 2016

Saturday, November 26th 2016 ‘Biennale Sessions – Reporting From the Italian Front’ at Sale d’Armi B, Arsenale

For the ‘Biennale Sessions – Reporting From the Italian Front’ 2016, the architectural group of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Trento with R.E.D.S. Cloud proposes the theme of the UNIVERSITY - CITY intended not only as the connection between higher education institutions and its users, but also as the ability of the university to meet the challenges arising from applied research, design innovation and improving the quality of life that comes from the territory.
The university intended not as separated and independent for the local context, but properly integrated to the specific economic and social fabric, it is a significant factor in the development of urban quality, equal or perhaps greater, to the programs of local production or infrastructural investment. The public investment directed to the development of the university system, as a tool for enhancing human and cultural resources, as well as materials, assumes a character of strategic asset, capable of generating development and resources beyond its traditional area of influence. You can begin to think about the university in a new way, not only as an institution that produces culture, but also as a company that produces and distributes innovation and income on the territory. In other words, university can be a vehicle for modernizing and upgrading both the production system as well as the territorial and settlement system.
For the different aspects that affect the quality of the physical forms of living and the transfer of skills between universities and the territory, that relationship can often produce significant effects on social, economic and urban systems. For the university, one of the main challenge is the ability to offer concrete and achievable actions for both innovation and development of settlements and environments as well as the social, economic and environmental sustainability that can produce a strong impact on the territory through the forms and technologies embodied by architectural, landscape and urban projects.
UNIVERCITY is conceived as an open working day where applied architectural and urban research projects, developed within the DICAM at the University of Trento, will be presented in conjunction with other projects proposed by researchers and scholars that respond to the open call through proposals that have a real impact on the processes of territorial change. UNIVERCITY proposes to engage scenarios that envision the possible evolution of the relationship between the university and the city, starting from the themes that arise from the design workshop while engaging institutional partners, with heads of applied research projects and with representatives of academia and the profession.
The UNIVERCITY - Biennale Sessions 2016 - aims to focus on three DESIGN CHALLENGES to reflect and reframe critically the relation between University and City in the contemporary built environment. What is the impact of Design in the force that shapes our contemporary reality through the production of Knowledge, Contexts, and Entrepreneurial practices? To what extend do contingencies of time and place shape our responses to the continuous relationship between University and City system? How does the discursive character of design education as collaboration and scholarship contribute to this feedback look?


The modes of production of knowledge, education and research, in particular within architecture schools, are unique opportunities to build new models that foster diversity, collaboration, and scholarship through design. Creative approaches to teaching and the organization of architectural academic contexts propel new forms of design investigations, collaborative knowledge while responding to the challenges of envisioning scenarios for the contemporary built environment. As new ways of operating emerge in the profession of architecture, educational approaches need to become increasingly expanded, inclusive and collaborative to respond to the challenges of the contemporary society.


Universities can be active agencies to promote design scenarios and implementation of projects both at the architectural and the urban scale. Acting as catalysts for development and urban regeneration, they have the potential to kick start urban transformations and new connections of systems that engage research and educational mission, the city and its actors, local and global governance, and communities at large. The university can perform as a new operating system of development, by giving impulse to the cultural sector, building and infrastructures coupled with technology and innovation in a new collaborative welfare.


The synergy between the university system and cities can materialize through concrete actions that catalyze the economic and entrepreneurial processes to have a direct impact on the territory. Universities can be primary engines of economic innovation, promote entrepreneurship as well as the recombination of skills and capital while aiding the mobilization of resources. They can be economic generators to establish a healthy economic climate of a city. In this scenario, innovation and the constant flow of new initiatives, ideas and technical developments are some of the most important conditions for future economic growth and source of intellectual and innovative capital driven by universities. In some cities, Universities could also represent one of the main revenue generator thanks to the students and faculty community that act and live in the immediate territory and region.




P. Balbo di Vinadio (University La Sapienza), M. Berta (Polytechnic of Torino), R. Bocchi (IUAV), M. Carta (University of Palermo), P. De Pascali (University La Sapienza), A. De Rossi (Polytechnic of Torino), E. Fontanari (IUAV), C. Gambardella (University Federico II), C. Gasparrini (University Federico II), M. Gausa (University of Genoa/IAAC), N. Martinelli (Polytechnic of Bari), M. Mininni (University of Basilicata), M. Ricci (University of Trento), M. Russo (University Federico II), P. Scaglione (University of Trento), E. Siviero (IUAV), M. Vendittelli (University La Sapienza), Corrado Zoppi (University ofCagliari)


Giuseppe Bonanno, Vincenzo Cribari, Sara Favargiotti, Giulia Garbarini, Chiara Rizzi, Gaia Sgaramella, Emanuele Sommariva