The Peer review has evaluated this group as Good
Architectural design and urban planning in production relationships of city and territory The research team, founded on a work tradition characterised by the dialectical relationship between the two viewpoints of architecture and town-planning, privileges a structural cognitive approach centred on the study of productive and social relationships in their historical mutations, which represents an epistemological position in antithesis to that popular with Neoliberism, based on a totally individualistic vision generating every kind of social phenomenon. These respective points of view, architecture and town-planning, are developed on the basis of distinct conceptual and operative instruments, but are geared to individuating common strategies of intervention in the construction of a new environment and a new urban landscape. In this conceptual context the research is not for the ‘a priori plan’, assigned to the presumption of the design and/or to ‘perfect’ laws, nor for the more recent ‘flexible plan’ which, in seeking legitimation in the Postmodernist values of the local and everyday context, appears inevitably subaltern to the rules of the market. It is, on the other hand, for a project that is first and foremost a project of activity, individuated in the light of structural facts and initiated in management, or for an instrument of intervention policy, geared to influencing critically the nature of relations in production and the city life habits. It aims at an overall project (town-planning and architectural) capable of orienting the processes of change in the lay-out of the city and territory, in pursuit of a new culture-civilisation, and providing adequate functional and expressive representation of the same. In this way, architecture may also be represented on the basis of knowledge and contextual motivations, projected onto the identity of the European city and the historical and typological body of the disciplinary heredity, thus escaping from a concept of the project as likened to the design of the objects or the pursuit of fashion, which is all too frequently demanded in the global market of the images. 1. The research, in an economic and urban planning context (coordinator Marco Canesi), examines the situation in the knowledge of the need to make a subtle distinction between the macro level and the micro level. Four magnitudes, considered in their mutual relationships, form the basis of the phenomenal study: settlement trends, mobility, income and population. Income plays a crucial role: its use makes it possible to cross the limits of the pure description of the phenomenal and put forward sound proposals, in the light of a pursuable scenario of development. 29 The research centres its work program on the structural changes brought about by the new development stage attained by the productive forces: on one hand, the exhausting of Fordism and the asserting of a new development method based on manufacturing differentiation; on the other hand, the opening up of enterprises to demand expectations and, at the same time, to co-operation with other enterprises, with the need for increasingly interactive business relationships. In particular, the research studied the new forms of corporate governance and the town-planning implications, conducting empirical surveys on several ‘Made in Italy’ sectors (paying special attention to instrumental mechanics). Contrarily to studies of a Neoclassic type, in which the prevailing interest was on the problems of measuring and assessment (forms of opportunism between economic agents), the research examined the structural relationship between the degree of customisation of the product (generality-specificity) and forms of corporate organisation (market-hierarchy), as well as, in determining this relationship, the vital importance assumed by the special dimension (decentralisation-centralisation). Thanks to the cognitive results obtained, the research has developed a theoretic position in which, after making the fundamental distinction between ex ante customisation (many models with few pre-established variations) and ex post customisation (few models with many variations, either pre-established or madeto- measure), has aimed to identify a new manufacturing offer and, along with it, a pure new form of corporate governance (the close network), on the basis of the appropriate satisfying of the expectations (expressed or expressible) of the worldwide working class, the success of which requires an alternative territorial organisation to that currently in operation, i.e. many-centred and democratic globalisation rather than planetary and unilateral globalisation. 2. The research, in the context of architecture (coordinators Guido Canella and Enrico Bordogna), draws from a concept geared to the assigning of a compositional project not a pure exercise in formalisation, which in itself is valid independently of its destined contexts, but the responsibility of expressing individually the contextual determining factors through the definition of appropriate functional types and the study of their consistent representation. Along this line of work the research has been applied, over a long period of time, to the designing of the main functional systems of collective life in the reorganisation of the city and the territory: museums, theatres, town halls, schools and universities, cultural centres, trade fairs and markets. The themes currently dealt with focus specifically on the subject of public building architecture. This is considered as the ‘polarity of metropolitan gravitation’ geared, on one hand, to limiting urban expansion in contexts of advanced development and, on the other hand, to promoting the development of new structural and urban habitat developments in contexts of low-technology and underdeveloped economic-territorial systems. This idea is based on the argument that such types have always performed, or striven to perform, a promoting role in urban habitat, a poleogenetic role. This is both from the point of view of functional condensation, as a definite compensation for the imbalances induced by the proliferation of the city outskirts, and as a 30 figurative basis of urban development, the representative emergence of the architectural landscape of the city.