Envisioning through Cross-Sections. Extempore experiments on landscape description and strategical design

Chair: Andrea Oldani,  (andrea.oldani@polimi.it)
Co-chair: Francesca Zanotto,  (francesca.zanotto@polimi.it)

Short Description:
Background | The contemporary environmental and social crisis of urban realm calls for a complete rethinking of urban spaces. The proven necessity to renovate the existing rather than substitute or expand it requires to work on available spatial resources - open spaces especially - deeply understanding their complex, multiple and variable nature. Traditional tools and techniques of urban design – starting with the horizontal conceptualization performed by maps – are now inadequate to handle the customisation required by the upgrading of obsolete urban form.
It is urgent to reacquire a body relationship with the landscape and its inhabitants. For this purpose, old tools as cross-sections can acquire new meanings and work as guides to experience and describe the landscape and originally construct correspondences between people and spaces.
Scenario | After a short introduction (1/2hrs) the workshop (1+1/2 hrs) will consist of an exploration of the surroundings of the congress venue following the plots suggested by some cross-section planes. Starting from the comprehension of the character of urban spaces and developing social interactions, the participants will provide, according to their expertise, personal figurative readings of the context (drawings + photos + captions) employing the cross-section as a critical tool to develop a strategic vision on the urban realm, in a global perspective.
Back to the conference venue, the experience will conclude with a resume of the different experiences, the collection of visual materials and a debate (1hrs).
Objectives | The objective is building a bridge between a real urban piece, assumed as a generic study sample, the expertise of space practitioners and the topics of the conference as matters of space, to test and verify the potentialities of an ideal tool as the cross-section when employed in a real context, in the framework of the conference as a container of suggestions on the critical theme of updating cities in a social and ecological perspective.
Expected outcomes | Expected outcomes consist of public restitution of the workshop results during the conference. Furthermore, the topics and the results of the workshop will be critically discussed in a contribution to be published at the end of the conference.
Details | Duration: 3 hours | Suggested number of participants: 10/12.
Materials required to participants: sketchbook/drawing tools/camera (or mobile) .
Materials to provide before the conference: City Map + Introductory dossier.