+2 Space + Common Good Social vulnerability, Active Communities, Self-built practices

International Summer School for Advanced Studies UniBS 2023


Barbara Angi, Barbara Badiani, Ioanni Delsante

Visiting Professors

Caroline Newton, Jorge Minguet, Aslihan Senel

Guest Lectures

Maria Giulia Bernardini, Sergio Boni, Giovanna Donati, Orsetta Giolo, Jo Muñoz, Diego Peris Lopez, Irene Peron, Marco Ranzato, Alberto Soci.


Tabassum Ahmed, Fabrizio d'Angelo, Maddalena Duse, Luca Fogliata, Linda Migliavacca, Ilaria Maurelli, Nazila Salehnia, Buse Özçelik, Öykü Şimşek, Elif Nur Adıgüzel

Scientific Committee

Barbara Angi, Barbara Badiani, Carlo Berizzi, Guido Cimadomo, Angelo Luigi Camillo Ciribini, Fabrizio d'Angelo, Ioanni Delsante, Ilaria Maurelli, Marina Montuori, Irene Peron, Marco Ranzato, Anna Richiedei, Alberto Soci, Michela Tiboni, Maurizio Tira, Giorgio Vassena, Silvia Mastrolembo Ventura

Academic partners

Delft University of Technology, Istanbul Technical University, University of Malaga, University of Pavia, University of Roma TRE

Brief description

The International Summer School for Advanced Studies UniBS «+ Space + Common Good. Social vulnerability, Active Communities, Self-built practices» aims at offering an opportunity for design practice and reflection on the tools of architecture and urbanism, starting from the specificities of the place and the subjects involved. The workshop will range from reading the place, interacting with the subjects who live there, listening to and understanding the questions, designing, and presenting a solution, to the concrete realisation of an everyday object through the reuse of waste materials (bins, dustpans, plastic bottles, etc.) in a «ready-made» key.

The course has two main objectives.

Firstly, the ISS proposes a co-design experience to give students the opportunity to experience the relationship with the client, the collaboration between subjects with different competence roles. This aspect aims at making students understand the complexity of the stakeholders with whom one must interact in professional practice. The choice of a design theme aimed at providing answers to vulnerable subjects requires the identification of technical solutions, puts a critical attitude before the skills acquired in the field of design, encourages comparison and experimentation, and involves reflection on issues that touch on the field of coexistence and the sharing of spaces, looking at the themes of rights and “common goods”. In addition, collaboration with professionals stimulates learning through concrete experiences, chosen from those that offer a perspective strongly marked by process innovation, informality, and creativity.

Secondly, the ISS aims at bringing students closer to architectural practices and the reading of urban space, combining the background of design culture acquired during university studies with considerations of undeniable topicality linked to a “circular” and “sustainable” approach to the reuse of materials with a life cycle that is not yet exhausted or running out, considered as “precious raw materials” to be reinterpreted. In particular, the ISS aims at making students understand how it is possible to find a balance between social, environmental, and economic needs, while also re-evaluating the “aesthetic dimension” of waste materials through «ready-made» processes.

According to this approach, everyday objects, trivial from a figurative point of view, now awaiting new meanings and new attitudes of use, can rise to a new “status” through the relocation of meaning and use. All design attention converges in this tension: between an original sphere of belonging and a new one to be drawn by circumscribing new identities and measuring the distance from those already acquired. The process is clear: if we start from the Duchampian assumption that “everything can be art”, the emancipation from responding to pre-established aesthetic canons decrees the extinction of a formal logic, and the value of the object will depend on the scenarios of use that are attributed to it from time to time. This can also be done through a design attitude that seeks to rediscover what Alison and Peter Smithson have defined as the “poetics of the ordinary” in the freedom of forms of association between people – “patterns of association” – along streets and in public spaces.


To put these ideas into practice, a specific location has been identified where the students, teachers and researchers involved will be able to experiment with alternative design practices for the creation of objects (benches, tables, rockers, slides, pergolas, for example) for sharing a collective open space. The projects will focus on the garden attached to a social structure housing vulnerable subject (the San Vincenzo de Paoli Dormitory). This place has specific characteristics, not only in terms of its use, but also in terms of its relationship with the surrounding urban context and with the public spaces around the area.


Last updated on: 05/07/2023