Politecnico di Milano

The POLIMI team take a design‐based practical methodology in combination with anthropological approaches to participatory dialogue, to undertake comparative analysis of the work of seven European architectural collectives, in relation to the re‐activation of disused and neglected public spaces and buildings, and the involvement of heterogeneous communities in specific sites.

Dr Francesca Lanz and Dr Jacopo Leveratto, with Dr Cristina F. Colombo and Francesca Gotti will identify effective strategies for building and activating open, inclusive urban spaces, exploring experimental practices of tactical urbanism to understand what institutional design can learn from such interventions.

Analysis will focus on the reflexive practices of seven professional firms relating to European ‘crises’ and the need for repurposing and re‐activating neglected or disused spaces and buildings: Construct Lab (Germany), Orizzontale (Italy), Gravalosdimonte Arquitectos (Spain) Atelier Mob (Portugal), Colectivo Warhouse (Portugal) Collectif Etc (France), Bruit du Frigo (France).

The research will investigate ‘curatorial’ approaches and dialogic interaction to understand tactical interventions in spontaneous place‐making, which use short‐term, low‐cost and scalable interventions, and develop strategic guidelines and tools characterising this approach. The applicability and replicability of these findings will be explored through an international open call for projects, which will invite architects, designers, planners, activists, and postgraduate students across the world to redesign a neglected and marginal space of their choice, through catalyst low-cost interventions aimed at implementing the character of the place and the quality of life of the residents and visitors of a neighbourhood.

Dr Francesca Lanz (PI and Co-I 2019-2020)