The Italian countryside is punctuated by one of the densest networks of small Towns, Borghi and Villages in Europe: what Stefano Boeri referred to as an ‘Archipelago of Borghi’. These can be understood as the physical traces of the peninsula’s articulated political and cultural history. Often bonded, both economically and administratively, to the political center of larger urban nodes, the Italian Borgo negotiated its autonomy by managing, cultivating and monitoring these peripheral territories. What once were vibrant nodes of this cultural network, today most of these agglomerates are afflicted by a shrinking and aging __________
population, a decaying built-environment as well as an ________
ever-expanding lack of services and digital infrastructure._____
This studio takes recent State led initiatives to reinvigorate ____
these territories as a starting point to imagine near-future _____
scenarios of Transformation. Engaging closely with the _______
existing built environment, and negotiating between historical___
identities and projective scenarios, we will implement contemporary food production strategies, autonomous systems and an ever-growing digital infrastructure to re-imagine these sites. What is at stake in these territories is the possibility to re-negotiate their historical identities between local and global values.
Borgo: n. /bór·go/
1. medium sized center (~10.000 inhabitants) with minor political relevance;
2. extension of the city outside the ancient walls.
Sharing a common brief, the studio will offer two sections working closely with each other to critically understand the social and cultural contexts of these small towns while articulating specific design interests and areas of research. If questions revolving around the design of domestic rituals extend from the individual to the collective, from territorial configurations to local conditions, the two sections will approach the design proposition along two opposing scalar vectors to finally converge at the same scale of investigation: zooming-in and zooming-out each group will support the research of the other. Ultimately the aim is to conceptually problematize a clear separation of foreground and background when thinking about building in existing contexts. Below you will find more information on each of these sections.