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The City and the Futures. Perspectives and Experiences for Resilient Communities

Lecturers: prof. Sara Favargiotti (DICAM); dr. Rocco Scolozzi (Research Fellow - Department of Sociology and social research) 

Timetable 2020: 22-30 November 2020 

Period Hours Room
22 November  4 hours online ECIU Autumn School  
23 November  8 hours in presence 1H
24 November  8 hours in presence 1H
30 November  4 hours in presence 2C 

Credits: 3 credits (24 hours)


Imagining, planning, designing cities - or parts of them - means designing collective futures. The seminar explores those significant questions that communities are facing in the contemporary transformations of their living environment. Whom are the futures designed for? How possible and imaginable futures, and related socio-culturaleconomic-ecological conditions, affect contemporary design decisions? What is the temporal horizon of the design perspectives (Short? Medium? Long?). Do designers ask questions about the future of those who will live "their" project? And what are their effects on design? Is the future consumed or fostered? The contamination of disciplinary boundaries between landscape, architecture, urbanism, ecology, and futures studies (a recent branch of social sciences) has forced to expand and redefine the practice of designers and their field of operations. Following this, the seminar will focus on the expansion in approaches and definitions of relevant themes such as multiple futures, uncertainties, resilience, future-proof vs. future-failing solutions, social empowerment that have undergone during the last decade and the consequent emergence of new design methodologies. It will do so through sharing knowledge, perspectives, theories and design experiences among the fields of urban, landscape and ecological design, as well as environmental and social studies. The tools to be experienced will include Megatrends Implications Assessment, Systems Thinking, and Three Horizons. The seminar might occasionally invite specialist in the related fields as guest critics to support and enhance the collective discussion. During the seminar the participants will be actively involved into different exercises according the theme of the day. The final submission will be a critical presentation (optionally supported by an extended paper up to 1000/1500 words) applying one of the proposed methods on futures proofing for a selected case study, related to their doctoral research topic, to be illustrated during the last day of the seminar. The seminar is specifically designed to address multiple disciplines and enrollment is encouraged for students from the fields of landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning and design, ecological design, as well students from environmental sciences, economics and social sciences interested in the long-term management and design of built environments or territories but it is also opened to other disciplines.

Researchers and students (doctoral and post-docs) who are interested in participating in the seminar have to write an email to sara.favargiotti [at] by November 15, 2020.