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CODE 95274
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 9915 ARCHITETTURA (LM-4) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 9915 ARCHITETTURA (LM-4) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER 1° Semester


    This course deals with urban/architectural design in an inhabited/developed coastal context (in Liguria), confronting the rapport between the built environment and the sea, coastal environmental issues, as well as issues of adaptability over time to address changes in climate as well as changes in social/cultural patterns of life. This will be pursued through an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach.

    The language of instruction is English.



    The course will develop in the student a broad design ability to address environmental issues in an integrated matter with issues of public space through an urban/architectural proposal that can adapt to changing conditions.

    The student will develop the ability to think and work logically and sequentially to develop a hierarchical strategy (from schematic to developed, from permanent structure to ephemeral elements) and over a range of time.

    The student will develop the ability to work in multicultural and interdisciplinary teams to learn to communicate and collaborate, integrating the knowledge and viewpoints of others from other fields of expertise.

    The language of instruction is English (instructor is mother tongue) so the improvement of communication skills in English and developing a disciplinary vocabulary will be stressed.


    Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:

    • work collaboratively within a design team as well as with other teams (also virtually with collaborators in the US)

    • develop a decision-making design process based on forming options and making justifiable choices

    • develop design proposals that permit and encourage adaptation and transformation with contextual changes (human, climatic, etc.)

    • develop different scenarios for ‘fitting out’ or completing the schematic architecture over short and long periods of time, with degrees of the permanent, temporary and ephemeral

    • learn new ways to work with modeling software and minimal rendering

    • communicate more effectively in spoken English



    • basic knowledge or sense of architecture in an urban environment: public place making

    • good ability with Rhinoceros 6 or 7 modeling software (Sketchup acceptable, but Rhinoceros preferred)

    • good ability with Adobe Photoshop

    • previous knowledge or understanding of design and environmental issues is useful

    • modest capacity to communicate in spoken English (improving the student’s English is important)


    The course will be conducted through presentations, guided research, the studio work of generating architectural proposals, and discussions/critiques. Students may do some schematic drawing but the bulk of the design work will be in 3D modeling.

    Students will work in groups of two persons.

    Gathering information, generating design proposals/options/schematics, and making justifiable choices from initial scheme to final development will be a process repeated throughout the semester.

    Collaboration within design groups and between groups will be important. Collaboration with students and researchers of Florida International University will play an important role in the interdisciplinary aspect of the design process (above all Phase Two) and will be part of the course evaluation. 


    Use of modeling software:

    A particular way of using Rhinoceros software will be taught to emphasize developing a design process for adaptable solutions that can be worked on in teams and also shared with other teams. Clear organization of the elements and layers will be emphasized to make the files accessible to others, a practical and responsible approach for future practice.

    The course will emphasize a working method for demonstrating design logic or sense over simulated appearance, and images generated will be intended to encourage design discussion. A method of using Rhinoceros and Photoshop to produce quick images will be taught; there will be no elaborate or photo-realistic rendering required for the course.



    The first phase of the semester will address strategies of coastal design which deal with environmental conditions, case studies of permanent/adaptable architecture, analysis of the project site, and digital model preparation. This will include virtual presentations by experts from Florida International University (FIU) Sea Level Solutions Center.

    The second phase will be the formation of the schematic urban/architectural proposal in virtual collaboration with Florida International University environmental science students (possibly also engineering students) and researchers of the FIU Sea level Solutions Center and Institute of Environment. This proposal will be formed by establishing different options and making a justifiable selection, and will be essentially composed of a ground or site work that addresses water’s edge (sea level rise, high seas and storm surge) and forms networks of public space, and some  kind of architectonic frame or basic structure. These two elements will be the permanent urban armature of the project.

    The third phase will be the fitting out or completing the permanent armature with ‘temporary’ (potentially mid- to long-term duration) and ephemeral components to make the structure 'habitable', but also able to be transformed to meet new conditions and uses. Students will form a sequence of alternative scenarios, for example: present, 25 years, 50 years.


    Exam Board




    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.



    At the conclusion of the semester the students will present and discuss with the critics their design reasoning and the justification of the project based on the aims of the course.

    The work submission for the final exam will be a series of images documenting the research, the design process of the phases, the essential permanent sitework, structures and present scenario of completing the frame, and the alternative future scenarios. A digital pdf portoflio of these images will be submitted.

    A full demonstration of the modes of visual representation will be evident: diagrams and schematics, orthographic, isometric/axonometric and perspective projections.


    Aspects to be evidenced in the work and discussed in the exam:

    • research, references, case studies, utilization of information

    • urban strategy/networks of public space                    

    • architecture of permanence and change

    • environmental conditions and integrated architectural response

    • collaboration & communication (within group and with others)

    • design visualization & effective use of media



    Assessment and evaluation will take place at the end of each phase of work, by both the instructor and the group itself. 

    The second phase, generating the permanent groundwork and architectonic structure, will also be assessed by the other teams for its suitability to being adaptable to change and being worked on by other teams, now or in the future.



    05%      Phase One


    10%      Phase Two – instructor evaluation of design work

    10%      Phase Two – instructor evaluation of dialogue and collaboration

    10%      Phase Two – other teams’ evaluation of design for adaptability and development


    15%      Phase Three


    50%      Final exam