Prototyping the City: Torino World Design Capital Summer School Pavillion

Prototyping the City: Design Studio is a workshop organized by the Torino World Design Capital, the Architec- tural Association, the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and the Politecnico di Torino within the context of the summer school Designing Connected Places. It will take place both in Torino and in the ex-royal residence of Pollenzo. It will be conceived as an intensive collaborative section between 35 students from all over the world and will be realized with the support of Denaldi Legnami.

The task is to design and construct an installation that will be used as the Torino information desk of the six workshops of the summer school Designing Connected Places that will be held in Pollenzo. Students will design and construct the information desk by using advanced computational techniques and fabrication processes.

Prototyping the City aims to explore the potential of prototyping as a creative instrument in the production of the contemporary city. The two-week design workshop will focus on the design and development of a 1:1 architectural prototype that will be exhibited as part of the international summer school Designing Connected Places in Torino.

The concept of a design prototype is traditionally linked to industrial design and related manufacturing fields. Architecture has traditionally lacked the forms of serial production and mass production whereby prototyping sensibilities have evolved in related design fields. In modern times, new architectural ideas have frequently been developed and then tested in relationship to an idea of an architectural type. The idea of an architectural type is today undergoing a radical redefinition owing to the obsolescence of historical models which are being radically reconfigured by new urban conditions, lifestyles, economic trans- formation and technological innovation. Prototyping has gained an invigorated architectural relevance and prominence in contemporary architectural culture, education and debate. This resurgence of architectural type and contemporary architectural prototyping will serve as the context of this design workshop.

Workshop: Starting 14 July, Ending july 26 2008 Installation: Starting july 10th ending october 12 2008

From 28 June to 12 October, there will be two major exhibitions in Torino, in two abandoned buildings very close to each other and next door to the Politecnico di Torino main building: the former prison “Le Nuove” and the “Officine Grandi Riparazioni delle Strade Ferrate”. It is an area of the city that has been abandoned for a few years and that will be reborn as an exhibit pole during these months. The exhibits will take place at once and there will be a unique ticket for the visits.Prototyping the city.

Teaching Staff
Leaders: C.Pasquero – Architectural Association M.Poletto – Architectural Association C.Tiazzoldi – Columbia University Local coordination: C. Griffa – Politecnico di Torino Local Partners: Denaldi Legnami s.a.s. Experts: P. Anzalone – Columbia University Assistants: D. del Giudice – A. Graziano


Extended Program
The studio Prototyping the City will take place in the context of the summer school Designing Connected Places. It will be used as the Torino base and information desk of the six workshops that will take place in the castel of Pollenzo . The information desk gives to the students the directions and information regarding mobil- ity in the city and the summer school activities. After the conclusion of the summer school on 29 July, the information desk remains as an antenna of the work developed during the summer school programme. Requirements: to connect visually the two exhibits 011 and Flexibility, to display information on the summer school activities and to report the summer school events. Secondary requirements: lockers, bike parking, lounging areas … It hosts the panels of information about the other workshops, and may include videos.

Lyfe Cycle of the Installation
July 10th Material delivery Denaldi Legnami delivers the material on the site of Corso Castelfidardo. It is stocked in a way that it can be used as temporary desk and meeting area.

July 13th Students arrival The info point consists at this point as a wood stock, with a temporary table and chairs to be used for the desk. Summer School communication is all around. Students and teaching staff arrive, check in, can leave their luggage and get around. At 5pm the Pollenzo students leave for their final destination.

July 20th Work day off It’s the free day between the two weeks of workshop. It is the day in which there is a change between two cycle of the Pollenzo Summer School. The student attending the first week of the summer school leave, when the students attending the second week arrive. The info point becomes a real place in connetction between the two group of Pollenzo students and between the Pollenzo and Torino students. Torino students have been working for a week on the installation, which, at this point, consists in half wood stock and half constructed installation. Table and chairs are probably there. It may be an opportunity to meet each other, and to open to the city with an open cocktail party, including a presentation of the first week of works in Pollenzo and Torino (video, panels…). The installation set up is still half stock – half pavilion.

July 26th Accomplishment of the installation The installation is completely built and the wood stock is over. The installation becomes a part of the exhibition path from “011” to “Flexibility”. The installation is accomplished and it also presents in some videos, panels and small prototypes the summerschool’s works.

July 29th Work End of the Design Connected Place Summer School Students arrive at 12.30 from Pollenzo by bus, they can leave their stuff and get around befor to leave the city. There might be a presentation of the 2nd week workshops. It’s the end of the Summer School

October 12th Removal of the installation at the end of the exhibits, the installation will be removed, leaving the site as it was before.

The material provided by Denaldi is obtained from a stock of wood at the end of its life cycle. The old material is prepared and transformed in the Denaldi workshops. The result is a series of sticks, small panels and scandles , which will be delivered to the site with a set of metal connecting elements.

Size and quantity of the material The goal of the workshop is to realize the info point with a predetermined type and quantity of material:
200 sticks 5×5×400 cm
200 shingles 2×10×400 cm
Metallic joints

The students’ work will consist of designing and testing (week 1) and installing (week 2). During week 1, the students will be divided into six groups that will work on parallel separate investigations, developing the various layers or components of the pavilion. A series of evening presentations and brain- storming sessions will foster cross-fertilization between the groups and guarantee a coherent progress of the design.

Group 1: wood technology and material system – Group 1 will investigate in more detail the different types of wood materials provided and will develop a series of 1:1 scale models testing joining logic. The process will evolve during week 1 and by the end of the week a series of connecting logics will be selected and deployed for the installation in week 2.

Group 2: ecologic cycles and material experiment – Group 2 will investigate biodegradability as a natural and/or artificially induced process. They will research biodegradable materials, develop testing beds and run live experiments. The work of the group will constitute the premises for the biodegradability regime of the final pavilion.

Group 3: programmatic analysis – Group 3 will be responsible for the development of the programmatic requirement of the pavillon; this will verify the functional potential of the different proposals.

Group 4: parametric logics – Group 4 will investigate parametric logics for the development of the pavilion design. They will develop digital design techniques and dedicated codes to explore the effects of proliferating the joint and connection logics tested by group 1, the biodegrading processes tested by group 2 and the audience feedback registered by group 3. They will develop a series of 3D printed models of possible proliferated configurations.

Group 5: urban fields – Group 5 will investigate methods to communicate to the info point public the outcomes of the work produced in the workshop and the developing concept during each of its stages. Graphic, video and blog means will be adopted and developed to promote a deeper engagement between the public and the design process.

Group 6: 1:1 scale test models of the pavilion structure – Group 6 will test the logics developed by groups 4 and 1 and feed back to them the effects of real material assemblages. They will be responsible for the development of the pavilion mock-up for the interim jury at the end of week 1.

Group 7: site conditions – Group 7 will be responsible for the development of the “on-site work in progress” and the actualisation of the project on-site. They will design plans of the area and curate the day-by-day development. They will also collaborate directly with the other groups to define what kind of relationship the pavilion will have with the site, determine the final size and dimensions, design the eventual base or supports and curate the exact location.

At the end of week 1, an interim jury will see a presentation of the individual work of each group with the selection of the final design solutions and the planning of the week 2 construction work. During week 2, groups 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 will work together to fabricate the pavilion. Group 5 will collaborate and continue the develop- ment of the urban field task. Group 7 will continue the curatorial and managerial role. The workshop will terminate with a public event or final presentation of the work developed in front of a panel composed of local and international guests. Denaldi Legnami from Casale Monferrato sponsor the wood which will be used to build the installation. They will also give technical support during the design phase and during the construction phase.

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