Reactivating underpopulated areas through participatory architecture in southern Italy by creating a home for newcomers

Denicke-Polcher, Sandra (2022) Reactivating underpopulated areas through participatory architecture in southern Italy by creating a home for newcomers. Architecture_MPS, 21 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 2050-9006

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Abstract / Description

Crossing Cultures is a university-based research initiative that is part of London Metropolitan’s Centre for Urban and Built Ecologies (CUBE) which aims to develop a new pedagogical model. The focus is to provide an inclusive learning environment that facilitates intercultural relationships and group learning, equipping students with essential skills for a globally connected world beyond the subject of architecture. We have paired the design studio activities in London with a field experience of live engagement in southern Italy, in a region suffering from depopulation, while simultaneously experiencing the arrival of asylum seekers. The confluence of these opposing developments creates a need to rebuild local communities and presents an exceptional opportunity for our students to become agents of change. The article outlines how, through the creation of an additional teaching and learning platform for multi-disciplinary research outside the boundaries of the university campus, this teaching practice is raising social capital by attracting and integrating students and asylum seekers alike, adding to population and economic growth. The article concludes by highlighting the unique opportunity to scale up this hybrid studio/field study model, which has arisen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. What is proposed is that now, as universities are developing blended learning delivery models, our observations could feed into a new, expansive model for studying architecture as a student-in-residence mode of study.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crossing Cultures; architecture workshops; studio; teaching practice; integration; social capital; COVID-19; multidisciplinary; architecture student residency
Subjects: 700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 720 Architecture
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Sandra Denicke
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 09:01
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 08:12


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