Course code POLI09_bis
Course title Modernity and Critic Modernity and Warm modernity. Architectural Concept and landscape icon.
Institution Politecnico di Milano
Course address
City Milano
Minimum year of study 4th year
Minimum level of English Fair
Minimum level of French None
Key words
Language English
Professor responsible Prof. Maddalena d'Alfonso
Participating professors

proff. Maddalena d'Alfonso, Ernesto d’Alfonso, Marco Introini, Jacopo Galli, Gianluca Brunetti e Antonella Puopolo.

Number of places Minimum: 10, Maximum: 20, Reserved for local students:

In the nature of the new utopia of participatory planning and design exist an approach at times motivated by noble ideals that has had to reckon with a harsh and unforgiving reality; at others driven by ideology in an paternalistic attempt to banish the specter of poverty; or finally an effort driven by a sense of personal responsibility to find a new way out of a history of oppression.

The history of living in the democratic cities of the world seems to have been played out between Europe and the United States.

Christopher Alexander, Giancarlo de Carlo, the Smithsons and Cedric Price brought a breath of fresh air to the world of architecture, in the name of a sharing of the goals and aims of design. They were the ones who laid the foundations for today’s idea of an open-source architecture.

This wind of change and hope comes from faraway, however, springing out of a new dialogue in the tropical belt of the planet, out of the efforts to bring democratic modernity to postcolonial territories in South Asia and Africa.

We can dismiss this postcolonial modernity or we can seek to understand its complexity and grasp the feverish yearnings that underpin it. In any case we have to live with its reality and its global consequences.

What are we talking about when we speak of participatory architecture?

Programme to be followed

Design workshop

Theme: An incremental project for a city for 80.000 habitants, working at the

neighborhood unit’s scale. The exercise start from the critical reading of Otto Koenigsberger’s protocol (1948) for the city of Bhubaneswar

Work teams organization

N° of groups: 4.

Task of each group: Each group has to imagine and design the spatial device of 1 neighborhood unit, taking care of social integration, public administration and the predictable city’s growth. It has to be considered that it will realistically double its population in 25 years.

Project details

Context: Orissa, India.

Dimension of the Neighborhood Unit: 800x800m.

People of the Unit: 7000 at the foundation of the city < max 14.000 after 25 years.

Tools: activation of participatory architecture in the concept/construction/administration/economy of the city.

Prerequisites take a computer with you: compulsory
Course exam

Final assignment:

maximum n.4 A2 panels (42cmx59.4cm) - PDF of the panels

Compulsory Contents:

Project Manifesto

Urban design layout within the context (scale 1:10.000)

Urban design project (scale 1:5000)

Neighborhood's residential typologies (scale 1:500)


Location within the Region and Province (free scale)

Location within the urban context (free scale)

Timeline of urban growth

Diagram of connections and traffic layout

Diagrams of urban mixite


Sketches, collages, pop-up

Cad drawings, sketch up modelling