Duration: 4 weeks, 2/3 units/week (24 hours total)
Given the fast pace of climate change, the degradation of the ecosystem, and the impacts on human health, planners and architects are in charge of developing regenerative cities and buildings that will reverse such processes. This goal implies a change of paradigm: creative environmental design strategies should be fostered by science, and holistic performance data simulation is central to the process.The units of this Environmental Design course cover, via an international array of speakers, topics such as climate change, design for the ecosystem, planning mitigated local microclimate, rethinking nature-based solutions, designing bio climatically attuned cities and buildings, and decarbonizing the built while generating comfort, health, and wellbeing. These will be tested in the complex realm of the area of Sassuolo (Italy), where students will develop an urban and architectural conceptual design while being exposed to theory, examples, and tutorials on design performance simulations offered by an international array of speakers. The regenerative approach will be experienced by leveraging new ideas via simple yet meaningful simualtion-driven activities of 5 areas ranging from the historical center to untouched natural sites. Participants will be acquiring state of the art on theoretical, and practical knowledge enabling the design of climate change responsive districts and buildings. In particular they will develop critical design thinking abilities in microclimates creation, interlinking natural systems, energy-positive buildings, and thermally and visually comfortable spaces.
The module fully prepares to the highest standard of sustainable design for a changing climate by the use of Grasshopper based workflows.The module is conceived in collaboration with a series of outstanding international experts, and the MCA team. Participants will be acquiring state of the art on theoretical, practical and knowledge enabling the design of climate change responsive districts and buildings. Specific foci are microclimates creation, interlinking with natural systems, energy-positive buildings, and thermally and visually comfortable indoor spaces.
The StructureClasses will last 3 hours divided in 10 units as below. The working groups generally consist of 3 students.
- 1. Regenerative Design
- 2. Architecture of Climate Change
- 3. Urban Microclimatic Design
- 4. Ecology and Nature-Based Solutions
- 5. Decarbonization
- 6. Thematic Digital Modelling
- 7. Salutogenic Design
- 8. Integrated Design
- 9. Project Review
- Final presentations
21 October 2022
Designers need to foster cities, buildings and components to be the catalysts of positive change. This necessitates an understanding of the layered network of climate, geology, ecology (mineral and other deposits, soil, vegetation, water and wildlife, etc.), human health, anthropogenic activities and its complex interactions. The unit introduces designers to operate beyond conventional construction practice, pursuing the integration of interdisciplinary and multifaceted systems.
21 October 2022
Increasing global awareness of climate change and its negative impacts increased pressure on architects and planners to integrate these considerations into the design process. This calls for robust designs that provide habitation under increasingly extreme conditions and designs that can do so without exacerbating the climate crisis through their production and operation. The lecture discusses practical design solutions that the program, form, and materials that cities and buildings should take to reverse climate change dynamics, globally and locally.
24 October 2022
Because of the fast-paced climate change, the architectural guild is gradually shifting its interest into the impact of architectural design on microclimatic conditions . Enhancing ecosystem quality, decarbonization, the health and well-being of citizens, are among the new focuses on design. The unit studies how the mix of an old and new expansion of cities has generated a variety of microclimatic conditions depending on urban morphology, the aspect ratios, green and water surfaces, and human activities.
28 October 2022
The human-nature dichotomy imposed by the contemporary intense urbanisation is a crucial factor for the carbonization of athmosphere and the decreasing liveability and human well-being in the cities. Aiming to drastically enhance the human-ecostystem interaction in cities, the unit discusses and ecosystemic service approach to architecture where humans, plants, animals and associated organisms colaaboate. The unit will introduce to computational modelling and simulation infrastructure that will revolutionise future design.
7 November 2022
The concept of “decarbonization” gains in this unit attention and implication for localized planning and architecture. With carbon acting as a universally agreed upon metric with which the greenhouse gas emissions of our design can be tracked toward carbon positive solutions.
9 November 2022
The day is dedicated to review of models and the exploration of data links that students may explore as the focus of their specific site and project.
11 November 2022
The term salutogenesis , invented by Aaron Antonovsky, means "generation of health’" It is here noted how the World Health Organisation defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not just freedom from illness. “Simple concepts like comfort, joy and aesthetics have had no place in traditional”. The Unit focuses on how strategies and ideas leveraging health by design means.
14 November 2022
The semi-final meeting week is one of inspiration for digital integration and more design iterations. It is about being exposed to forms of integration of strategies, methods and tools in the real world. Examples, therefore, range from the application of Human Well-Being to Energy and Outdoor comfort, to city, flows at large.
16 November 2022
The day is dedicated to project reviews in preparation of the final presentation.
18 November 2022
Final proposal will be presented to Mario Cucinella and a debate will take place.