research focus

A research lab unlocks the opportunity for UP! to collaborate with other professionals, associations, universities to carry out paths of knowledge and innovation enhancement interwoven with professional practice. A transversal approach  is applied throughout each project to trigger short-circuits between business, culture, science, art, technology.

Since 2010, the lab collaborates with Teknoarch on a research on social housing involving architects, businesses, professionals, facility management companies; this led to the participation in Housing Contest, repertoire of projects for residential buildings with high performance and low cost. The research aims at the definition of a methodology for the integrated design optimization with a view to allocating the fewer and fewer resources available in balance focused on the quality of living: social housing = right-cost + quality.

About forty million people in Europe live in large public housing districts. Contemporary society has inherited from the second post-war period a number of housing estates which exhausted their life and economic cycle and are now in a condition of physical and often social degradation. Since the 1990s a number of retraining programs focused on these areas, rarely reaching the goal of a lasting regeneration of the urban organism and a real increase in quality of life. The research is carried out within the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Milan Polytechnic in the PhD program in Architecture, Urban design, Conservation of Housing and Landscape. The goal is to investigate the role that these districts could play in contemporary city design; to identify lasting regeneration modes; to provide a step change on present conditions in terms of quality of space and image of the city.

Out  of the thirty cities with the highest rate of growth in the next decade, 24 will be African. Urban population in sub-Saharan Africa, will double by 2030, reaching the threshold of 600 million inhabitants (FAO, UN-HABITAT). Since 2011, UP!  has participated in research projects in Tanzania, Mozambique, Nigeria and Egypt to address issues of urban and architectural design in explosive-growth cities together with the Measures and Scale of the Contemporary City Lab and the International Cooperation Lab of the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies of the Polytechnic of Milan.

The growing availability of geo-referenced information produced by non-professional users and disseminated through web 2.0 technologies is contributing to the spread of new services and tools for interaction among individuals, communities and urban space. New maps and interactive platforms, fueling awareness and sharing capabilities, are able to define new economies and lifestyles with low environmental impact and high degree of social interaction. UP! examples these dynamics through related projects in housing, as well as in urban and regional contexts.

UP research