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SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY- COURSE IN URBAN MORPHOLOGY 2021/2022 prof. Giuseppe Strappa

 

Here are the schedule and the program of next year’s Urban Morphology course, which will be optional.  Attendance to the course will be free. The course, taught in English, will provide 6 credits and will be open to all students of the Facult . It will also be open to all Erasmus students.

START OF COURSES:  TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5 – h. 3-00 pm

VALLE GIULIA room V 8 (Aula Fiorentino)

FOR ANY INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT  gstrappa@yahoo.com

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URBAN MORPHOLOGY COURSE –  2021/2022

SCHEDULE

Valle Giulia – Room V8 – Tuesday – h. 15-19.30

prof. Giuseppe Strappa, arch. Anna Rita Donatella Amato, arch.  Francesca De Rosa, arch. Huimin Ji, arch. Alessandra Pusceddu

OCTOBER

5          15.00 –  A.  Meaning and utility of Urban Morphology for the contemporary architecture.

17.00 –  B.   Paolo Carlotti: considerations on the relationship between Urban Morphology and Design Studio courses.

17.30 –  C.  Course organization. Presentation of the program. Student registration.

12        15.00 – A. Territory: notion, forming process and contemporary condition.

17.30 – B. Salaheddine Heffaf: The forming process of the Algerian territory

19        15.00 – A. Urban fabric: notion, forming process and contemporary condition.

17.30 – B. Ayşe Sema Kubat lecture: Morphogenetic survey on the transformation of a political center to a transportation hub: Taksim & Gezi Park, Istanbul. Discussion.

26        15.00 – A. Base building forming process and the notion of substratum

17.00 – B. Marco Trisciuoglio lecture: The Bridge and the Wall. For a Survey of the Urban Form of Southern Nanjing. Discussion.

NOVEMBER

         Holiday.

9          Field Survey on base building topics.

16        15.00 – A.  Special building forming process and modern examples.

17.30– B. Vitor Oliveira lecture: Morphological research in architecture.

18.30. classroom work/discussion (only for students who intend to deepen the topics of the course with practical exercises).

23        15.00 – A. The notion of architectural knotting and the transition to modernity.

17.30 – B :(Fiorentino Room) Renato Capozzi, Federica Visconti lecture: Definition of urban voids: a project for Padua. Discussion.

30        Field Survey on base building topics (collaboration: Annamaria Pandolfi).

DECEMBER

7          15.00 – Roman modern architecture.  Discussion.

17,00 – B. Re-design exercises and classroom work(for students who intend to deepen the topics of the course with practical exercises).

14        15.00 – Short recap/summary of the course main topics (for the exam) and conclusions.  Student opinions and suggestions.

Pre-examination.

http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/

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UNIVERSITA’ DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA “LA SAPIENZA”
FACOLTÀ DI ARCHITETTURA

COURSE IN URBAN MORPHOLOGY 2021/2022

prof. Giuseppe Strappa

arch. Anna Rita Donatella Amato

arch. Francesca De Rosa

arch. Huimin Ji

arch. Alessandra Pusceddu

GOALS

The course aims to teach a method of reading the built landscape through the knowledge of the forming processes common to urban fabrics and buildings. The basic notions of organism and process will be used to read the built landscape.

The main purpose of the typological study proposed by the course is the identification of the characters of the built environment and the recognition of the  formation and transformation processes , having as ultimate goal the architectural design.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The course will consist of:

  1. a series of lectures (see schedule)aiming to provide the student, through the morphological / processual method, with the tools to read the built environment, historical and contemporary, having the architectural design as its goal.
  2. a series of independent lectures given by external professors or experts, on complementary subjects. The purpose of these lectures is to give a general idea of the contemporary studies on urban form through the knowledge of methods different from those followed by the course. Some re-design exercises will be proposed to apply the concepts learned.
  3. “morphological walks” eventually organized in small groups to examine the fabrics and buildings under study. The participation and writing of a short report entitles the student of Ar course to 2 credits.

EXAMINATION

Students will be evaluated through an oral test.

The student will be free to choose one of the following forms of exam:

1. presentation of the work carried out during the course on one of the themes included in the program. The student’s work will be followed periodically by the teachers and may also contain a simple project proposal as an example of the theoretical study.

2. Discussion on one of the theoretical topics listed in the course program.

The students will also be free to present all the works they consider useful for evaluation.

COURSE SPECIFIC REFERENCE

  1. Strappa, L’architettura come processo, Franco Angeli, Milano 2015

The main chapters translated into English can be found on the teacher’s website (http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/) and are indicated below:

. G.Strappa, notes on base building,  http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/?p=8400

. G. Strappa, learned language / everyday language http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/?p=8340

. G. Strappa, The aggregation process and the form of the fabric,  http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/?p=8380

. G. Strappa, Special nodal building,   http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/?p=8159

. G.  Strappa, Architectural knotting,. http://www.giuseppestrappa.it/?p=8414

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemics and the changing built environment

First International blended conference, on Pandemics and Urban Form, PUF2022, April 28th-30th 2022, Istanbul, Turkey
Pandemics and the changing built environment
Learning from history, planning our future
Organised by: INTBAU, Nanjing University, University of Trento, Özyeğin University, University of Idaho, Kuwait University.
With the patrociny of:
International Seminar on Urban Form – ISUF
“Storia della città”
ISUF ITALY
Cyprus Network of Urban Morphology CyNUM
Abstract submission deadline: October 21st, 2021

https://pandemicsandurbanform.ozyegin.edu.tr/

La perdita di Jeremy Whitehand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in U+D n.15

Mentre è in chiusura questo numero della rivista, abbiamo avuto la notizia, tristissima, della morte di Jeremy Whitehand.

È una grande perdita. La sua ricerca è stata di fondamentale importanza per il progresso degli studi di morfologia urbana, per i quali ha proposto e sviluppato alcuni temi di indagine del tutto originali come quelli sulla nozione di “fringe belt” e “regioni morfologiche”.

Quando all’inizio degli anni ’90 abbiamo incontrato, come gruppo legato agli studi di Saverio Muratori, Jeremy e la scuola conzeniana, la cultura architettonica era dominata da una nuova corrente tardo-romantica che considerava l’architettura soprattutto come espressione individuale.

Anche se ostacolati da un’ardua barriera linguistica, dalla mancanza di sovrapposizione nel significato di molti termini impiegati (ci sono voluti quattro anni per produrre l’edizione italiana del pionieristico testo di Conzen su Alnwick), abbiamo scoperto chiare affinità nei principi fondamentali. Condividevamo soprattutto l’idea centrale che si possano riconoscere, nella città e nei tessuti urbani, caratteri tipici, ripetibili, che mutano nello spazio e nel tempo pur mantenendo alcune regole generative.

Il modo rigoroso di Jeremy di condurre questo tipo di studi è stato sicuramente un aspetto importante della sua personalità. Ma quello che ci ha affascinato è stata, direi, un’ “empatia etica”.

Quando lo abbiamo conosciuto, il clima intellettuale (non solo in architettura) era ancora sostanzialmente postmoderno, orientato dalla crisi della razionalità progettuale. Al contrario, le idee di Jeremy erano chiare e solide, soprattutto dimostrate e comunicabili. A differenza del relativismo dominante, che non ammetteva alcuna verità, egli ne possedeva una propria, sicura. In realtà, i principi in cui credeva non erano solo scientifici, ma anche etici. In modo del tutto aperto e tollerante, credeva che potessero esistere altre verità e ammetteva il diverso, ma le sue opinioni erano ferme, di cristallina evidenza e si assumeva la piena responsabilità delle sue scelte. L’intervista rilasciata per il numero 13 di questa rivista ne è, peraltro, un chiaro esempio. Le sue posizioni erano non solo decise, ma anche dialettiche, e per questo i rapporti all’interno delle nostre scuole sono sempre stati chiari, stimolanti, produttivi.

Questo è il ricordo che porteremo di lui: una personalità solida, di eccellente e fertile rigore scientifico, ma anche uomo di grande forza etica.

(G.S.)

THE UTILITY OF URBAN MORPHOLOGY STUDIES AND THE RENEWAL OF OUR JOURNAL

THE UTILITY OF URBAN MORPHOLOGY STUDIES AND THE RENEWAL OF OUR JOURNAL

U+D  issue 15   EDITORIAL

by Giuseppe Strappa

In the life of every journal, I suppose, there are moments of reflection and regeneration: one takes a look at the work done and takes stock, looking at the future with new eyes, and makes plans. The U+D new issue is one of these moments for us. It is the result of a considerable commitment by the entire editorial staff, and we present it, I must admit, with some expectations. It poses, in fact, two relevant goals.

The first is to try to review the current situation of research in Italy concerning urban morphology, particularly in architecture schools. Courses in this discipline are now active in the faculties of many countries, which share the need for rationality, concreteness, transmissibility of the proposed methods. In Italy, the signs seem contradictory. In Rome, for example, despite the presence of an important tradition that stems from the teaching of Saverio Muratori, the urban morphology course has become optional. In other faculties such as in Bari, Bologna, Ferrara, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Parma, Turin, Venice, these courses, even if given with a limited number of credits, are highly active and open to new perspectives. The term “urban morphology” is employed in an extended and open meaning, as a study of the form of the built landscape based on different founding principles, which share, however, their role as a rational and communicable tool aimed at the project. For this reason, I believe that urban morphology could also prefigure a choice of fields (sometimes not easy) with respect to current production, often based on methods aimed more at communication and individual expression than at construction. Against this egocentric inclination of the architect, in the past schools have in some way constituted a remedy, playing an important aggregation and sharing role. Yet, I wonder if it is still possible today to speak, in the proper sense, of schools. They presuppose masters and require, together with common theories and methods, shared values. The master is such not only for the quality of his scientific production, but above all for his ability to express common goals, the competence to recognize a common substratum in the work of individuals. Just as the school is an organism, a unit of parts held together by a unifying objective. Two conditions that are impossible today: we have long lost the unity of things, the vision, or at least the hope, of an organic world where every knowledge finds its place, every cultural heritage its congruent location.

Nonetheless, there is no doubt that specificities and shared lines still exist, albeit indirectly. I believe that the contributions of this issue, at least in part, are proof of this. Moreover, the study of urban form, in order for it to be a field in which differences have a rational and legible basis, is the terrain that best allows us to distinguish areas of research and affinities, and also oppositions, which originate even further back than the lesson of the masters. The specificities of the Milanese research have more distant roots than the writings of Aldo Rossi and Guido Canella, they have their distant origins in the Lombard Enlightenment; the experiments in the Roman area go beyond the lesson of Gianfranco Caniggia and Saverio Muratori, they go back to the studies of Gustavo Giovannoni, Giovan Battista Milani and many others. But these specificities are now unstable, recognized in an uncertain and controversial way. It is no coincidence that today there is no disciple who is willing to defend that legacy openly, who does not feel obliged to claim his secularism, his independence. It is true that identity, in the contemporary condition, is not inherited: it is a strenuous search in which the vigorous defense of the origins can be a risky bond. The contemporary condition of those who investigate the urban form is that of a disorientation: orphans of the masters, whose lessons we jealously guard, we understand how certainties no longer exist, how it is impossible to reconstruct the lost unity of things.

Yet, perhaps there is, more than we are willing to admit, a long-lasting cultural layer that gives a sense of continuity to our research. I believe that, to understand how the Italian response to the new demands of objectivity and realism shows its own characters, it is necessary to compare it to the “quantitative” drift of the studies often conducted abroad, influenced by the success, even professional, of the Space Syntax. Certainly, useful studies which throw new light on the structures that regulate the shape of cities, but still giving an indirect contribution to the urban project. On the other hand, I believe that many of these studies, based on the notions of density, flows, networks, are in my opinion an update of the issues addressed by the traditional urban planning discipline. This diversity perhaps explains, if it does not justify, the improper term, used above all abroad, of the “Italian School”, because it is true that the research on the form of the city is characterized with us by a humanistic and historical background that has always prevented determinisms and taxonomies, allowing us to recognize how a building or a fabric exists, in its fullness, only in a more general context, in a becoming that, together, explains them and gives them meaning. Although the invitations to the participants to the study day did not cover the broad spectrum of research that derives from the multiple meanings of the term “urban morphology”, I consider the almost total absence, in the following contributions, of the strictly “quantitative” field of study to be significant. A remarkable specificity which allows us to look with optimism at the original role that studies conducted in our country can play on the international scene. In my opinion, the evidence of this condition poses with increasing evidence, after the long late-romantic season of individualisms and spectacular gestures, the problem of a radical renewal of research in architecture that could give our work a new civil sense.  Beyond the slogans, the real tools of sustainability and regeneration of our cities (which will not die of Covid, with all due respect to our prophets of the return to the villages) consist, I am convinced, precisely in the careful study of the built reality and its form, its continuity and its ruptures, which provides awareness of the crisis we are going through and can show us the way to future transformations.

The second important goal of this issue is to experiment new forms of construction and a different way of collaborating with the authors, having in mind the place of our journal in the international panorama of studies that are being conducted today on urban form. Perhaps it is useful, in order to understand the urgency of this issue, to summarize the cultural framework in which our work arises.

The magazine was born in 2014 as an Italian contribution to the International Seminar on Urban Form (Isuf), a scientific society that already owned its own, relevant journal dedicated to urban morphology. However, it was interested in it, above all from the point of view of geography, in the wake of the research of M.R.G.Conzen. His fertile teachings, heirs of the Kulturlandschaft, were developed in the 70s by the Urban Morphology Research Group (UMRG), with which we found, at the beginning of the 90s, considerable affinities and promising prospects for collaboration, starting from the very definition of “urban structure” realistically understood, basically in architectural terms, as an integrated system of routes, lots and buildings. But also, some significant differences. Geography is above all a descriptive science, when the goal of urban morphology, from our point of view as architects, is above all aimed at the project. The problem of geography is to make the infinite irregularity of a mountain ridge coincide with the simplicity of the line drawn on a map. It is the difficulty of any descriptive science that seeks synthesis in the general and abstract representation of the concrete details of the object it describes. The problem of architecture is different: recognizing in that ridge a beginning, a first provisionally inhabited form and the origin of the paths that structure a territory. Saverio Muratori had devoted a lot of energy to formulating a “theory of ridges” based on the shape of the soil and its anthropization process. A formulation conducted with the designer’s tools. Was it, too, a science? Certainly yes, if by the term we mean a form of systematic knowledge. But it was also a critical form of investigation, a reading oriented by the operating subject that proceeds by layers and phases, recognizes in the object the aptitude for transformation and, fundamental fact, the expression of a civil context. Reading is therefore already a project, it is an evaluation and a choice. For this reason, it cannot aspire to the (moreover relative) objectivity of the descriptive sciences, as well as the design that follows is the full responsibility of the designer, with the inevitable discontinuities due to an evident condition of crisis.

However, the Conzenian school had inherited a particular meaning of geography, that of the cultural landscape, of the territory as a synthesis in the making of successive transformations. A meaning that we felt close to. This is the definition of urban morphology that Jeremy Whitehand, the best-known exponent of the Conzenian school gives: ‘Urban morphology is the study of the built form of cities, and it seeks to explain the layout and spatial composition of urban structures and open spaces, their material character and symbolic meaning, in light of the forces that have created, expanded, diversified, and transformed them ‘. A broad and open meaning, in many ways similar to ours. On the wave of this affinity, Isuf was born, which over time had to reach its current dimensions of international association, transforming itself into a large container in which many souls live together. The Italian journal, therefore, was born as a complementary communication tool devoted to the reading and to the architectural design. Within this context, our initial aspiration was to consider the journal itself as a project, an architecture in some way, made up of congruent parts linked by a relationship of necessity. The ideal reference could only be the post-war publishing tradition, the season in which architecture magazines reported the great debates that then revolved around the revision of the international modernity. We soon realized, however, how that production was the result of a cultural climate in which different and cohesive communities of experimenters converged, who grouped around common convictions, making clear the positions taken, clear debates and controversies. A quite different climate from the current one, fragmented in many separate research, rarely communicating with each other. Moreover, within a more general condition in which the common meaning of the term “form” considers the rational and concrete aspect of our profession to be of little relevance. A context in which the term “type” smacks of archaeology and those of “construction” and “fabric” of obsolete techniques, despite the fact that their unifying meaning, and their civil value are in direct relationship with the emerging issues of the current city.

Every author ends up today by producing autonomous contributions to the journals, linked to the others only by a common theme. For this reason, we have tried to involve some designers and scholars interested in the problem of the concrete study of urban form already in the planning of this and the next issue. At the same time being aware, however, of the inevitable partiality of the operation. While we were not deluding ourselves that the structure of the issue could be born from this day of study (task and responsibility of the editorial staff), we believed that this meeting could however compare themes, ideas, points of view in such a way that each author could take into account the context in which his article ranks. It seems to me that the result confirms, with all the limits of an experiment, the effectiveness of the method. This issue, in fact, does not constitute a form of proceedings of the study day, but the collection of contributions by it oriented, often quite different from those presented during the meeting.

The articles derived from the study day are partly published in this and partly will be published in the next issue of the journal. The following issue, just because of the questions that have arisen on the concrete usefulness of morphology studies, will be dedicated to the urban project.

Due articoli premonitori sulle sorti del museo geologico di Roma

PATRIMONIO GEOLOGICO E POLEMICHE. IL PESO DEL MUSEO 

in «Corriere della Sera» del 3.02.2005

di Giuseppe Strappa

L’ingegner Raffaele Canevari era un entusiasta per carattere. Da studente, nel 1849, aveva partecipato alla furiosa difesa di Roma dalle truppe francesi. Con altrettanta passione si era poi gettato nello studio delle costruzioni metalliche che in quegli anni facevano irruzione nella sonnolenta città di Pio IX. Voleva che Roma partecipasse al progresso delle grandi metropoli europee, allo spirito innovatore delle Halles parigine, del Crystal Palace londinese. Realizzava, tra l’ammirazione dei concittadini, ferrovie e ponti sospesi. Poi, appena trasportata la Capitale a Roma, costruì il nuovo Ufficio geologico voluto da Quintino Sella. Fu il suo capolavoro. Soprattutto per la facciata su largo Santa Susanna, dove si svolge la trama leggera del telaio chiuso da grandi vetrate che sembrano anticipare i temi dell’architettura moderna. E per l’interno, dove i solai, sorretti da esili colonne in ghisa, si avvolgono leggeri intorno allo spazio centrale. L’Ufficio, con le sue eccezionali collezioni di pietre antiche, campioni geologici e paleontologici provenienti dall’intero territorio italiano, divenne uno dei simboli del nuovo Stato unitario.

Nel 1994 si decise di ristrutturarlo.  Si parlava, in quegli anni, di giacimenti culturali, secondo un’orrenda definizione di Gianni De Michelis, e di come il patrimonio pubblico dovesse produrre reddito. Quale occasione migliore? A due passi dalla Stazione Termini, l’edificio poteva diventare una grande attrazione turistica, con le collezioni di pietre antiche capaci di trasmettere il pathos delle costruzioni romane (a partire dalle mura serviane, appena scoperte nel suo sottosuolo), e l’esposizione dei marmi che hanno dato vita alla statuaria e ai sontuosi rivestimenti dell’età imperiale.

Sarebbe bastato integrare con intelligenza le vecchie collezioni di alabastri, brecce, graniti, raccolte dal generale Pescetto, con alcuni dei volti marmorei di consoli, matrone, bassorilievi funerari dei depositi capitolini, per evocare straordinarie storie di metamorfosi. Con molto meno a Parigi il Museo di storia naturale, ottenuto riordinando in modo contemporaneo vecchie collezioni, richiama fiumi di visitatori.

Invece la ristrutturazione non è mai stata completata, le raccolte sono state disperse, e il reddito, miserabile, è arrivato dalla vendita dell’edificio alla Fintecna.  Ancora oggi, dopo quasi vent’anni di chiacchiere, non si sa quale sarà il suo destino. Si sta perdendo, così (nonostante il vincolo architettonico, quello archeologico, le denunce di Italia Nostra) l’occasione per creare un fondamentale Museo di scienze della terra che spieghi i grandi cicli di trasformazione della materia in architettura e come il territorio sia il grande alveo che li accoglie, dove la mano dell’uomo ha prodotto opere sorprendenti, ma anche catastrofi epocali.

Proprio quando l’attenzione all’emergenza geologica del nostro fragile territorio dovrebbe entrare a far parte della coscienza comune, essere trasmessa nelle scuole, si cancella uno degli strumenti che potrebbero comunicarne importanza e valore. Per questo disastrato Paese non è un buon segno.

IL MUSEO PERDUTO

di Giuseppe Strappa

in «Corriere della Sera» del 15 aprile 2013

Da tempo si parla di un museo della scienza a Roma come percorso urbano che coinvolga l’intera città, basato su poli costruiti ristrutturando le collezioni esistenti, dove il legame con la ricerca consentirebbe una divulgazione non banale. Il farraginoso museo della Villette a Parigi, peraltro, mostra in modo spettacolare l’impossibilità di comprendere la totalità del sapere in una struttura unitaria, l’inattualità del museo scientifico come sistemazione classificatoria, enciclopedia delle conoscenze.

Di questa nuova rete il Museo geologico a largo Santa Susanna potrebbe divenire uno dei gangli vitali perché nelle sue preziose collezioni e nell’ architettura della sua ottocentesca sede (nel messaggio innovatore di trasparenza e leggerezza che le sue trame metalliche contengono) si concentrano molte memorie e simboli della cultura scientifica romana.

Non solo. Dai percorsi labirintici delle antiche cave nel sottosuolo, alle mura serviane di tufo appena portate alla luce, fino allo splendore delle collezioni di pietre e marmi antichi dei luminosi piani alti, il rinnovato museo potrebbe mostrare uno spaccato del legame della città col suo sottosuolo. Un legame  con la materia che, trasformata da una civiltà plastica e muraria, ha alimentato per secoli vocazioni e durata dell’architettura romana. Un modo di leggere Roma attraverso uno dei suoi caratteri fondanti: i materiali che emergono dalle profondità del suolo, come da un’oscura regione germinale, e vengono immessi nel ciclo vitale della città, dove acquistano la coerenza delle strutture, si aggregano in solari organismi architettonici.

Eppure le molte proposte che si sono alternate sulla sorte dell’edificio disegnato da Canevari (uffici dei servizi segreti, Casa delle Nuove Tecnologie, “mediateca” con negozi e ristoranti e altro ancora) sembrano considerare questo patrimonio non una risorsa, ma un peso di cui doversi liberare. Col risultato che oggi molte raccolte, con i loro olotipi fossili unici al mondo, sono malinconicamente ammassate in capannoni a Castelnuovo di Porto mentre alla grande biblioteca voluta da Quintino Sella sono stati assegnati 240 miseri metri quadrati in due magazzini a lungotevere dei Papareschi!

Non solo Italia Nostra, sulla scia delle battaglie di Antonio Cederna, ha posto con forza il problema, ma la stessa UNESCO ha espresso preoccupazione per la sorte di “collezioni insostituibili”. E centinaia di uomini di cultura hanno firmato contro la manomissione dell’edificio, palinsesto tra i più significativi della via romana alla modernità.

Il valore di un’opera d’architettura non sta solo nel suo oggettivo valore documentario. Contano, soprattutto, i significati che gli sono attribuiti, le letture che ne vengono fatte. Per questo occorre opporsi di continuo alla catena di proposte che si vanno succedendo, le quali finiscono per trasformare il severo edificio di largo Santa Susanna, da magnifica eredità culturale, in contenitore asettico, disponibile, depurato della sua storia.