2017 Topic
Scenarios for Piacenza 2050

The 2017 edition, in continuity with the issues addressed in the previous editions, focuses on the many complementary forms of landscape that are recognizable in the enlarged territory of the city of Piacenza, taken as an exemplary case study of the contemporary state of the city and territory.
According to the most recent and innovative disciplinary researches, the background springs from integration among global scenarios (which European cities have to face with, because of the strong changes in social, economic and environmental balances) and local architectural transformations, which are necessary for regeneration of dismissed areas.
The “New Next Nature” (the title of the International workshop) - proposed to students as a basis for discussion and an interdisciplinary comparison and as a subject of project experimentation, comes from a thematic matrix capable of reinterpreting the relationship architecture-city-landscape in contemporaneity and with a look at future visions.
Students are called to imagine “Scenarios for Piacenza 2050” through the use and integration of innovative forms of nature into the city. In particular, projects - communicated through posters, utopian visions, models and installations - will give answers to questions that are the basis of the spatiality of our contemporary era:
- What shapes will cities in the future have?
- How can we imagine a rebalancing between artifice and nature in urban and metropolitan habitats?
- Can the city-nature / city-future ( città-natura / città futura) slogan become the emblem of the future of our lands and landscapes?

In a dense synergic action, consisting of a process about concepts-strategy-actions, alternative scenarios will be devised / designed by groups of 10 international students supported by tutors.
Design through vision seems one of the most demanding frontiers of current international research and it will be developed without scale limits and without a specific and aprioristic definition of areas of interest and intervention.
The coordination of the School will provide a comprehensive repertoire of Piacenza's areas, considered to be potential in terms of regeneration, reuse and recovery of urban quality. Some of them are corresponding to areas subject to design experiments in the past editions of OC OPEN CITY.
They are dismantled infrastructural areas, military areas, under-utilized demersal areas, natural areas along the banks of the Po and Trebbia rivers, areas bordering on the consolidated residential zones, transition bands between the built-up system and the agricultural plain.
Part of the intensive design experience will be the activation of one or more areas with a view oriented to build a vision that responds to the proposed scenario. The project will be communicated, in the mid-term and final critics, with the traditional tools of the discipline (drawings and above all models, consistent with the training setting of the Campus of Piacenza of the Politecnico di Milano) but also by means of installations and of story-telling (mainly videos).
The "complementary landscapes" to which the Summer School will look at will then coincide, on the one hand, with the "architectural fact" itself rooted in the local context, on the other hand, it’s strongly integrated with urban and territorial dynamics (the city is the landscape and the landscape is the city) characterized by the presence of watercourses and marginal agricultural areas to the city itself.

The problematic scenario proposed as a background arises from the integration of global scenarios (to which European cities are called to respond to changes in social, economic and environmental equilibrium) and the local architectural transformations, which is necessary for the regeneration of neglected areas. In this sense, the same concept of landscape is subject of a radical rethinking, as a "complex product" of multiple, variable and dynamic events, which occurs each time either as a result of a complexity of interfering glances or as an extreme synthesis of heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory materials of the project. The landscape as a result to be achieved, and not as a priori model to be applied in the various conditions. In this perspective, the project is the "common" construction of multiple disciplinary contributions, as a significant and expressive result of this particular interscalar, multifunctional, multi-faceted architecture.

In line with these premises, the goal of the workshop will be the project of a landscape-city vision that develops architecturally in the design of an integrated space sequence designed for different and innovative and experimental functions (even in an optics of circular economy), able to reactivate fragments of the city of Piacenza and its immediate around in a synergistic and transformative logic.

Complementary Landscapes
Future Visions
Urban Re-generation
Landscape Re-activating
Abandoned areas Re-use
Social impacts

OC last editions titles:
2010     Between the city and the river. Architecture of urban relations
2011     Living the street. Landscape and public space in the places of metropolitan infrastructure
2012     Landscape in sequence. Dwelling the wall
2013     Nature in the city
2014     Architecture for a creative city. Piacenza towards Expo
2015     Feeding (the) Landscape. A new green-active museum for agriculture
2016     Landscape in Motion