F. Maroldi, R. Mura

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
Within a multidisciplinary - philosophy, architecture and anthropology based - Course of Architecture and Structure Meta Design at Politecnico di Milano, the didactic and research experience focused on the different ways of dwelling of the human being. In particular, the paper studies the specific ways of living in different situations and contexts, the role of the “architectural project communication”, the tools for the interaction with customers in the architectural design process.
The aim of the research is to stress the importance of communication in defining a methodological approach to understand the “way of living of the subject” and to improve operative tools (check-list forms) for designers.

The paper is organised in tree parts.
The goal of the first part is to understand the semantic difference between information and communication.
Shannon and Weaver’s studies have developed models about the transmission of information. Indeed, the complexity of communication should be also brought out, considering that the communication process (unlike the information transmission between electrical and mechanical elements) incorporates many different dimensions and requires the development of “communicative implicit”. Human communication is an “intersubjective occurrence” which is achieved even when the communication purpose is not fully conscious. To understand that, a “meta-communicative exercise” is needed, that means, for example, to analyse who tells what, what has been told, how it is told and the effects of what is told.

In order to give answers to these questions, a research methodology addressed to study the communication processes, can be developed. The paper takes some literary references (Cipolla’s essay about human stupidity or one of Plutarco’s masterpieces about the art of listening) as early reflections about human communication processes.

The goal of the second part is to identify a research line oriented towards the study of “Anthropology of Relational Action”. The basic features of a “person who communicates” are identified from the philosophical studies on "existential analytic" by Heidegger. The research codifies these elements by “symbolic objects” and “visual icons” (the stone, the sunflower, the cat, the human, the directions, the face, etc. etc.): they stand as specific “way of being” of the subject and therefore as specific way to communicate.

After that, the specific features of the subject are put together in order to identify those relations that can be seen as “Relational Actions”. Examples of specific relationships are collected and analysed to understand the communicative dynamics with respect to the architectural project.
In the third part, the paper shows some examples studied in cooperation between students and researchers. Among these, possible scenarios are identified, focused on the study of the “way of living of the subject” in order to gain a deeper knowledge about the “way of being of the subject” itself. Guidelines will then be set up to encourage a collaborative relationship during the architectural design process.