F. Maroldi, D. Bizzoni, F. Landi, A. Piantoni

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
The recent seismic events and the issues linked to immigration that recently affected the Italian territory showed the necessity to rethink temporary inhabiting.
The paper presents the results of an integrated experience between didactics and research developed in the Formazione Permanente “Architecture and Structure MetaDesign” (AsMeD) course promoted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICA) at Politecnico di Milano.

The main theme of the research is the reuse of containers in order to realize inhabitable spaces. The multidisciplinary approach that characterises the didactics of university studios has been experimented on this research topic to find “Best practices” and “Guidelines” for the innovative reuse of containers.

The paper has been divided in five sections.
- Section one: Phenomenology of the transportability
The work, starting from sociological studies and reflections on the permanence of housing, presents a summary of the reasons behind the topic. The theme is developed as a conceptual place for interconnection between the nomadism of the inhabiting and the historical evolution of the transportation methods for goods.
- Section two: Architecture as a machine for inhabiting
Starting from the contributions on manuals and essays produced over history, the work sets as a central core of the reflection Vitruvius’s contribution defining Architecture through three principles (Firmitas, Utilitas and Venustas) and develops Le Corbusier’s definition of Architecture as the “machine for inhabiting”.
- Section three: reading criteria for design experiences
The first phase of the work has been characterized by the evaluation of the educational content (meaning the knowledge, skills and design abilities) gained during the university path of the course attendants in order to reread the design experiences of the students through the SWOT analysis.
A second phase has summarized the results and identified the multidisciplinary criteria needed for a correct multicriteria analysis of design experiences linked to the research topic.
- Section four: Significant case studies
The paper shows a summary of projects having container reuse as a theme, structuring the reading through an abacus, so to synoptically catch the specific choices that have led to different architectonical-constructive solutions during the conceptual design phase.
- Section five: Best Practice and design guidelines
In the last section the paper summarises the investigated experiences and defines guidelines for the containers reuse. A reflection upon the relation between education and research is presented as a conclusion to the paper starting from the skills obtained by the course attendants.