Course unit partition: Cognomi A-L

Academic year 2024/25
1° year of course - Annual
Carlo Giorgio Benedetto GANDOLFI
Academic discipline
Composizione architettonica e urbana (ICAR/14)
Ambito aggregato per crediti di sede
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to:
- know the design process from the setting of needs to their first formal translation into Architecture (from sketch prefiguration to final representation) with particular reference to the concept of Type (see field Contents);
- to analyse and understand the relationship between idea and architectural form and between form and function in particular in the Italian context (1st Dublin descriptor)
- apply the skills acquired in the field of architectural design with reference to the Content (2nd Dublin descriptor);
- acquire a necessary and indispensable autonomy of critical (or self-critical) judgement on the architectural project declined in relation to the specific themes described in the Contents (3rd Dublin descriptor)
- acquire an initial ability to communicate in the field of architectural design particularly in relation to the indications described in the Contents (4th, 5th Dublin descriptor).


Perfect knowledge of the Italian language, correct oral expression and correct use of vocabulary are fundamental prerequisites.
The use of the bibliography as a tool is fundamental in this respect.

Course unit content

The architectural project is the synthesis of different fields of applied knowledge and operates through the translation of needs (functional, social, historical, as well as structural, linguistic, poetic, aesthetic) into architecture. The design studio is the space where the student-teacher and student-student relationship unfolds dialectically, encapsulating the synthesis of all the knowledge already acquired or in progress.

The Architectural Design Studio I + Workshop consists of a course in Design I - Architecture of Living (60 hours - 6 ECTS), a course in Composition I - Building Typology and Urban Morphology (60 hours - 6 ECTS) and an intensive workshop. The theoretical and practical focus of the studio is on the concept of type as a fundamental component of architectural and urban phenomenology, exploring the relationship between architectural typology and urban morphology, as well as overcoming and updating the typological model in relation to the transformation of the contemporary city. Key themes include the evolution of the concept of type and the relationship between form and function in distributive interpretation.

In addition to the compositional and design application, a short series of lectures will introduce the theoretical aspect of type through the built experience in the history of the city. The analysis of a case study is also appropriate to illustrate a methodology for the structural interpretation of architectural form; site reconnaissance; analysis of its historical formation; functional feasibility; distributive design interpretation; use and characteristics of spaces between building and city; plan-section-elevation relationship; plastic and volumetric control in three dimensions.

Preliminary acquisition of manual work through sketching technique and critical didactics (note-taking technique), photographic practice of reconnaissance, knowledge and organisation of cartographic materials and design representation, basics of CAD use, use of books and sources in general; creation of spatial and plastic analysis model, principles of construction technique.

For the academic year 2023/2024, the project theme that will characterise the students' educational experience in the studio is related to the form of space in its complementary duality: architectural and urban, interacting with the theatrical phenomenon. The aim is not to design a specific theatrical typology in the traditional sense, but to create a space that, while constructed and artistically relevant, is semantically and functionally open. This space should stimulate new or renewed forms of theatrical expression, capable of interacting with a broad system of cultures and the public and collective dimension of the city. In this definition, both the theatrical space, shaped by a precise architectural structure, and the spaces of the city that host it become protagonists, establishing a significant urban relationship in terms of expanding the meaning and potential for interaction of the theatrical space.

Full programme

The specific course programme as well as the application context will be published on the Moodle Elly page of the Workshop.


- Carlos Martí Arís, Le variazioni dell’identità. Il tipo in architettura, a cura di M. De Benedetti, CittàStudi, Milano, 2012
- Paulo Mendes da Rocha, La città per tutti, a cura di C. Gandolfi, Nottetempo, Milano 2021
- Carlo Quintelli - Enrico Prandi - Marco Maretto - Carlo Gandolfi (a cura di), Sei laboratori per Venezia, FAedizioni, Parma 2021
- Fernando Távora, Dell’organizzazione dello spazio, a cura di C. Torricelli, Nottetempo, Milano 2021

Teaching methods

The teaching activities will be conducted by favouring active learning modalities alternating with lectures, case studies and in-depth seminars. During the case studies (in general, authors and/or projects of contemporary architecture), confrontation with the students on the basic themes of architectural design will be privileged, also in order to bring out any pre-knowledge on the themes in question on the part of the students.
Instead, experiential learning cycles will be activated during the course in which students will be required to apply their knowledge through a rewriting of an architectural project.
The slides used to support the lectures will be uploaded monthly onto the Elly platform. Registration for the online course is required to download the slides.

Assessment methods and criteria

The course provides for the verification of learning through the evaluation of the project as a synthesis of knowledge and the student's ability to apply it. Any other exercises and/or in-depth studies (Ex-Tempore/research/case studies) will be assessed during the course of the year.
The final oral examination consists of an individual interview through which the student's knowledge and ability to critically understand built architecture (1st Dublin descriptor) in relation to the project will be tested. The interview will also test communication and learning/reasoning skills, clarity of exposition and the use of discipline-specific terminology (4th, 5th Dublin descriptor). The ability to apply knowledge will be verified by means of project work.
During the final examination, in the case of group design/exercise, it is necessary for each group member to master the entire exercise in its entirety as well as to make explicit the parts that he/she has personally supervised.

Other information

The course will be supported by the Moodle Elly platform on which useful course materials will be uploaded.