Writing Spaces|Workshop@ polimi 8-12 May 2017

The Workshop Week at Scuola del Design-Politecnico di Milano Bovisa has been a wonderful opportunity to further develop a discourse on #WritingSpaces that kicked off at Middlesex University few months ago.

Together with two colleagues, Ruth Bonazza and Peter Thomas (Learning Enhancement Team, Middlesex University) we’ve discussed, questioned and explored the idea that #WritingSpaces are able to stimulate and support the making of ideas through writing.

#WritingSpaces are a physical translation of a mental space: writing, no matter if what we write is and essay or a to-do list, is a self reflective practice that help us to neaten thoughts.

“People dont’ have ideas, they make them”*

The research, undertaken by Ruth Bonazza, Francesca Murialdo and Peter Thomas (Middlesex University) consisted of 3 different phases; the first one, through an online questionnaire, was directed to gain quantitative and qualitative informations about writing practices (How much do you write? Which kind of text do you write? Where do you write? Which tools do you use?). The second step was developed through conversations in small groups (Focus Groups) to discuss and identify space qualities favourable to the writing process.

This last stage, based on the outcomes from the previous ones, transforms speculations into designed spatial proposals.

The brief put emphasis on some of the issues raised from the previous phases: collaboration, identity and ownership are key ideas that the students of Scuola del Design, together with a small group of students from the School of Design Ohio State University, explored with their diverse projects.

Permeability, a given set of locations and contexts (public building/retail environment, library/bookshop, classroom, leftovers – corridors, footways,..) and writing formats have shaped the projects.

The ideas presented on Friday, after an intense week of work, are rooted in an accurate investigation about writing behaviours and practices that initiated the discussion.

Both Waves and Writer’s Destination choose airports as the ideal location to set up two very different projects. Waves (Mara Faravelli, Samantha Nemeth, Francesca Scorza, Tanya Soriato, Alice Tinelli, Amanda Viell) works on the concept of proximity and isolation, creating site generic space-furniture able to populate different contexts; Writer’s Destination (Giulia Bazzani, Hacer Beril Beden, Camilla Berruti, Chiara Bianco, Achille Erin, Katie Riley) focuses on the degree of customisation that such a popular space needs in order to meet different needs.

Libraries and bookshops have been identified by the research as an inspirational place where the presence of books trigger osmotically further words. Comic Nook (Anthony Josuè Favitta, Giulia Ferrara, Alex Getz, Jonathan Lambert, Silvia Rossi) introduces the comic novel as a very specific writing product able to merge words with graphics; exploiting and occupying the spaces between libraries, Comic Nook provides a futuristic pod able to gather around you needed references (it includes a service design feature that connects with the library catalogue) and other innovative tools. Starting from different premises Still Frame (Francesca Notaro, Costanza Diletta Lucia Previti, Fanny, Alyssa Miller, Catherine Renault, Laura Peshek) is an elegant system that is connected and generated from bookshelves: the thin steel frames are counterbalanced by coloured rubber surfaces to sit or write in two different settings, a more informal email-mode and a more structured longer tasks writing mode.

Origami (Claudia Casciaro, Andrea Cola, Francesco Di Girolamo, Giuseppe Francesco Giurfa, Emily Khouri, Ximeng Huang) aims to transform ideas in a university context: the structure unfolds and remodels ordinary classrooms generating a sequence of spaces able to provoke and enhance the exchange of ideas. The same context, a university classroom, has been explored also by Muro della Creativita‘ (Bianca Adams, Emily Datsko, Marta De Marie, Chloè Denniston, Matteo Delledonne, Didem Parlas) that, with an architectural approach, provides a space within a space: every detail questions how space supports creativity and writing.

The last two projects confronts leftover spaces in two very different ways. Slide & Study (Brianna Branko, Delia Ferraris, Vladislav Kotov, Elizabeth Riddel, Davide Maurice Weissy, Valeria Zucco) is able to activate corridors in an educational context providing a customizable temporary provision of desks and seats that the user can arrange in different arrangements according to needs. Brain Train (Coralita Juliana Arnold, Fabrizio Carbotti, Maria Beatrice Finotto, Mattia Marzorati, Mandy Pavlich) is situated in train stations and, by exploring different writing tools, provides a surface to write: contributions are stored and displayed as layered memories on the collaborative ‘monument’, exploring writing as a social activity.

Here are few pictures of the process

Here some of student’s work

#WritingSpaces by Francesca Murialdo with Cristina Foglia

Thanks to Michele Capuani, Jeffrey Haase  and Alberto Ghirardello for the help

* Carruthers, M. (1998), The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric and the Making of Images, 400–1200, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 5)
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Writing Spaces|students’ works

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Writing Spaces Gallery

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LA.BO.works @DESIGN.IT 2015

pic by  Charlotte Nøkleby

Also this year we’ve been invited by professor Beltran Berrocal to collaborare to the course Design.it for VIA summer course @ Scuola del Design – Politecnico di Milano.

12 students from Denmark worked on different system in interiors that TRANSFORMS or IS TRANSFERABLE from one function to another.
We investigated the retail topic through our traditional milanese Retail Tour and Francesca Murialdo’s lecture about Practice of Consumption and Spaces for Goods.

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IDEAstore|#magazziniricordati 2.0

The Xth edition of the Maser in Exhibition Design by IDEA, Associazione Italiana Exhibition Designers and Poli.Design host IDEAstore|#magaziniricordati 2.0.

After last semester’s success of #memorystore we’ve been set a different brief for the master designers. The idea is to insert scheduling as a strategic part of the design process. Intervention for such a big heritage, both in terms of  meaning and scale, need an accurate study in terms of feasibility and sustainability.

Pages from 150524-brief

Three main topics has been set (food, sport, utility) and a five years timeframe in which the designers had to place the three different stages of the design, the idea store, the pilot and the consolidation phase.

For the #food topic we present pepito (Beniamino Roy Naim, Federica Radice, Giulia Nelli) and doeat (Ilaria Iannelli, Dariia Maksimova, Veronica Valentini). Pepito is a library and a spice shop that becomes spice shop and cooking lab and a restaurant in its consolidation phase.


Pepito|layout poster for the spice shop (pilot phase)

doeat focusses on the handmade food, on the tradition , on the quality of the ingredients and on the cooking process designing three stages hosting markets, labs and shops with different function percentage in each one.


Doeat|layout of the food market with details of the tablecloth floor decoration

#sport topic has been centred on bicycle and rollerskating. Bruno (Gaia Brambilla, Anna Chiara Mauri, Federica Muollo, Costanza Però), that borrow the name from the kid of Ladri Di Biciclette, design an accessorised bicycle parking, a special mechanic workshop and a cycling bar.

Pages from pres_bruno

Bruno|drive through bycicle workshop


Roll-in (Lorena Aybar, Vittoria Tagini, Clementina Grandi) starts from a skate-rink, develops into a skate school to end into a skate shop.



Roll-in|the skater’s shop

The #utility topic works on two different projects, one dedicated to kids and the other one on reading and writing. Beok design three different spaces starting with the main one that is a library for emerging writers; pilot phase is a full publishing service to develop into a creative writing school.


Beok|view of the library devoted to emerging writers

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 14.53.29

NouNou|elevation of the clothing shop

Nou Nou‘s idea store is an indoor playground, a game swap shop and a clothing shop.

Strategy, timing and a collaborative idea of the design process able to involve the local community to tests ideas in order to develop them into real necessities.

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05.03.2015 | memory store @Urban Center


Last thursday at Urban Center we participate in the debate “200 milioni per le periferie?”, part of series of meetings called Periferia InConTra, event sponsored by Consulta delle Periferie Milanesi.

During the meeting we discussed the new plan for the regeneration and redevelopment of the suburbs and urban areas with which the Italian Government has earmarked an investment of 200 million euro and figures that by September 30, 2015 the Municipalities present projects to be started soon on regeneration of peripheral areas, improvement of urban spaces, reuse and regeneration of the buildings.

During the debate, Mario Abruzzese and one of the students, Marco Paris, shared with those present the results of the intense experience of Memory Store, which we have been working on over the past six months exploring places, collecting memories, rethinking the spaces in and around the Magazzini Raccordati.

The speakers were:

Franco Raggi, Vice President Ordine degli Architetti di Milano
Ida Castelnuovo, Polisocial / Politecnico di Milano
Francesca Cognetti, Coordinator of Mapping San Siro / Politecnico di Milano
Piero Colaprico, Journalist of La Repubblica
Paolo Limonta, Office for relations with the City by Comune di MilanoWalter Cherubini, Consulta Periferie Milano

The meeting was a useful opportunity for discussion and exchange on possible actions in the city from a “peripheral horizon”.

Read more on www.periferiemilano.com

Lo scorso giovedì sera eravamo presenti all’Urban Center per partecipare al dibattito “200 milioni per le periferie?” nell’ambito del ciclo di incontri “Periferia InConTra”, appuntamento promosso dalla Consulta delle Periferie Milanesi.

Durante l’incontro si è parlato del nuovo piano per la rigenerazione e riqualificazione delle periferie e delle aree urbane degradate con il quale il Governo Italiano ha stanziato un investimento di 200 milioni di euro e prevede che entro il 30 settembre 2015 i Comuni interessati presentino progetti “tempestivamente cantierabili” di riqualificazione delle aree periferiche, miglioramento del decoro urbano, riuso e rigenerazione dell’edificato.

Durante il dibattito Mario Abruzzese e uno degli studenti del corso, Marco Paris, hanno condiviso con i presenti i risultati dell’intensa esperienza di Memory Store, che negli scorsi sei mesi ci ha fatto esplorare luoghi, raccogliere memorie, ripensare gli spazi dentro e intorno ai Magazzini Raccordati.

Sono intervenuti:

Franco Raggi, Vice presidente Ordine Architetti di Milano
Ida Castelnuovo, Polisocial/Politecnico di Milano
Francesca Cognetti, Coordinatrice Mapping San Siro/Politecnico di Milano
Piero Colaprico, Giornalista La Repubblica
Paolo Limonta, Ufficio Relazioni con la Città del Comune di Milano
Walter Cherubini, Consulta Periferie Milano

L’incontro è stato un utile momento di confronto e di scambio su possibili azioni in città a partire da un “orizzonte periferico”.

Maggiori info su www.periferiemilano.com

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The Final Cut

DSC_2066 copy

The Final Cut, the conclusion of the this year labowork’s interior design studio has been very successful and fun: the green area between Viale Brianza and via Ferrante Aporti was populated by people, friends and guests that came to see the #memorystore projects  for the magazzini raccordati (connected warehouses).

The Final Cut, la festa conclusiva del laboratorio di quest’anno è stata un vero successo: l’area pedonale tra viale Brianza e via Ferrante Aporti si è popolata di passanti, amici e ospiti venuti a vedere i progetti dei #memoristore per i magazzini raccordati.

The students have set up an open-air exhibition presenting ideas and projects for the re-use of the forsaken warehouses and the rail tunnels at street level. An indoor park that use as connective system for all other activities inside  #magazziniricordati: spaces for sport, sharing’ kitchens for the neighborhood, spaces for social interaction, work or reading, hydroponic cultivations and food shooping places.

Gli studenti hanno allestito l’area e per un giorno hanno raccontato quello che i magazzini ei tunnel ferroviari a livello strada, in passato utilizzati per lo stoccaggio e il trasporto delle merci, potrebbero diventare. Un parco coperto che fa da tessuto connettivo per tutte le altre attività presenti all’interno dei #magazziniricordati:  spazi per lo sport, cucine di quartiere, spazi per la convivialità,per il lavoro e la lettura, spazi per la  coltivazione idroponica eper la vendita di prodotti alimentari provenienti da tutto il mondo.

A great opportunity for discussion and collaboration that has seen working together teachers, students, associations, the local institutions and residents in the belief that the work done can be a model for many other future experiences.

Una grande occasione di confronto e collaborazione che ha visto lavorare fianco a fianco studenti, docenti, associazioni, il consiglio di zona, le istituzioni culturali e gli abitanti del quartiere nella convinzione che il lavoro prodotto possa essere preso a modello per molte altee future esperienze.

Here the gallery of the event

Qui la gallery con le immagini dell’evento

Here instead theAnd here below the collection of video and book done by aech of the 16 working groups

Di seguito invece la raccolta dei video e dei book di progetto dei 16 gruppi di lavoro

BAKLù by Chiara Namias, Irene Nembrini and Marco Paris

CINE20124 by Elisabetta Milani, Francesca Polizzi and Carla Procida

Continue reading

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The Final Cut_Gallery

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11.02.2015 | the final cut


Wednesday, February 11, 2015, starting at 13:00, the students of Laboratorio di Metaprogetto MEMORYStore, of Scuola del Design del Politecnico di Milano, will present their projects in an event that will take place in Viale Brianza Tunnel in Milan (access from via Ferrante Aporti).

16 real scale installations will tell of an intense experience lasted six months during those students have explored, documented, rethought the abandoned spaces of Milano Centrale railway station, trying to rediscover the history of places and people. Starting from the memory, the young designers tried to imagine the future of these places.

Through a close cooperation with the city institutions, local shopkeepers and residents associations, students suggested to set-up new activities within the spaces, proposing business models or alternative uses of the tunnels and warehouses which have been redesigned according to the new functions.

The railway tunnels at street level, in the past used to transport goods, are converted into a covered park which serves as a connective space for all other activities inside #magazziniricordati: areas for sports activities, open kitchens for all the neighborhood, places for entertainment, spaces for working or reading, hydroponic cultivation, markets which sell food from around the world.

The #magazziniricordati become again a place of intense city life, exchanges and sharing.

Don’t miss “MEMORYstore, the final cut”, it’s not only the presentation of the results of the students’ works but a real opportunity to raise awareness and involve those who don’t know the area and the problems related to the lack of use of an asset so valuable to our city!

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h 9.30 _ consegna in aula di:

1) presentazione progetto completa, riveduta e corretta (solo in formato digitale pdf)
2) video durata 2 min formato .avi
> contenuti intro da scaricare su beep (durata e gestione dei contenuti sono a discrezione del gruppo purchè siano tutti presenti – potete usare i testi in italiano o in inglese o entrambi)
> la musica deve essere free copyright (es jamendo.com o altri siti free royalty music)
> alla fine del video devono comparire i componenti del gruppo
> nei titoli di coda devono esser riportati i riferimenti della musica e di tutte quelle cose che non sono state prodotte da voi oltre ai ringraziamenti di chi vi ha aiutato, del lab movie e del corso (come indicato nel file su beep)

h 10.30 _ presentazione video in aula

h 15.00 _ valutazione video+eventuali commenti e correzioni

h 16.00 _ eventuali revisioni allestimento/oggetti


mattina _ allestimento mostra (ogni gruppo dovrà documentare con foto e video la fase di montaggio e preparazione)

> sull’allestimento deve comparire il qr-code del video che vi verrà dato dopo il 28/01

> qualsiasi sito web/blog/pagina facebook o simili che volete mettere sul vostro oggetto deve esser realmente online

> su tutti gli oggetti oltre al logo del progetto, eventuali link a vostri siti web/etc dovrà esserci il riferimento a laboworks: “https://laboworks.org/

h 13.00 _ inizio evento (è aperto a tutti quindi invitate chi volete)
h 16.30 _ valutazioni finali e ringraziamenti @museo del manifesto cinematografico
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