Detailed Program of the Conference

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The current Conference time is: 19th Aug 2022, 06:36:37pm CEST

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Overall view of the program
Parallel sessions - H.7.1 Reinventing school between pedagogy, architecture and design: a dynamic laboratory
Friday, 04/June/2021:
9:00am - 11:15am

Session Chair: Beate Christine Weyland
Session Chair: Kuno Prey
Session Chair: Massimo Faiferri
Location: Room 10

Session Panels:
H.7. Reinventing school between pedagogy, architecture and design: A dynamic laboratory

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Mariagrazia Francesca Marcarini

CIA (Centro d'Istruzione per l'Adulto e l'Adolescente A. Manzoni-Comune di Milano, Italy

Research topic/aim

The action-research involved a group of students “drop-out” aged 16-18 of CIA (Centro d’Istruzione per l’Adulto e l’Adolescente) A. Manzoni of Municipality of Milan, a second chance school in Milan that offers to young and adult a shortened upper secondary course (two-years-in-one) to recover school years and reach a diploma. It is focused to:

- improve soft skills and STEAM through collaborative design for re-designing some unused spaces of their school;

- convert some project proposals and ideas into a shared design for each spaces;

- the teacher role as an expert teacher.

Scientific significance

The research is significant to identify positive aspects and critical issues in order to propose a new path for improving soft skills, creativity and STEAM, to personalize the learning and the teaching, to improve the students’ motivation and the teacher transition from a traditional methodology to a new teaching approach.

Theoretical framework

The design process was carried out through peer education, cooperative learning and sensorial didactic.

Research questions

It focuses around three questions. Is it possible to:

- develop soft skills, creativity and STEAM and improve motivation?

- promote the students’ metacognitive reflection on the development of their soft skills through a self-assessment form?

- transform the traditional teaching centered on teacher in a role as a teacher as change agent?


The transformative participatory action-research with the ideographic purpose has been used, a critical approach induced students to find strategies to reach the objectives through hermeneutic and reflexive modalities.

The action-research had two phases: theoretical-design and laboratory-practice.

Contribution and findings.

The action-research findings are:

- six project proposals, two for each of the three different spaces;

- assessment of the students’ skills through an evaluation form by teacher and a self-assessment form;

- questionnaire by students to evaluate the design process path;

- self-evaluation through an interview to teacher about the teaching and educational expertise.


Bain, A. (2007). The self-organizing school. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education Edition.

Boud, D., Cohen, R., Sampson, J. (2001). Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning from and with Each Other. London: Kogan Page.

Hattie, J., Zierer K. (2018). 10 Mindframes for Visible Learning. Teaching for success. New York: Routledge.

Marcarini, M. (2021). Pedarchitecture: Which Learning Environments for the Personalisation of Teaching and Learning? In Imm, W., Kvan, T. Teacher Transition into Innovative Learning Environments. A Global Perspective. Singapore: Springer.

Mertens, D. M. (2010). Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity With Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Pope, A.W., McHale, S. M., & Craighead, W. E. (1988). Self-esteem enhancement with children and adolescents. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Spillane, J P. (2006). Distributed leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bas.

Strebe, J. D. (2017). Engaging Students Using Cooperative Learning. London: Routledge.

Weyland, B. (2017). Didattica sensoriale. Oggetti e materiali tra educazione e design. Milano: Guerini e Associati.

Weyland, B., Attia, S. (2015). Progettare scuole tra pedagogia e architettura. Milano: Guerini Scientifica.

Woolner, P. (2015) (Ed.). School Design Together. New York: Routledge.


Gabriel Oberhauser

Freie Universität Bozen, Italy

Schools, kindergartens, daycare centers and university buildings have been built, converted and renewed across South Tyrol in recent years. The question arises as to whether people who take part in the design process of educational spaces and are actively involved in design can also fall back on a theory that supports design decisions with scientific results. It is therefore necessary to understand whether there is scientific specialist literature for people who are involved in the design of educational spaces.

The aim of this master's thesis is to determine how the topic of educational space has been treated in the scientific literature of the past 15 years. This raises the question of how research literature from the field of architecture differs from that from the field of education and how theoretical and empirical findings are made available to people from practice.

In order to answer the research question, a meta-analysis of the current specialist literature on the subject of educational space was carried out. The focus is on publications that appeared in the period 2005-2020. The results of this meta-analysis show that, in addition to the independent developments in specialist literature from education and architecture, an increasing flow of publications is emerging that bundles scientific results from these very fields and uses them to produce practical literature for creative people to create.

As a result, there is a good theoretical basis for future design processes, which, however, also needs to be used.


Lino Cabras

Università degli studi di Sassari, Italy

«The artwork is a fundamentally ambiguous message, a plurality of meanings that coexist in a single signifier [...] that is, to define the limits within which a work of art can achieve maximum ambiguity and depend on the active intervention of the consumer, without however ceasing to be a "work"» (Eco, 1962).

According to the definition of "Open Work" it is possible to reinterpret experiences of Modern Movement in architecture through some eminent experimental model-schools that were able to define spaces for learning as places for communities, at the same time didactic and social ones, starting from the pedagogical methods developed at the beginning of the 20th century, which have deeply affected the experimental practices linked to the field of design and art. The most relevant case of the Bauhaus school, expressed through new pedagogies the need to re-found the entire society, in order to retrieve the totality and complexity of mankind (Einstein,1914), in search of a constant balance between the Apollonian spirit and the Dionysian spirit (Schlemmer et al., 1925).

Starting from these assumptions, the research investigates the most significant design experiences carried out in the suburban areas of Italy in the 1950s and 1960s, such as the villages and hamlets of Sardinia (ETFAS, 1962).

However, the spatial outcomes of the local schools built, shows how their design principles are still valid in the contemporary world, re-proposing of the concept of a democratic school (Scharoun, 1951).

Following the current pandemic crisis, the role of school space has acquired new centrality, opening up a necessary debate on the inadequacy of current places of learning. The school space, seen as a natural extension of the body that acquires knowledge through exploration and motion, requires special attention not only in relation to proxemic distances and the new possibilities of aggregation that these imply, but also in relation to interactions with the urban dimension. Strengthening the role of architecture in educational processes and reinforcing the relationship between the school and its extension to the outside world, integrating experiences of the territory to make community (Weyland, 2014) is the topic investigated during the fourth edition of the International Summer School "ILS _ Innovative Learning Spaces - a city for everyone", in the workshop "Architecture and education for diversity: architecture as a pedagogical play for social transformation" coordinated by the Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti.

Eco U., Opera aperta. Forma e indeterminazione nelle poetiche contemporanee, Bompiani, Milano, 2016.

Einstein C., Totality, in Haxthausen, C. W., eds., A Mythology of Forms: Selected Writings on Art, The University of Chicago press, London, 2019, pp. 23-31

ETFAS, eds., Case rurali e borghi, Centro di documentazione sardo, 1962.

Scharoun H., Mensch und Raum, in O. Bartning (Hrsg.), Mensch und Raum / Das Darmstädter

Gespräch 1951, Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1991, pp. 112-115.

Schlemmer O., Moholy Nagy L., Molnàr F., Il teatro del Bauhaus, Torino, Einaudi, 1975.

Weyland B., Fare scuola. Un corpo da reinventare, Guerini, Milano, 2014.


Alessandro De Savi

Università Iuav di Venezia, Italy

Giancarlo De Carlo is one of those who has been most interested in the relationship between architecture and education, exploring it not only through projects, but especially with his writings. An article entitled “Why / How to Build School Buildings”, published in 1969 in the Harvard Educational Review, deals specifically with the relationships between education, school, architecture and the city. In continuity with some anarchist theories of the time and with the architectural-pedagogical debate that in those years was particularly vivid in investigating the relationships between school and the city (texts by other members of Team X were inserted in the same issue: Van Eyck, Hertzberger and Woods who refers here to the concept of non-school), De Carlo recognizes the real focus of education in the globality of the experience, which take place only beyond the school walls, in the city. This idea of a de-institutionalized education anticipates the subsequent Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich.

De Carlo analyses ‘why’, before analysing ‘how’, it is important to discuss about the construction of school buildings. On the one hand he proposes a fragmented school, spread in the city in order to overcome the barrier that unties it from urban space. On the other hand he suggests a project-process modality able to arrange open-ended spatial configurations and capable of accommodating a multiplicity of uses and programs: this possibility enables an increased richness of the experience even within an enclosed architectural space. The comparison with the current trend that conceives school spaces as metaphors of urban space, often leading to vague and allegorical representations (corridors as streets, atrium as agorà, classroom as educational landscape), highlights the importance of De Carlo’s interpretation of the city in its relation with education: the city as a space for events complexity and richness of the experience.

The translation De Carlo makes into operational indications for the conception of a possible other architectural space stands as one of the most interesting and less explored readings regarding the design of school spaces. The aim of his indications leads to the possibility of a space capable of promoting any kind of event and hosting any unexpected development. The need for a de-institutionalized design both for educational spaces and in general for architectural space, reaffirmed by De Carlo, becomes crucial if contextualized in the contemporary socio-cultural panorama (knowledge society, lifelong learning), that recognizes education as a fluid process that occurs in continuity into space. The article try to offer an original and contemporary reading of the vision of De Carlo where the debate on school buildings is considered as a pretext for the construction of a proto-manifesto for an architecture of global disorder.


Daria Shmitko


Contemporary cities are full of transformative processes that allow to gamify the urban environment and create new ways to enjoy public space and experience social relationships.

Urban play is a practice that helps to enhance all these aspects, as well as to build (or rebuild) a link between citizens and the territory, redefining the environment with new meanings. Urban play is an outdoor activity that promotes space learning, the re-evaluation of common goods and intergenerational community. Joining an action of urban play helps to feel part of the surrounding community, to develop urban resilience and it is also a resource for the urban transformation.

From these considerations, Daria Shmitko and Emilio Grazzi, two information designers based in South Tirol, started their journey. Their project “Genz4bz: Urban play for the Bolzano we wish" was selected for the 2020 edition of the regional call “Generazioni”. The project, made in partnership with the social cooperative Studio Comune and the scientific supervision of Prof. Beate Weyland (Free University of Bolzano) and Alessandra Galletti, expert in inclusive design, addresses the needs of the generation Z. The project involves several boys and girls between 13 and 25 years old. This generation is one of the most highly exposed to the psychological and economical consequences of the pandemic.

The project is structured as follows:

→ Urban play workshop, held in Bolzano (South Tirol, Italy, August 10 -14 2020)

→ Workshop results shared with the community and the city authorities

→ Implementation of the developed ideas (in progress)

A part of the workshop included a reflection about the 17 Global Skills and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a particular focus on objective 11, sustainable cities and communities, and inclusive design, a feature that takes care of various aspects for sustainable city development.

At the same time, the participants engaged in a reflection regarding article 31 of the UN Convention about the Rights of the Child (1989). The article establishes the right of the child to recreative activities, culture and leisure.

All the activities of the workshop were designed together with the participants, with different cultural backgrounds, and were suited to the today’s social distancing context. The same participants had the opportunity to rediscover their city districts, reshaping them basing on the needs of young people and with the help of the resources in the urban space. The workshop was aimed to stimulate the emancipation of generation Z by promoting their ability to make independent and responsible decisions, based on common, creative and multidisciplinary work. The participants, organised in teams, worked on different projects to create urban spaces for well-being and leisure activities. A jury made up of designers from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and representatives of the Bolzano municipality gave their feedback, assessing the feasibility of the ideas.


Laura Pujia

University of Sassari, Italy

After World War II, the innovative educational methods of the sisters Rosa and Carolina Agazzi (Agazzi 1929) and the contemporary spatial paradigms of modern schools (Pezzetti 2012), experimented nationally and internationally, found their application in Sardinia as a result of a special regional program. The Autonomous Region of Sardinia, in fact, with the aim of resolving its own condition of social and economic backwardness, established and entrusted the E.S.Ma.S. Ente per le Scuole Materne della Sardegna with the construction and management of more than one hundred new nursery schools built between 1950 and the early 1960s throughout the island’s territory. This important initiative enabled the development of an architectural ‘model’ for nursery schools, repeatable and based on three typologies, which from time to time allow for variations and adapt to the context in which they are set up. These modestly sized schools were designed in the wake of Ferrante Aporti’s directives, which proposes the diffusion of educational role of the nursery school with a precise pedagogical value (ESMAS 1957).

The kindergarten models correspond to a precise image of the spatial, layout and educational model referred to (Calidoni 2018). The educational method in ESMAS school was learning that well reflects the educational styles of the working class in a historical period marked by a strong rural and Catholic tradition. Physical education and hygiene care also assume an important role, which will see translated respectively into unstructured open spaces for play and interior service for psycho-physical well-being of the child (ESMAS 1957; Weyland-Galletti 2018). The learning environments, influenced by the authorial experiences of the modern movement, experimented with an internal flexibility with overcoming of the corridor (Hertzberger 2008). Although the schools did not have continuity with the outdoor spaces, due to safety requirements, they contain a potential that can be traced back to the experiences of outdoor education which constitute a school model that looks to the future. Today not all ESMAS schools are in use – some are abandoned, and others have changed destination or are being demolished – the research, in addition to recognizing the historical-patrimonial value, aims to reinterpret and update them.


AGAZZI R., AGAZZI C. (1929), Guida delle educatrici dell’infanzia, La Scuola, Brescia.

BORRI S. (ed.) (2016), Spazi educativi e architetture scolastiche: linee e indirizzi internazionali, Indire, Firenze.

CALIDONI P. (2018), Generare contesti educativi: linee di prospettiva, in B. Weyland, A. Galletti (a cura di), Lo spazio che educa. Generare un’identità pedagogica negli ambienti per l’infanzia, Edizioni Junior, pp. 134-143.

CICCONCELLI C. (1952), Lo spazio scolastico, in «Rassegna Critica di Architettura», n. 5.

ESMAS (1957) (ed.), La scuola materna in Sardegna, Tipografia Doglio, Cagliari.

FONDAZIONE GIOVANNI AGNELLI (ed.) (2020), Rapporto sull’edilizia scolastica, Editori Laterza, Bari.
HERTZBERGER H. (2008), Space and Learning, 010 Publishers, Rotterdam.

PEZZETTI L.A. (2012), Architetture per la scuola. Impianto, forma, idea, CLEAN, Napoli.

SCURATI C. (1997), Pedagogia della scuola, La scuola, Brescia.

WEYLAND B., GALLETTI A. (2018), Lo spazio che educa. Generare un’identità pedagogica negli ambienti per l’infanzia, Edizioni Junior.


Monica Adriana Parricchi, Monia Satta

Università Bolzano, Italia

The Eden project focuses on the cultural and social dimensions of sustainability. According to UNESCO (2006), education can generate a quot;positive social transformation that produces behaviors and practices that will allow everyone to live a full life without being deprived of the basic (UNESCO 2006). Sustainability education, therefore, underlines the importance of contributing to the creation of a future that explicitly revolves on teaching and learning, as well as on experiences and attitudes in which the ecological, economic, cultural and social dimensions are concretely thematized.

This research intends to develop a specific project on natural educational environments, precisel EDEN, in which the initiation of a treatment process develops through significant proximity relationships with houseplants. The relational question is not a detail: if we enter into a positive relationship with these indoor living beings, we can also create a bridge with the outside world.

In line with the ongoing debate promoted by the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the project aims to develop a concrete action plan for people, the planet and prosperity. The survey focuses on the introduction of plants in educational spaces to contribute to the development of the inclusive teaching / learning relationship in the direction of open, cooperative and research-oriented approaches in order to concretely implement Global Competences. It also explores the possibility of complying with the new requirements of the Civic Education Act, which include health and wellness education for all among its goals.

The project is based on interdisciplinary cooperation between the fields of pedagogy and teaching and natural sciences with an active partnership with 10 educational institutions that collaborate in data collection.

This research project aims to investigate whether the introduction of plants in educational spaces contributes to the development of inclusive teaching/learning relationships in the direction of open, cooperative and research-oriented approaches in order to concretely implement the Global Competencies, the 2030 Goals.

The objectives of the project are the development of a theoretical framework on the theme of education and sustainability inspired by plants and the definition of a field-tested review of plants suitable for the educational space.

During the project we are focusing on the development of tools for the enhancement and care of the school space through the introduction of plants inside it. At the same time, the activities carried out to develop nature care experiences in the name of health education and well-being for all, are mapping.

The activity with the schools is guided by the action research method and will consider the teachers and the referring children as real explorers in the field.

As for the qualitative data, we will move within the constructivist-interpretative paradigm by adopting the epistemology of naturalistic investigation.

The theoretical framework will be guided by the Grounded Theory and will make use of narrative and reflective approaches characterized by a shared construction of the interpretations emerging from the data and the formative value in terms of reflexivity.


Beate Christine Weyland

Free University of Bolzano, Italy

In recent years, the design of educational spaces is moving in an interdisciplinary direction to include in the design idea not only the technical-economic, urban planning and compositional discourse, but also the quality and typology of the didactic-educational activities, so as to design with greater precision the relational qualities of the environments among themselves and the furnishings in order to a coherent and pedagogically reasoned thinking (Weyland, Attia 2015, Woolner 2015).

Currently, the knowledge and approaches developed to engage school communities in the development of a new school idea have evolved greatly. In particular, a culture of participation aimed at a more active and responsible involvement of users has matured nationally and internationally (Montagstiftung 2012, Attia et al. 2018, Tosi 2019).

The contribution first presents an analysis of the current situation with respect to the relationship between pedagogy and architecture in the process of school building construction, highlighting if, when and how the pedagogical contribution is included in the design process (from the idea, to the competition-tender, to the construction of the school) and how it can contribute concretely to improve the proposals.

Secondly, it explores with a case study (participation in a jury in a design competition) the possibility of adding pedagogical criteria to the design criteria generally described in the competition briefs. The purpose is to highlight how they are important in contributing to the choice of the best project.

The scientific analysis of the effects of the pedagogical contribution to the selection and the development of the architectural projects is aimed at raising awareness of how important it is to include in the commissions of competition for the design of schools figures with accredited expertise in the field of pedagogy and didactics, movement and inclusion. In fact, it is not taken for granted that among the professionals invited to the competition juries there is a specific figure who represents the school component, despite the fact that it has been involved in participatory processes. It is also not taken for granted that a professional from the pedagogical-didactic area is used to analyze the qualities of the buildings to be constructed. The hope is that greater balance and reciprocity will be created between pedagogy and architecture throughout the design process.


Attia S., Weyland B., Bellenzier P., Prey K. (2018). Progettare scuole insieme tra pedagogia, architettura e design. Milano: Guerini.

Castoldi M. (2020). Gli ambienti di apprendimento. Milano: Carocci.

Faiferri M., Bartocci S. (2018), Innovative Learning Spaces. Trento: List Lab.

Montag Stiftung (2012.): Schulen Planen und Bauen. Grundlagen und Prozesse. Berlin: Jovis.
Tosi L. (2019), Fare didattica in spazi flessibili, Firenze: Giunti Scuola.

Weyland, B., Attia S. (2015). Progettare scuole tra pedagogia e architettura. Milano: Guerini e Associati.

Weyland B., Prey K. (2020): Ridisegnare la scuola tra didattica archietttura e design. Milano:Guerini.

Woolner, Pamela (2015). School design together. New York: Routledge.