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Temporary Urban Solutions. Politecnico di Milano

  • Date: 12.10.2015 – 20.02.2016
  • Time: 12:00 am
  • Location: Politecnico di Milano , Via Candiani 72 , Milano


The public space is becoming a place of social innovation in which creative communities act to create new solutions to everyday problems that the economic system and the society are no longer able to give. The bottom-up actions of these active groups of citizens who choose their answers is combined with top-down action of the institutions that can’t turn a blind eye to the obvious needs of the citizens. Temporary solutions often give a new perspective to the use of public spaces by creating real scenarios that could be develop into long-term solutions after a prototyping and testing phase.  This course is open to postgraduate students, PhD candidates and it includes collaboration with citizens, associations, informal group by being part of the design process.

Main goal

This course is about temporary design actions to be done in the outdoor area of the Milan theatre “Atir Ringhiera” known as “La Piana” located close to metro stop M2 Abbiategrasso (Milan). This actions will benefit from the multidisciplinary background of the participants (interior, communication, product, fashion and service design) and will be mainly diviede in htree main categories:

– urban installations: to be interactive by engaging people of the neighbourhood to use the space in an active way

– services to support the use of the space and the installations put on it

– communication of the whole process and results

The tools of strategic planning and service design, combined with spatial/interior/environmental design and the event management, can create a bridge between La Piana area and the neighborhood by defining a system of design actions that becomes an incubator for new synergies experiments.


Temporary Urban Solutions will use the design thinking process (codified by IDEO and DSchool) by following these three main steps:

– Inspiration: an in-the-field and desk research to understand the context both from social and spatial point of view and defining the main target (personas) to address the final solutions. Students will be introduced to space and team of Ringhiera and will then venture into the surrounding community by using outreach and surveys tools. To do that they will be  divided in 12 groups of 4 to 5 people with different background.

– Ideation: developing concepts based on the key-learnings acquired in the inspiration phase. The concepts are co-designed with people from the neighbourhood by connecting each workteam to a specific association/informal citizens group

– Implementation: prototyping and testing solutions during the Experimentation Labs

The course will explore the opportunities to enhance the sense of belonging to this place, attracting people and actions within new activities. The surface of La Piana needs technical services (DIY infrastructures), a process of formal identification (installations), in order to host social activities (service design) to be put on stage (storytelling) through a performative act (theatre).

Expected results

Participants are required to work in team to design temporary solutions (service, spaces, toolkits) to be tested during the experimentation lab (prototyped) in order to support and carry out the existing actions and to develop new “design activist” solutions.