Dall'Orto / Rural Habitat at 0° Latitude

Rural Habitat at 0° Latitude The Architectural Project as a Tool for a Critical Investigation on Living

Author: Valentina Dall'Orto, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Andrea Gritti, Professor Dr., Associated Professor DAStU, Politecnico di Milano; Antonio di Campli, Politecnico di Torino; Franco Tagliabue, Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: initial doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract

DDR Statement

In the PhD proposal drawing is considered an investigative tool, an instrument through which asking questions and develop complex solutions. The research process provides an iteration between questions and proposals (Thomsen and Tamke, 2009), developing a non-necessarily linear dialogue between theoretical concepts and design explorations1.

The method starts from a critical reinterpretation of various approaches to the description of the rural house, especially referring to the Italian context starting from the ‘30.2.

The elaboration of an interpretative system, starting from the recognition of morphological units, will allow to represent the multidimensional relationship occurring between the dwelling and the socio-spatial phenomena.

The preliminary explorations consisted in a re-drawing of 35 different rural houses along the Province, establishing a first typological classification and individuating the elements of permanence and mutation. Regarding the survey, the tool of sketch acquires a particular relevance as a primary generator for an intellectual reflection.

Analyzing the dwelling in its complexity, the exploded axonometric projection will be investigated as essential to understand the system of spatial relations: external/internal, public/private, function/meaning. In order to overcome the schematic aspect of the representation and to shift from a descriptive to a critical observation, some images of the current condition of rurality in Global South will be produced. This operation will be realized through the tool of the one-point perspective, varying the height of the observer, from the human eye to the aerial perspective, in order to identify the differences in the perception of the object.

  1. Hauberg, Jørgen. (2011). Research by design: a research strategy.
  2. The approach of Cesare Saibene provides a narrative of the Italian rural landscape based on the recognition of morphological units. Consequently, the description of the landscapes is realized through the study of the physical, anthropic, economic and human settlement environment. The rural house is therefore in this analysis a part of a whole. The drawings are used to explain the specific conditions that conform rural architecture. The research of Giuseppe Pagano of 1936, Architettura Rurale Italiana, is focused on demonstrating the intrinsic aesthetic value in the functionality of rural houses, exploring the climatic, topographic and functional determinants which settle the origin and evolution of the built forms. In this case, the preferred tool of representation is the photography, focused on capturing the integration between architecture and landscape.