Lines of research

The Department of Architecture’s lines of research pursue several aims, focusing both on basic issues (with specific educational and methodological objectives) and practical studies (mainly referring to the technical-specialised aspects of the various disciplines); by following this path it is possible to support the multidisciplinary nature proper to schools of architecture.

The Department’s faculty composed of 64 professors offers a diverse and various disciplinary heritage, which allows the research groups to deal with, besides conventional issues, very unique perspectives as well. To manage consciously the whole transformation process of the contemporary city, of its environment and its territory – centre and suburbs, ancient and new, built and open spaces, public and private areas, man-made and natural spaces – one must be able to control various analytical and interpretative tools and specific techniques of intervention, other than developing a defined general visioning.

In addition to historical, structural and urban proficiencies, there are economical, technological and environmental-energetic issues, increasing the ability to deal and confront with very different disciplines and specialisations. In order to define the architect’s role and his further contribution to society within a field so complex, it is important to make wise basic choices, due both to the mutual work conditions and the different levels of specialisation, sometime strongly defined in certain areas. The Department is therefore focused on the architectural and urban issues, open to multidisciplinary educational and scientific cooperation, crucial for structuring the field of action and knowledge; a structure meant to direct the different cultural interests within a multidisciplinary coherent and synergetic approach. The Department’s activities of research are organised around three main guidelines:

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Architecture and heritage

This title refers to a variety of academic, cultural, professional and research (scientific, theoretical, practical and design) interests, commitments andexperiences, it has been conceived for years by professors who joined the Department and it is mostly focused on experimenting a new and more productive relationship between architecture and other different fields regarding cultural goods and exploring the historic stratification of contemporary landscapes (history, restoration, drawing, a specific mathematical area, structural competences, architectural and urban planning): in the knowledge that the architectural project itself, in its different philological and interpretative aspects, has as its main goal not only to know and preserve the built heritage and the agricultural landscape, but also to promote its revitalisation, update, innovation and reintegration in what concerns usages, cultural needs and actual and future practices. To that end, out of the conviction that this area of research might define and increase the cultural and scientific role, which distinguishes the Italian culture in the international landscape, the architectural project must be confronted with an open mind and without ideological dogmas, in its different practices and mutual theoretical, knowledge-based and methodological instruments, in its historical development, its continuity and further perspectives.

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Architecture, science and innovation

It is well known that, in order to conceive and create architecture, technical knowledge is essential for having a solid range – variable in time and space – of operating programs.

Furthermore, even though it may not seem so evident, scientific knowledge – which is definitely a significant part of the contemporary culture – can actually play a decisive role within the design creation. This latter, therefore, cannot be only seen as an indispensable way to manage processes and techniques of intervention, but also, and maybe more, as a methodological model significantly contributing to increase the whole instrumental set necessary to conceive an architectural project. At a time of sectorial and specialised knowledge, lacking a unifying analysis of processes, there is a risk to make an unconscious and improper use of technical instruments. In relation to the definition of educational programs, and to the development of research activities as well, it is very important to create a synthesis between different disciplinary competences.

The Department of Architecture especially finds that, in order to create a conscious and functional architecture suited for the contemporary society’s needs, research and use of innovation must be supported by appropriate scientific knowledge. The academic programs and the research activity promoted by the Department’s members, within the scientific and technical field, consider indeed the architecture as a privileged area, where even very different knowledge is necessary for building a diverse professional profile.

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Urban and territorial studies

This field of research is about settlements and environmental conditions, which characterise and guide the urbanisation. The areas of analysis and research are strongly interconnected, with a high-level cooperation between different involved research unities, cooperation and contracts with an important institutional scientific and enterprising partnership, at national and international level. Special attention is given to the local and territorial autonomies, with regard to the Lazio’s institutions and the metropolitan roman context, with whom several cooperative relationships have already been established. Issues of research range from policies and plans for the government of territory to the sustainable development of territorial economies, from the history of the city and of territory to the urban project in its morph-typological, functional and meaning aspects, from infrastructural policies to landscape and rural areas planning, from landscape to open spaces planning, from the environmental assessment to the analysis of the common goods and the production of public goods, from living the contemporary city to urban art, to the different forms of collective participation and to creation and public deliberation. A specific line of research, with a strong interdisciplinary aim, is about the energetic-environmental sustainability of the built environment and settlements, with regard for mitigation and adaptation measures due to the impact of the climate change.