[2008] TORINO International summer design school

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Designing Connected Places is an international summer design school. But there is much more. It is also a programme for action throughout Piemonte. Using the tools of design, solutions will be outlined for 6 problems expressed by 6 local bodies. These are: health and well-being, food and new food networks, urban mobility, security and quality of life in the city, new production systems, and forms of representation of the region and its communities.

The summer school brings out a new definition of the "local" and a new role of design:
a connected local, understood as local in the era of networks and high connectivity, understood as a concept able to promote original development strategies.

A selected group of young designers of different nationalities will be called on to participate. Guided and stimulated by project leaders and visiting professors of great and proven international experience, they will work intensely for a week on themes indicated by local "clients" and prepared by meta-design work conducted by a group of researchers from various design schools.

Designing Connected Places is:

  • 6 themed workshops at Pollenzo
  • 1 design studio in Torino
  • 6 meetings with international visiting professors (open to the public)
The official language of Designing Connected Places is English


Designing Connected Places is an exercise of concept generation organised in 6 workshops of one week each and which involves an international group of young designers and project leaders.

Its result will be an ample set of design ideas that propose practical solutions to well-defined problems and that, at the same time and as a whole, give a vision of the potential of design for local development.

The concept generation exercise is made more effective by the support of appropriate activities of preparation and post-production of the results: analytical and planning work - the "meta-design" - conducted before and after the concept generation workshops by a team of researchers from Italian design schools


The workshop is an original form of intervention in the metropolitan and regional area.
Six specific themes significant for Piemonte branch out from the general topic of "Design for local development":

- health
- mobility
- security
- food networks
- the representation of complex phenomena
- distributed production systems

The summer school stimulates the use of knowledge and competencies typical of contemporary design to enhance social and territorial resources, to solve specific problems in Piemonte, and to promote an approach oriented towards environmental sustainability.


Design for the representation of places and communities

July 22 > 29 - Pollenzo, Italy

Torino is a city on the move. The tradition forms of representation are obsolete or inadequate to depict the current reality and the dynamics in progress.

Project question
How can the city be made legible and comprehensible, understood as a complex organism and as a web of physical and social networks?

Workshop leader : Christian Nold, designer

Local team leader : Paolo Ciuccarelli

Commitment : Urban Center Metropolitano - Torino

The urban territory is a system whose complexity is growing, in which a multitude of tangible and intangible flows (people, goods, information) stratify and interconnect.

Faced with all this, the traditional modes of mapping and representing the city appear entirely inadequate: the representations of the new physical and social networks, like that of their individual and collective life, are a new challenge for the design of communication. The representation of the phenomena demands the gradual abandonment of classical visual languages, i.e. of maps that lay their trust chiefly in the topological and geographical metaphor.

Overcoming these limits means building a new representation of the city: a collective vision capable of defining and visualising the new concept of urban space and, more in general, social spaces.

The theme, proposed in collaboration with the Urban Center Metropolitano of Torino, aims to produce visualisations in the form of diagrams and maps of relationships that induce a new way of viewing human-city interaction, and also useful for outlining new criteria for its development.