This series of seminars documents a journey through the discipline of urbanism intended as a reflexive practice. The focus of the investigation is the project and the different forms and manifestations it has taken on, moving between two extremes: the identification of the elements of continuity that can cross time, guaranteeing stability and recognisability to the discipline, and those, on the other hand, that are shaping the new that is on the march.

This series of seminars aims at revealing issues, tools and alliances that shape the design process of different EU territories, investigating emerging themes and questions of societal relevance that are orienting the urbanistic practice or that promoting new conceptual frames and practices, thus building a fertile ground for new concepts; analysing images, concepts, models, strategies, and materials that urbanistic projects uses to understand, describe, interpret conceptualise and design the new reality of cities and territories; examining the role of forces conditioning the urbanistic projects from an institutional, economic, and cultural point of view.

The overarching theme has been delimited in a loose manner with the aim to preserve the kaleidoscopic nature of the Urbanistic Project. As a journey, this series is open to the unexpected and available to fascination. Although not rigidly programmed, this journey is structured around three key elements.

The first one is intimately related to the conception of urbanism as a reflexive practice in which the ways of knowing are linked to the ways of designing in a constant interaction between praxis and theory. For this reason, the seminars are organized as a dialogue between a scholar and a practitioner (office) whose activity focuses on the same EU territory.

The second element includes the desire to investigate the paths opened in the last decade in professional practice, investigating the condition of urbanistic projects in the contemporary world. Even the most fundamental principles must be regularly adjusted and adapted to changing circumstances, and we seem to live in a moment in time in which the redefinition of debate in the public realm is a topic of remarkable importance. For these reasons, the practitioners selected for this journey represent young offices, mainly founded less than 10 years ago, which have already achieved international recognition by winning relevant competitions or awards, but which have not yet indulged in the self-referentiality that often characterises the most acclaimed international groups.

The last element explains the presence of the plural in the title of the event. In contemporary practices, projects of different scales and ambitions are showing potential synergies between the consolidated disciplines of architecture, landscape and urban planning. These synergies have promoted different urban paradigms in different contexts, which have produced new disciplines in their own right. Urban Design, Regional Design, Landscape Urbanism, Ecological urbanism, Landscape Infrastructure, Territorial Project today share the same unstable and hybrid ground in the process of city-making and territorial design. The aim of this series is not to define a new movement or establish a renewed understanding of the urbanistic discipline, but to document the existence of this shared and plural ground, preserving the different gazes and paths that characterise it. Each seminar, therefore, proposes a specific complementary combination of researcher and designer in order to account for the different nuances of the urbanistic discipline in each particular context.

Welcome to the Urbanistic Projects / New Generational Paths seminars series. Have a nice journey…