Improving human development through design education: the Osasco Design Studio (SP, Brazil) 2006-2009

D. De Filippi, R. Balbo


The Research and Documentation Centre in Technology, Architecture and Town in Developing Countries (CRD-PVS) at Politecnico di Torino promotes research addressing habitat improvement under conditions that can be regarded as borderline in terms of climate or social emergence. It coordinates the post-graduate course in Habitat, Technology and Development, which trains architects and engineers to be capable of working with an integrated approach to design in different cultural, political and economic settings and identifying all available resources. Starting in academic year 2006/07, thanks to a framework agreement with the Municipality of Osasco (San Paolo, Brazil), the CRD-PVS organizes design workshops as part of the post-graduate course.

Assisted and coordinated by Politecnico di Torino faculty members and staff from the Municipality of Osasco, students set up projects for the upgrading of the Morro de Socò favela (new housing, regeneration of public spaces, waste collection systems, replanting, and facilities for cultural and community services) over a period of one year followed by a one month placement in the Osasco housing and urban development unit - SEHDU. Each project developed considers forms of self-construction and participation by the area’s local residents and it concludes with a submission to SEHDU, to be implemented within its slum upgrading ongoing strategy.

The goal of the Design Studio is to develop processes, knowledge and skills that will enable future professionals to contribute to well-designed and well-planned equitable, sustainable and socially inclusive cities that support human development.

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ISSN: 1759-0574