AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design <p><strong>AGATHÓN</strong> is an <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Open Access</span> Scientific International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design (indexed by SCOPUS), a half-year tool for information and critical training; it aims to contribute to the growth and dissemination of knowledge in the themes covered by Architecture, Engineering, Art and (product and visual) Design. Therefore, the Journal represents a scientific place where Authors – who have carried out original research – can find an opportunity to spread their contributions. Each issue of the Journal includes essays and research works on a specific theme, unpublished works and not submitted for publication with other publishers.<br />The Journal, through its internal Board, promotes and monitors the double-blind peer review process as a method of selecting articles, providing a mandatory form for reporting. The contributions will be published in English and Italian language so that they can be placed in the widest range of the international scientific communities. The founding principles of the Journal are originality/innovation, the relevance of the investigated topic for the advancement of knowledge, the knowledge and ability to use literature, methodological rigour, the content clarity and presentation style, the impact on the scientific community, but also the easy accessibility and the wide diffusion of the articles; furthermore, the Journal is open to speculative empirical and descriptive research, about phenomena that present new characters, at least for certain important features.</p> <p><strong>SECTIONS OF THE JOURNAL </strong>| Published articles are inserted in one of the following sections:<br />"Focus" (by invitation for well-known Authors and/or experts in the subject)<br />"Architecture" (architectural and interior design, urban planning, engineering, technology, history, recovery, restoration, exhibition and museum design, representation)<br />"Art" (modern and contemporary)<br />"Design" (for industry, crafts and communication)<br />and are classified into the following categories: "Essays &amp; Viewpoint", "Research &amp; Experimentation", "Review Articles" or "Dialogues".</p> <p>AGATHÓN publishes, both electronically and in print, two issues per year, in June and December. The first issue was published in June 2017 and since then the programmed issues have been produced regularly.</p> <p class="p1">To encourage the publication of contributions by Authors with primary affiliation to Universities and Research Institutions in countries defined by the World Bank as <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">low-income and lower-middle income economies</a>, AGATHÓN selects a maximum of two Authors to publish their contributions <span class="s1">for free</span>, subject to the positive outcome of the double-blind peer-review process.</p> Palermo University Press – New Digital Frontiers Srl (Publisher) | DEMETRA Ce.Ri.Med. (Promoter) en-US AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design 2464-9309 <p>This Journal is published under&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution Licence 4.0</a>&nbsp;(CC-BY).<br><br><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><img src=""></a><br><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">License scheme</a>&nbsp;|&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Legal code</a><br><br><span style="text-decoration: underline;">This License allows anyone to</span>:<br>Share: copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.<br>Adapt: remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.<br><br><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Under the following terms</span><br>Attribution: Users must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made; users may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses them or their use.<br>No additional restrictions: Users may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.<br><br><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Notices</span><br>Users do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.<br>No warranties are given. The license may not give users all of the permissions necessary for their intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.</p> Modular design towards the circular economy – From ‘making to unmake’ to ‘making to remake' <p>Given the recent debate regarding the transition to the Circular Economy, Design for Modularity strategies play a decisive role in the process of transforming the current economic model from linear to circular. By describing some recently developed modular product case studies, this article intends to outline the considerations developed in the field of design culture for sustainability, on the concept of modularity. In recent years, this has shifted from the industrial logic of ‘making to unmake’, namely designing modular and disassemblable products mainly to recycle their end-of-life materials, to the logic of ‘making to remake’, to increase their circularity and durability, thereby making them reusable, repairable and remanufacturable. The objective of this contribution is to re-examine the concept of ‘modularity’ in the Circular Economy scenario, as a strategic design lever to extend the useful life of industrial products.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 12/09/2023; Revised: 16/10/2023; Accepted: 22/10/2023</p> Lucia Pietroni Alessandro Di Stefano Daniele Galloppo Copyright (c) 2023 Lucia Pietroni, Alessandro Di Stefano, Daniele Galloppo 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 274 283 10.19229/2464-9309/14232023 Modular relations in work environments – Data-driven approaches to design their future <p>This contribution explores the evolutionary nature of workspaces in the context of technological and social flexibility. The modular dimension of an office is analysed through a change in spatial solutions considering the influence that socio-cultural transformations have had on management models and design choices. The analysis focuses on the effectiveness of data-driven approaches when used to explore work contexts: data are a useful tool to understand the experiences and perceptions of employees when developing solutions to improve well-being in the workplace. This contribution aims to outline the transformation of an office from a closed and individualistic module to an open and shared system in which data play a fundamental role in defining the future of workspaces.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 16/10/2023; Accepted: 22/10/2023</p> Paolo Tamborrini Sofia Cretaio Copyright (c) 2023 Paolo Tamborrini, Sofia Cretaio 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 284 293 10.19229/2464-9309/14242023 Modularity as a strategy for medical design <p>In the last decade, collaborations between Design and the biomedical field have become increasingly frequent and effective, thanks to their shared focus on user-centred innovation. Design comes into play when unresolved challenges arise, mainly related to the usability of biomedical products, especially in the field of physical and rehabilitative medicine, where aids used for therapeutic treatments and exercises are often inadequate for scientific advancements and the complex needs of patients and therapists. Through a critical analysis of international best practices, this paper promotes a design approach based on modularity and potential kits for neuro-psychological, orthopaedic, and speech rehabilitation medicine. In this context, the modularity strategy offers an opportunity to develop new design-driven solutions for more flexible, adaptable, ergonomic, comfortable, and sustainable tools.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 10/10/2023; Accepted: 20/10/2023</p> Carla Langella Salvatore Carleo Marianna De Luca Copyright (c) 2023 Carla Langella, Salvatore Carleo, Marianna De Luca 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 294 303 10.19229/2464-9309/14252023 Dealing with complexity – Integrating LCA, ERA and ESA to assess human impacts and benefits on the biosphere <p>How we live, regardless of where this happens, impacts the biosphere and leads to chain reactions in different spheres that affect both nature and humans on a global scale: climate change, health risks, and loss of biodiversity all concur in a polycrisis condition that amplifies the state of uncertainty surrounding our future and the vulnerability of the entire ecosystem, especially since the design actions put in place do not address the cogent environmental issue systemically and holistically. With this in mind, the paper advocates for an integration of LCA, ERA and ESA, three analysis tools, to assess the totality of impacts and benefits of anthropogenic activities at different spatial and temporal scales by highlighting their strengths, limitations and critical issues, but also their objectives, survey methodologies, metrics and cause-effect pathways, critically reporting also on recent research which has attempted their combination.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 27/10/2023; Revised: 09/11/2023; Accepted: 11/11/2023</p> Cesare Sposito Giuseppe De Giovanni Copyright (c) 2023 Cesare Sposito, Giuseppe De Giovanni 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 12 39 10.19229/2464-9309/1412023 Experiential design schemas – Combining modular thinking with integral theory <p>Certain aspects of the concept of modularity, introduced primarily in the field of computer science by David L. Parnas (1972), have formed the basis for modularity in education: cohesion, decoupling, ease of modification, replicability are characteristics of the computer module that also apply well to the educational context. It is with this pedagogical attitude related to the modular didactic system that Experiential Design Schemas was born, a work methodologically related to integral theory by Ken Wilber (2007) and applied to architecture through an important section of design schemes. Also organised with a practice intention, the aim is to provide analytical and design tools that outline the capacity of formal and compositional choices to shape environmental forces for the purpose of experiential and emotional effects.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 24/10/2023; Revised: 31/10/2023; Accepted: 04/11/2023 </p> Mark DeKay Stefano Tornieri Copyright (c) 2023 Mark DeKay, Stefano Tornieri 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 40 49 10.19229/2464-9309/1422023 Minimal architectures for landscape – The module as a tool for sustainability <p>The theme of environmental emergency is now at the forefront of discussions on how to plan and conceive architectural design. This paper argues for the opportunity to interpret building design as a circular process that can, at all stages, help designers find conscious and functional answers to the issue of the environmental impact of construction: this calls for a necessary review of the project’s performance requirements, which can find a possible complete and adequate answer in minimal modular architectures. It is indeed believed that the module in architecture can be designed, given the same basic minimum element, as flexible with respect to usage requirements, contexts and achievable performance. To demonstrate the above, research experiences regarding this architectural-design concept are provided.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 15/10/2023; Revised: 20/10/2023; Accepted: 08/11/2023</p> Jorge Garcia Valldecabres Daniela Besana Copyright (c) 2023 Jorge Garcia Valldecabres, Daniela Besana 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 50 61 10.19229/2464-9309/1432023 Measuring landscapes – A storytelling rhythm through shared places and itineraries <p>The experimentation in three different territories makes it possible to develop a modular narrative based on specific landscapes through itineraries and remarkable points capable of representing their peculiarities. Understanding the quality of the different landscapes as the expression of local values and cultures, involving the communities for a shared narration of the memory and the most significant places and promoting them, and rediscovering the potential of experiential tourism are the objectives of the research. It envisages an integrated approach to the theme of knowledge and enjoyment of the landscape, identifying specific rhythms in the places to cross, through innovative digital tools and sharing with the local communities, looking for solidarity and activation of relations between users and inhabitants, for a dynamic storytelling that allows for further enrichment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 14/09/2023; Revised: 01/10/2023;&nbsp;Accepted: 17/10/2023</p> Adriana Ghersi Silvia Pericu Federica Delprino Stefano Melli Copyright (c) 2023 Adriana Ghersi, Silvia Pericu, Federica Delprino, Stefano Melli 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 194 203 10.19229/2464-9309/14162023 Modulating urban dynamics from a climate perspective – In-between spaces and climate neutrality <p>This contribution presents the results of a study that interprets in-between spaces as a modular system which structures space, relationships, and urban dynamics from a climate perspective. The aim is to demonstrate the positive contribution that technological-environmental design can offer in the context of redevelopment and new construction of the urban fabric, concerning the ecological performance of the entire urban system, particularly from the perspective of decarbonisation and climate mitigation. Within this research, a methodology for classifying and analysing in-between spaces was developed, as well as a method for evaluating the reduction of climate-altering emissions. The paper compares six case studies that represent the three identified categories of in-between spaces, evaluating them through the criteria of Naturalness, Proximity and Circularity and in relation to the six strategic axes of Green Cities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 10/10/2023; Accepted: 19/10/2023</p> Fabrizio Tucci Paola Altamura Maria Michaela Pani Copyright (c) 2023 Fabrizio Tucci, Paola Altamura, Maria Michaela Pani 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 204 215 10.19229/2464-9309/14172023 Spatial configurations in urban environmental analysis – The role of the heat island effect <p>The module, a system’s unit of dimension, is a concept that is still useful in analysing and planning cities. The Heat Island Effect is the occasion for inquiring about how to develop methodologies for reading and understanding urban systems by following reproducible and univocal principles. Starting from environmental temperature data, often representative of portions of squared urban grids, some spatial analytical methodologies are proposed and applied to two European cities: Genoa and Munich. Using the Local Climate Zones, a first map is defined at the urban level using a squared module. Subsequent maps question the infrastructural and morphological systems using graphs and tessellations. The urban planner that operates on complex systems can place these tools beside their analyses, verifying and examining urban environments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 08/09/2023; Revised: 16/10/2023; Accepted: 21/10/2023</p> Adriano Magliocco Gabriele Oneto Copyright (c) 2023 Adriano Magliocco, Gabriele Oneto 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 216 223 10.19229/2464-9309/14182023 Designing Community Houses – Application of the modular approach to an innovative model of facility <p>The modular approach is widely used in architecture, and simplifying complex structures to enhance flexibility is one of the many reasons for choosing the module as a design tool, particularly in healthcare construction. This article presents an applied research project where modularity is employed in designing Community Houses, i.e. particular local socio-health structures introduced by the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). Functional schemes, developed in collaboration with healthcare professionals from a Piedmontese Local Health Authority (ASL), ensure different configurations of elementary spatial units. The paper aims to understand, through experimentation, the effectiveness and potential of the modular approach in implementing these new local socio-health services, analysing their background, application, and results.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 15/09/2023; Revised: 03/10/2023; Accepted: 04/11/2023</p> Riccardo Pollo Elisa Biolchini Valeria Scognamiglio Copyright (c) 2023 Riccardo Pollo, Elisa Biolchini, Valeria Scognamiglio 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 224 235 10.19229/2464-9309/14192023 Modularity and customisation for home care – Configuration and multicriteria analysis of furnishings <p>Given the ageing population and the growing interest in prior verification of the compatibility of existing housing to accommodate home care activities, this paper reports the results of a research aimed at implementing tools to support the design of housing adaptation in anticipation of flexibility to accompany the evolving needs of the elderly cared for. An evaluation system was structured starting with the definition of requirements connoting the home space for home care, which was useful for selecting and verifying, on a performance basis, the compliance of furniture available on the market, also in relation to modularity and readiness for customisation. The best-performing furniture solutions were entered into a database that will be made interoperable in future research developments in a BIM environment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 08/10/2023; Accepted: 19/10/2023</p> Teresa Villani Federica Romagnoli Copyright (c) 2023 Teresa Villani, Federica Romagnoli 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 236 249 10.19229/2464-9309/14202023 nearly Zero Energy Modules – Low-impact modular housing models for the city of the future <p>This paper presents some of the outcomes of the nZEM (nearly Zero Energy Module) research, aimed at promoting the development and prototyping of modular and flexible building elements in platform frames characterised by the integration of innovative building envelope and system solutions. These modules are designed to address various functional and technical-regulatory needs, including energy savings, energy efficiency, indoor comfort, accessibility, and structural safety while adhering to environmental compatibility. The project, funded by the Tuscany region under the calls for POR CREO 2020-2024, was developed by a consortium comprising research institutions and companies. They collaborated synergistically to promote process optimisation related to the concept of Industry 4.0 and the circular economy theme by adopting open innovation processes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 08/09/2023; Revised: 23/10/2023; Accepted: 05/11/2023</p> Rosa Romano Eleonora Di Monte Copyright (c) 2023 Rosa Romano, Eleonora Di Monte 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 250 263 10.19229/2464-9309/14212023 Modular patterns in hygroscopic 4D printing design – Form and programming of the material <p>4D Printing (4DP) can be used to create bio-inspired, hygro-responsive actuators using Wood Polymer Composites (WPCs). The research emphasises the role of precise control of kinematics through material programming and printing parameters to achieve dynamic shape-change mechanisms in response to environmental factors. In 4DP, the geometric configurations of printed objects depend not only on the materials but also on their combination, time, and environmental stimuli, leading to the concept of material architecture: in the context of 4DP, the relationship between form and matter is, therefore, redefined. In this paper, the relationship between the responsive WPCs 4DP actuators with their material architecture and their hygroscopic deformations is discussed, highlighting the role of the modular patterns in the definition of the reaction to the stimulus and the final configuration of the object.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 17/09/2023; Revised: 13/10/2023; Accepted: 22/10/2023</p> David Correa Fabio Bianconi Marco Filippucci Giulia Pelliccia Copyright (c) 2023 David Correa, Fabio Bianconi, Marco Filippucci; Giulia Pelliccia 2024-01-02 2024-01-02 14 264 273 10.19229/2464-9309/14222023 Smart Hubs – A network of multifunctional urban objects to support micromobility in Ferrara <p>The investigated topic is highly relevant as it addresses the challenges of sustainable mobility, the provision, and management of local services. This contribution outlines principles and outcomes of the implementable urban installation project currently being tested in Ferrara, aimed at enhancing the charging infrastructure for small electric vehicles and monitoring air quality. These pilot urban installations, referred to as Smart Hubs, incorporate multi-level modularity, facilitating their production, installation, and maintenance. What is highlighted as the most original aspect is the creation of a multifunctional system capable of ‘organising’ urban objects that increasingly accumulate with heterogeneity in public spaces, making them customisable, open to community input, and responsive to local needs expressed during a co-creation process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 04/10/2023; Accepted: 19/10/2023</p> Ilaria Fabbri Copyright (c) 2023 Ilaria Fabbri 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 304 315 10.19229/2464-9309/14262023 Lithic design and additive manufacturing – A feasible partnership for the circular economy <p>This paper presents the results of a research aimed at elucidating the value and role of emerging technologies in architecture and design, with a particular focus on additive manufacturing and multi-material technology for the production of modular and sustainable components through the recycling of stone waste. Research in the fields of architecture, materials engineering, and the environment has been compared with experiments conducted in creating products using stone-derived material manufactured through both additive and traditional subtractive processes. The potential of additive manufacturing through the recovery of stone waste is evident in visually and functionally innovative, versatile, and environmentally friendly products and components.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 04/10/2023; Accepted: 18/10/2023</p> Katia Gasparini Copyright (c) 2023 Katia Gasparini 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 316 325 10.19229/2464-9309/14272023 Fashion and modular design – Modularity as a design strategy for sustainability <p>Fashion occupies an essential place in today’s society not only because of the production of garments and their impact at the end of their life but also because of the economic, cultural and social dynamics it determines. Modular design is a valuable strategy for creating complex systems from configurable, separable and adaptable modules that can influence sustainability. Through the review of scientific literature integrated with case studies from the professional world, this paper categorises current implementations of modular fashion design, highlighting the system architecture and describing opportunities and limitations regarding environmental, economic, cultural and social sustainability. From the analysis emerges the need for a multidisciplinary investigation of the topic through the study of new business models and Industry 4.0 technologies employing a design-led approach that deals with the design of products and services and consumption behaviour.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 16/10/2023; Accepted: 22/10/2023</p> Daria Casciani Copyright (c) 2023 Daria Casciani 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 326 337 10.19229/2464-9309/14282023 Climate change in reclamation landscapes – Adaptation between module and modularity <p>Modern drainage of wetlands has produced landscapes that are expressions of a productive view of natural space. These landscapes result from a profound environmental transformation driven by economic, social, health, and cultural reasons. Today, these autonomous territorial machines face the effects of climate change, a challenge that will require significant changes and a paradigm shift leading to new ecologies and aesthetics. Through an unexplored comparison of reclamation landscapes between the Everglades, Florida (US) and Metaponto, Basilicata (Italy), this contribution reflects on the limits and possibilities of adaptation through the concepts of module and modularity. The emerging themes will inform future methodological and operational experimentations for adapting modern reclamation landscapes to climate change.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 18/10/2023; Accepted: 30/10/2023</p> Carla Brisotto Jeff Carney Ina Macaione Alessandro Raffa Copyright (c) 2023 Carla Brisotto, Jeff Carney, Ina Macaione, Alessandro Raffa 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 62 73 10.19229/2464-9309/1442023 Modular gardens by James C. Rose – A 1946 experiment for Ladies’ Home Journal <p>The ‘module’ is a design tool that is profoundly intertwined with design concepts such as proportions and geometry as well as globalization, sustainability, and equity. Modular theories and paradigms are limited in the landscape architecture discourse. This paper examines the ‘module’ as a design tool in the early work and theory of American landscape architect James C. Rose (1913-1991). In 1946, the Ladies’ Home Journal commissioned a series of small gardens to be photographed and published in a special issue. Rose considered this challenge as a design-build exercise to develop modular garden prototypes for small American suburban lots. Modularity was reframed in Rose’s works and was developed in an artistic way that portrays close relationship to modern and Japanese ideas on this theme. An in-depth analysis and discussion of Rose’s modular concepts offers an opportunity to delve into novel ideas and processes that can prove insightful for high-quality humane landscape production.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 06/10/2023; Revised: 29/10/2023; Accepted: 08/11/2023</p> Anna-Maria Visilia Copyright (c) 2023 Anna-Maria Visilia 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 74 83 10.19229/2464-9309/1452023 Typology, topography and tectonics – Categories and models for the urban project <p>If there is to be a ‘new urbanism’ – Koolhaas wrote in 1995, after declaring its death – it will be the staging of uncertainty. Mutation, unpredictability and indeterminacy characterise the contemporary urban question and are generating, after the initial bewilderment, disciplinary developments that proceed in search of hybrid forms of Planning, less and less conformative and prescriptive. This contribution – placed inside this process, which calls for a redefinition of the tools and categories of reading, design, and management of transformations – proposes the construction of a theoretical-methodological framework based on the actualisation of the concepts of Typology, Topography and Tectonics and advances concrete operational hypotheses for the regulation, prefiguration and activation of transformations from an inclusive transdisciplinary perspective.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 11/09/2023; Revised: 12/10/2023; Accepted: 26/10/2023</p> Santiago Gomes Copyright (c) 2023 Santiago Gomes 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 84 95 10.19229/2464-9309/1462023 Not just skin – Object module and measure module in the composition of the architectural envelope <p>This paper investigates the role of the module in the composition of the external envelope of buildings. The opportunity presented by the call proposed by the Agathón journal serves as a pretext to initiate a reflection that, starting from Argan’s well-known distinction between object-module and measure-module, aims to highlight the relationship that exists between how architects conceive the envelope and the spatial paradigm to which they refer. The objective of this essay is to bring the attention of designers back to the importance of reflecting on the architectural quality of the envelope and its expressive capacity of facades, especially in consideration of the current historical moment in which environmental, cultural, and economic reasons increasingly urgently demand the transition from traditional construction techniques to dry assembly systems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 15/09/2023; Revised: 04/10/2023; Accepted: 31/10/2023</p> Paola Scala Copyright (c) 2023 Paola 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 96 105 10.19229/2464-9309/1472023 Assembly and disassembly – The module as a compositional element for a ‘new’ sustainability – The Spanish case <p>This paper investigates the concept of module based on Argan’s proposed dual definition of module-measure and module-object, reflecting on architectural design by ‘elements’ from a circular economy perspective. This reflection is conducted by selecting case studies on prefabricated architecture within the Iberian context, comparing contemporary projects with selected works by 20th-century Masters, following a reverse process. These works are offered as emblematic, in a logic of interaction and ‘synthesis’ between technology and design in relation to the contemporary global challenges of sustainability and energy transition. The investigation into new ways of understanding and designing architecture introduces the method of Design for Disassembly and extends the reflection on the reuse of buildings to the individual elements they are composed of.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 15/09/2023; Revised: 19/10/2023; Accepted: 26/10/2023</p> Claudia Pirina Giovanni Comi Anna Frangipane Copyright (c) 2023 Claudia Pirina, Giovanni Comi, Anna Frangipane 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 106 115 10.19229/2464-9309/1482023 Project modules – Prospects for ancient heritage towards ecological transition <p>For the marginal territories in northeastern Italy, there is a desire to formulate exploratory regeneration projects capable of bridging, through a multidisciplinary approach, the territorial and architectural scales. The concept of a module can serve as the foundation for the entire regenerative process, starting with the recovery and reuse of existing building heritage. The aim is to employ an architectural module capable of adapting, either as a single unit or when aggregated, by disassembling the urban fabric and reassembling it into new forms, designed to mediate between public and private space, thereby becoming the embodiment of a renewed compositional archetype. The architectural choice is made without predefined functions, allowing for the anticipation of regenerative processes in multiple contexts, operating on the potential of indeterminacy, rhythms, and juxtapositions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 09/10/2023; Accepted: 26/10/2023</p> Luca Velo Alberto Cervesato Copyright (c) 2023 Luca Velo, Alberto Cervesato 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 116 125 10.19229/2464-9309/1492023 Beyond arrival – On the potential and shortcomings of modularity in shelter and housing for the displaced <p>Architecture comes to be a tangible reflection of significant contemporary events, offering insight into how designers respond to the challenges at hand. Particularly amid extreme circumstances necessitating swift spatial interventions, such as the sudden surge in demand for housing after a disaster, modularity appeals due to its potential for streamlining and scalability. This article explores how the module – both as a design concept and a construction method – can facilitate immediate design responses to accommodate large groups of people during sudden mass migration. It discusses the weaknesses of modularity, such as duration or materiality, critically reflects on standardised living modules, and questions a lack of urban stimulus amid the pressing need for increased permanent housing stock.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 11/09/2023; Revised: 12/10/2023; Accepted: 27/10/2023</p> Yona Catrina Schreyer Copyright (c) 2023 Yona Catrina Schreyer 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 126 133 10.19229/2464-9309/14102023 Modularity and adaptive architecture – A strategy for managing complex envelope systems <p>In the face of global climate change, the built environment is experiencing an increasing demand for energy to maintain indoor comfort conditions. Inspired by systemic thinking and biomimicry, adaptive architecture can give rise to complex building organisms that dynamically respond to environmental stimuli by modulating the physicality of their envelope, thereby reducing energy consumption for climate control. Illustrating a representative framework of projects and research highlights the role of modularity in adaptive architecture in terms of operational principles, control modes, response mechanisms, functional complexity, and structural complexity. This contribution underscores the centrality of modularity as a strategy to address the multidimensional complexity of technological systems for adaptive envelopes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 08/09/2023; Revised: 14/10/2023; Accepted: 26/10/2023</p> Valentino Manni Luca Saverio Valzano Copyright (c) 2023 Valentino Manni, Luca Saverio Valzano 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 134 151 10.19229/2464-9309/14112023 Off-site modular housing systems – Expeditious solutions for student residence <p>In a competitive university system, student residences represent an essential infrastructure to support not only hospitality needs but also educational and training activities, promoting concepts of independence, and fostering reciprocal relational exchanges and supports. In order to respond immediately to the current shortage of accommodation places, it is possible to use prefabricated modular housing systems. Thanks to the study of literature and case studies, this paper describes the evolution of this construction system, highlighting limits and potentials. It also provides an overview that defines the reasons and opportunities that could suggest its greater use in the university housing sector, at a time when the speed of execution, product quality and respect for costs are increasingly important factors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 15/09/2023; Revised: 08/10/2023; Accepted: 20/10/2023</p> Oscar Eugenio Bellini Marianna Arcieri Maria Teresa Gullace Copyright (c) 2023 Oscar Eugenio Bellini, Marianna Arcieri, Maria Teresa Gullace 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 152 163 10.19229/2464-9309/14122023 Making a lot with little – Modular architecture, starting with Walter Segal <p>This paper examines the remarkable design journey of the Jewish architect Walter Segal and his fifty-year career in London. After his early experiments in Ascona (Switzerland), Segal developed a system of construction in wood that was based on using the modular components of materials in the forms that were available on the market. This method attracted considerable interest, being both simple and economical, and went on to become a system of self-build construction. The paper attempts to follow some of the hidden channels that link Segal’s practice with movements within the complex geography of contemporary architectural design: movements that focus on reclaiming ‘making’, on the sustainability intrinsic in Segal’s principles, and on a pragmatic aesthetic that takes account of events and external circumstances to achieve ‘more’ with ‘less’.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 10/09/2023; Revised: 08/10/2023; Accepted: 26/10/2023</p> Niccolò Di Virgilio Copyright (c) 2023 Niccolò Di Virgilio 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 164 173 10.19229/2464-9309/14132023 Beyond the body – Rethinking the architectural module to promote social inclusion <p>The architectural module has long been associated with the concept of measurement, where standardisation of the human body is used to define absolute modularity. With the awareness of human diversity, this narrow view of the module’s applicability is problematic, particularly in processes of environmental accessibility and inclusion. This paper critically explores the limits of the traditional measurement module, rethinking the concept of modularity to account for physical and perceptive diversity. By doing so, we aim to promote social inclusion and universal design in architectural projects for people. The paper concludes that the evolution of the concepts of the module and the human being requires a revision of their very meanings, calling for a more inclusive approach to design and planning in our contemporary world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 16/09/2023; Revised: 19/10/2023; Accepted: 30/10/2023</p> Mickeal Milocco Borlini Ambra Pecile Christina Conti Copyright (c) 2023 Mickeal Milocco Borlini, Ambra Pecile, Christina Conti 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 174 181 10.19229/2464-9309/14142023 4D printing for modular construction components – Applications and main developments <p>Since the end of the 20th century, a rapid expansion has characterised digital fabrication techniques in different areas of human activity. In particular, in the construction sector, their use has enabled the production of unprecedented modular components that can be customised according to specific application requirements. This includes the use of additive manufacturing techniques employing 4D printing for the production of responsive modular elements. However, despite being able to contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change, they are still scarcely used. This essay intends to analyse the main peculiarities of 4D printing techniques for the production of modular elements for architecture, highlighting their main limitations and potentialities that influence their use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Article info</strong></p> <p>Received: 18/09/2023; Revised: 15/10/2023; Accepted: 29/10/2023</p> Renata Morbiducci Salvatore Polverino Caterina Battaglia Copyright (c) 2023 Renata Morbiducci, Salvatore Polverino, Caterina Battaglia 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 182 193 10.19229/2464-9309/14152023 Module and modularity – Variations and application scales in contemporary times <p>Volume 14 of AGATHÓN collects essays and research that, while not exhaustive of the innumerable declinations that can be taken on by the module to address, discretise and solve the complexity of the built environment, highlight its multiscalar nature and its conceptual and usage flexibility. With their infinite application scales, ‘from the spoon to the city’ (Rogers, 1952), the ‘module’ and ‘modularity’ resurface strongly in the new Millennium and can become a paradigm in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015) if associated with the themes of reversibility and accessibility, in addition, the varied conceptual and instrumental declinations of ‘module’ and ‘modularity’ can provide support throughout the entire life cycle of a system, optimising its ideational, production/implementation and management phases in Landscape, City, Architecture and Industrial Design, enabling the overcoming of a static and linear view of the built environment through ‘open’, ‘flexible’, ‘adaptive’, ‘multi-scalar’ and ‘sustainable’ systems especially when managed through intelligent digital tools.</p> Cesare Sposito Francesca Scalisi Copyright (c) 2023 Cesare Sposito, Francesca Scalisi 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 14 2 11 10.19229/2464-9309/1402023