AGATHÓN | International Journal
of Architecture, Art and Design
ISSN (online) 2532-683X
ISSN (print) 2464-9309
AGATHÓN issue 6, titled ‘Resilience between Mitigation and Adaptation’ collects reflections on environmental, climatic and anthropic changes that characterize the beginning of this millennium and that are an increasingly major subject in the international debate since they influence, on the one hand, the protection of territories, landscapes and fragile urban areas, on the other the uses, performance and efficiency of architectural artefacts and everyday objects. Moreover, the shortage of natural resources, the global economic crisis, mass migratory flows, and the unpredictability of seismic events, are a source of continuous instability which can be dealt only with ‘resilient thoughts’ capable of answering continuous or sudden changes.
Within a positive dynamic process, aimed at managing events and rebuilding a new balance (landscape, urban, architectural, economic, social, etc.), Resilience does not imply the restoration of an initial state, but the acquisition of a new balance and maintenance of functionality through two approach strategies. The first strategy is Adaptive, focused on the dynamic nature of operational methods – from ideational, compositional/design, to productive, realization, operational and management methods – in which all the elements of the built environment, from the territorial, urban and building scale, to the material and object scale, effectively adapt to new balances with higher performance levels; The second strategy is Mitigative, where research is directed to innovative technologies (process, project and products) aimed at risk prevention and minimizing any impact – concerning disturbing events due to environmental, seismic, anthropic and social change – and aiming at the realization of territorial urban systems, buildings, components, objects, and sensitive materials, with variable behaviour and in energetic-dynamic equilibrium with climatic and environmental changes.
In this issue, AGATHÒN deals with the subject of ‘Resilience between Mitigation and Adaptation’ collecting essays, researches and experiments, projects and interventions referred, in interscale terms, to the multiple dimensions of the man-made and natural environments, to which risk, fragility and vulnerability can no longer individually be dealt with the traditional tools of sustainability, innovation, redevelopment or regeneration, but only through a systemic approach capable of supporting, integrating and fostering relations between individual, group and community, cultural and multi/cross-disciplinary competences, integrating humanistic and technical knowledge.
In the ‘Focus’ section, the introduction essays report the personal contribution of the scholars specialized on the subject that we have invited. Specifically: Ernesto Antonini (Professor of Technology of Architecture at the Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna), starting from the analysis on the growing fragility of all systems (both biological and technical), highlights how an adaptive approach, based on responsiveness, and on the ability to self-repair single parts and fault tolerance, that have always allowed living organisms to survive in inhospitable environments, can represent an extremely effective and intrinsically efficient attitude. Manuel Gausa (Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Genova) deals with a new holistic vision, with the use of new complex technical-environment integrated tools and quality policies for urban development, he identifies possible advanced, proactive and reactive responses, by interconnecting systematized data and programming strategic measures, structured in intertwined systems. Claudio Germak (Professor of Design at the Polytechnic University of Torino), by referring to the aims of Design discipline, provides an extensive overview of the contribution that Design can give to society on ‘resistance’ and ‘resilience’, even by considering critical events as an opportunity to improve their ideas and practices. Finally, Marina Fumo (Professor of Architectural Engineering at the ‘Federico II’ University of Napoli) sees the rural landscape as an asset for man, and maybe a fundamental scenario to build individual and collective life.
In addition to the introductory essays, the selected papers create a framework covering the subjects and the different aspects listed in the Call, investigating the Resilience, Environmental Sustainability and their relation with Architecture, in its various facets (territorial, urban, planning, construction) and Design: examples of resilient cities, such as Miami and Rotterdam, efficient from an ecological and performative point of view, or as Buenos Aires, where cultural diversity and the need for modernity have favoured the resilience of consolidated building types in response to the changes cased by the new state of global culture, are in contrast with the dystopian current scenario of Dubai urban landscape; research on climate change and sea level rise, on the quality of cities (Trento, Pisa, Lima, Iquitos) and on the strategies to adopt for intervention scales and economic, environmental and social areas to be implemented over time; studies on sustainable solutions (low-cost and with low environmental impact) derived from the Egyptian building tradition or from the development of methods based on parametric software in order to set out energy and technological retrofit actions for climate mitigation and adaptation; the experimentation of Virtual Preservation techniques for Cultural Assets and the conservation of the ‘material’ aspects that, in the near future, could be irreparably damaged by the impact of climate change; projects that examine the use of microalgae as a response to mitigate the environmental, but also social and economic, problems of cities, now and in the future, or research on the re-use of waste produced by urban deforestation to reduce the pressure on forests, in a logic of circular economy and systemic design.
In the published articles is widely highlighted, under various disciplinary and scientific facets, the pressing action of climate, environmental and anthropic changes on the environment in general, and in particular to the urban one. This issue of AGATHÓN contains varied methods, research, considerations and projects, all aiming both at adaptive Architecture and Resilience Design, focused on achieving a sustainable symbiotic relation between man and the Planet in which we live.