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studio structure

The teaching model of the AA Summer School in Milan is grounded on the experimental tradition of the Architectural Association and on the design philosophy of ecoLogicStudio, that will curate the event and run the design workshop.

In the first 3 days of workshop our explorations will take us on a trip across unnoticed landscapes of urban algae blooming, honey bees pollinating and bacteria fermentations.

The design studio will than take its base in the Cascina Cuccagna where the aspiring cyber-gardeners will be able to explore and invent new urban cultivation practices by combining interactive urban mapping with 1:1 scale prototyping of never seen before edible architectures. Dedicated interactive mapping and prototyping design clusters will be interfaced and interrelated during the workshop giving to all participants the opportunity to experiment with multiple techniques and challenge different aspects of the brief.

The final outcome will be a series of Convivia curated by the students and involving the participation of both guest critics and the neighbourhood on a series of speculative narratives and testing sessions of novel cultivation practices or urban recipes. The 10 days workshop will be supported by a series of seminars with invited specialists and dedicated algorithmic design and prototyping tutorials. The seminars will be held in the evening and will feature guests from the world of digital design and prototyping, agronomy and food science, landscape design and computational design, journalism and curatorial practices.


New Urban Farming Landscapes
This cluster will focus on urban mapping as a form of exploratory design; various algorithmic urban mapping techniques will be deployed to uncover and visualize new potential landscapes for urban farming across the entire territory of Milan. These productive spaces will be analyzed for their potential to support the culture of our 3 novel food ecologies, bacteria, algae and insects. We will produce a series of animated and interactive drawings to be projected on the table during the public CONVIVIA.

3D printed edible architectures
New food ecologies demand new culinary environments as well as edible architectures; this cluster will focus on learning the technique of 3D printing and will then hack it to 3D print edible architectures, i.e. digitally designed forms of edible matter. After testing the technique with conventional plastic wires we will develop specially designed fluids made of algae, bacteria and insects juice to 3D print the edible architectures served during our public CONVIVIA.

Convivia will be moment of public exchange and interaction where experts and citizens alike will seat at our interactive table and engage into new narratives of culinary exploration. Applicants to the workshop will moderate the scenario game by projecting their interactive urban maps on the table and serve their freshly printed edible architectures. 3 thematic Convivia will discuss the biological, socio-political and gastronomic aspects of the new urban farming landscapes while a final feast will bring all the experiments together into a large collective culinary experiment to be held in courtyard of Cascina Cuccagna.


After two days of introductory and research trips, applicants will be divided in three groups related to the three main research topics: Bacteria, Algae and Insects. Each group will be involved in session of algorithmic urban mapping as a form of exploratory design and 3d printing of edible architectures hacking a makerbot 3d printer.

The outcomes of this sessions will be presented and debated in a series of CONVIVIA where the biological, socio-political and gastronomic aspects of new urban farming landscapes will be discussed with invited guests and citizens.


Milan/Expo2015/Cascina Cuccagna

The city of Milan was selected in 2008 as a host for the next upcoming Universal Exposition in 2015.
Expo 2015 will be held under the theme: Feeding the planet, energy for life. This embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity and how they relate to food and diet. Expo 2015 will further develop themes introduced in earlier Expos in the light of new global scenarios and emerging issues, with a principal focus on the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for all the world’s inhabitants.
Participants in the Expo are expected to include over 150 countries plus a significant number of international organizations.
The intention is to showcase Italy’s - and Milan’s - outstanding qualities when it comes to food. This ingredient of Italian excellence stems from centuries spent honing farmers’ skills, refining production methods and improving agriculture management methods.
EcoLogicStudio is part of the design and research team of the Future Food District of Expo 2015, developing a prototype of Urban Algae Farm.

The AA Milan visiting school 2013 aims to be part of this wide discussion as an on site urban Lab for the city of Milan, exploring and developing new possible scenarios of producing and consuming food and how they will affect the metropolitan eco-system.

The Lab will set up in the Cascina Cuccagna Urban Farm. Cascina Cuccagna is a XVII century Farmhouse immersed among the tall apartment buildings of the Porta Romana.
Cuccagna Farmhouse was saved from abandonment and decay by a group of Milan associations that developed a project that involves its transformation in a multifunctional centre dedicated to culture, the environment, food and social activities: a new public space for the city of Milan and its sustainable development.


More Information:

Programme Directors
Claudia Pasquero
Marco Poletto

Visting School Director

Christopher Pierce

Visiting School Coordinator

Priji Balakrishnan

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

cyberGARDENING the city​

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