The landscape of archaeology and the contemporary city
The relationship between archaeological sites and modern city establishes cultural and social
connections of great interest, also for the role of architectural projects.
Syracuse and the surrounding area are characterized by extraordinary archaeological evidence,
included in the "World Heritage List" of UNESCO, but often excluded from contemporary urban
These relations should be reconsidered under new design strategies, in order to ride the current
separation between design and contemporary archeology out, through a new interdisciplinary
methodological approach. Archaeological ruins are not just a problem of protection, but are an
indispensable resource for the re-design of the city of the future.
The main objective of the project is the analysis of a fragment of our past from which to start in
order to redefine public spaces and natural landscape, and also call the dynamics of urban
development into question, in relation to the potential of cultural heritage; an 'archaeological
basis' able to take possession of the city through a dialectical relationship between past, present
The programme, therefore, addresses a new way of understanding the contemporary project in
relation to the archaeological context, where experimentation and creativity meet the renewing
power that the archaeological ruin has always been within Western culture.
Target groups of the proposed Intensive Programme are students enrolled in the Master degree
in Architecture of SDS of Architecture of the University of Catania and students enrolled in the
last three years of the respective degree courses in the partner Universities.
The choice of restricting participation in the program for students who already have a basic
preparation derives from the complexity of the issue. The participation in the IP can be,
therefore, a further opportunity for students both in view of a continuation of studies with a
postgraduate course and in case of access to the architectural profession, because of the
possibility of consolidating skills and methodologies.
Teachers responsible for the IP will be supported by integrated teachers of various disciplines
(architectural design, restoration, archaeology, architectural history, ectc.), assistant professor
selected by teachers responsible in their respective universities, tutors of University of Catania,
external experts selected among academics, officials of local institutions and archaeologists.
The main activities will consist of:
- multidisciplinary lessons on new ways to re-think maintenance and enhancement of the
"archaeological landscape" - in particular the system of Dionysian walls (IV century b.C.)
considered among the most important and extensive walls (27 km) - and also on urban
strategies of repairing archaeological remains with the urban fabric simultaneously in Italy,
Spain and Germany.
- visits to project areas;
- laboratory for the preparation of projects as outcome of the multidisciplinary lectures. Mixed
groups with Italian, Spanish and German students will work on projects, in order to promote a
- Seminars in collaboration with external experts and representatives of institutions responsible
for the protection of architectural heritage and archaeological sites.
The expected results from the implementation of IP are:
- the experimentation on new ways of teaching and learning;
- the increase of the number of students and teachers involved in the activities of international
- the consolidation of a multidisciplinary approach to the project and the comparison in terms of
methodology and design with an European frame of reference;
- the exchange of knowledge, skills and methodologies among the teachers involved;
- the dissemination of outputs through the realization of an exhibition of work as virtual glue
between partner universities and their respectives academic communities, and also the creation
of a book explaining the project, its objectives and outputs.
The expected learning outputs are:
- the development of skills in terms of synthesis and processing of project proposals, able to
succeed in a critical interpretation of design traditions of the different contexts of each group of
- the acquisition and testing of new design tools closely related to areas of great historical,
archaeological and environmental interest;
- the comparison among students and teachers of the three partner institutions and the
development of proposals resulting from a process of ‘hybridization of knowledge’.