Interdisciplinary teaching. The role of the visiting professor
Massimo Angrilli, Department of Architecture UdA, Pescara
A recent initiative (2019) by the University of Annunzio has allowed some professors, winners of a selection, to invite a visiting professor to their course, in order to offer their contribution to teaching and / or research. The Ateneo d'Annunzio defines Visiting Professor as an ordinary or associate professor or a highly qualified scholar, currently in service at a foreign university or at a research or international high-level training center, who is called upon to carry out teaching and research activities. within the University itself. This initiative is part of the University's strategic internationalization project and in 2021 there were 27 visiting professors from all over the world and from prestigious universities such as Harvard, Montreal, London, York, Barcelona and others.
The choice of visitors to be financed was based on the following criteria:
- experience and authority of the invited teacher;
- prestige of the university-research center of origin;
- plan of the proposed activities and relevance of the teaching activities within the course of study;
- objectives and expected results.
My experience was repeated in two academic years, 2019-20 and 2021-22, with a professor from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Prof. Francesc Muñoz. An urban geographer with whom I have developed a scientific collaboration for many years through joint exchange programs (I was a visiting professor at the Master he directed over the course of 2 academic years) and numerous workshops with international students.
His presence in my Urban Design course in the 4th year was an opportunity to experiment an interdisciplinary teaching, based on the integration of the urban and landscape analysis methodology, developed by Prof. Muñoz in the context of the Observatori de la Urbanització , directed by him, with the methodology of interpretation and design strategy of our Department of Architecture. The experience accumulated during the studies conducted on the dynamics of urbanization in the metropolitan area of Barcelona and the studies on the evolution of the landscape, according to the models of territorial urbanization, have allowed the following themes to be developed:
- Analysis and comparison of urbanization dynamics in Italian and Spanish cities;
- Evaluation of the impact produced by socio-economic and cultural dynamics and by the contemporary urbanization model;
- Enhancement of ordinary assets in an urban environment;
- Definition of strategies, criteria and tools for urban planning.
The activities were conducted in the form of a didactic laboratory with the students and with the help of some methodological lectures that Prof. Muñoz carried out during the course.
In particular, the VP carried out 3 types of activities:
- Applied research preparatory to design experimentation on case studies;
- Lectures on the topics of urbanization analysis and landscape enhancement methodologies;
- Tutoring of students in the phases of urban analysis and strategic planning;
The visiting professor's didactic contributions took place between October and December 2021 for a total of 4 ECTS (corresponding to 40 hours), and were aimed at integrating the students' survey and project methodology with criteria and models typical of urban geography.
The collaboration made it possible to enhance the reading skills and understanding of urban phenomena of the students of the Department of Architecture, intersecting the tools of Urban Geography with those of Urban Design.
The participation of Prof. Muñoz also provided the students with methodologies and tools for the analysis and design of urban transformations (urban project), with experimental applications on a case study in Italy. This activity was developed starting from the study and project experiences carried out jointly on the territory of the metropolitan city of Barcelona, in which I myself participated as an invited lecturer, together with colleagues from Italian and foreign universities.
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.