ARCH 486 – Made in Italy (Really bad name for it)
This is kind of an interesting class that we have which we have more aptly named the “neighborhoods class.” This class is mostly student run where we are split up into groups of three and get assigned a specific neighborhood of Rome to research, photograph, and take our other classmates on a walking tour of the neighborhood. The class is supposed to focus on different housing typologies that have been built in Rome and to examine how they developed and if they were a success or failure (and maybe even learn a thing or two about urban development). I chose to do San Saba which is a public housing experiment around 1900 that takes ideas from the Garden City models that had been developed just a little earlier in England. The idea was to create a neighborhood that is close to the city center but has plenty of outdoor green space. The city of Rome took it a step farther and rented the apartments to the poor for pretty cheap in an effort to invest in the working class. It seems to have been a good investment on the city’s part because it has lasted almost 100 years with needing little or no maintenance and it is still public housing. Our professor said the rent for one of those apartments could be around 200 euro compared to 1-2000 euro for something comparable in that area.
Anyway, a little bit more about the class. The walks take place during the first five weeks of the semester and before each class we watch a film that takes place in the neighborhood to try to get a better feeling of how people actually live in the neighborhood. Later on, we make a poster and short five minute film of our own about the neighborhood. I already got my walk out of the way so we will be getting started on the other parts in a few weeks!