Deadline 30 May 2021

[Closed] Inside the Polycrisis. The Possible Necessary

Ten years after the first issue of Techne journal – “Beyond the crisis” – we are still and deeply “inside the crisis”. The changeability and growing complexity of socio-economic and climatic-environmental scenarios are accentuated by the pandemic emergency and they highlight a persistent and structural polycrisis condition, determining an "evolutionary ridge" that questions the categories of knowledge and relationships between humanity, environment and technological development. The polydimensionality of the risk makes the very idea of crisis inadequate, requiring necessary metamorphoses of the housing and socio-economic contexts.


Abstract submission: May, 30th 2021
Paper submission: October, 3rd 2021


This dramatic but also challenging phase involves the deployment of unparalleled resources and investments for the social, environmental and economic “reconstruction” of Europe and our country, providing adequate responses in the perspective of ecological transition and digital culture affirmation. Many of the most recent reflections and projects for the post-covid city do not seem capable of overcoming the emergency or the conventional logics of a mainstream design culture aimed at formalistic or reductionist solutions.

In this context, the redefinition of roles and contents of the scientific research, today particularly misaligned, acquires relevance in its ability to respond to crises and impacts on the territories, but also to affect the conception of the project in order to welcome convergent skills for new living and building models.

The topics proposed by the Call for n. 23 of the journal arise from the conviction that the condition of polycrisis must be faced with the “optimism of the necessity” for a “possible necessary”, promoting innovation and research advancement to understand, contrast, coexist and overcome interconnected crises, providing reliable answers to the social demand. With the construction of innovative scenarios, evolutionary processes, technical policies, guidelines, regulatory systems and design experiments, the foundations for giving birth to new ways of thinking and living the city and the territory must be laid.

To the contributions that will be presented for this Call it is requested a critical reflection both on strategies and actions to face the causes and effects of crises, and on what and how to innovate in order to achieve the objectives of the ecological transition in urban regeneration, in the satisfaction of housing needs and a safety and sustainable development of the built environment, ensuring conditions of inclusiveness and social equity. TECHNE n. 23 intends to collect documented contributions aimed at highlighting how the knowledge and the project can contribute to co-living with the condition of polycrisis (and to overcome it) with unconventional interpretations and experiments, adequate to the complexity of the real.

Contributions are requested to highlight the priority areas of action with reference to one of the following topics:

    1. The eco-social transition of the city and the territory
      What processes, methods and tools to design a city in which the ecosustainability of processes, projects and products is combined with the health of inhabitants, social equity and quality of buildings, neighborhoods, cities and territories? How to conceive and implement decentralization and participation in decision-making processes within a polycentric dimension that guarantees autonomy and subsidiarity, and that protects against possible socio-technical drifts? What innovations of the project and processes in architecture are necessary to transform, adapt, reconvert the existing with new purposes and uses, or to re-activate it for new and changing needs, mitigating its environmental impacts?
    2. The issue of living
      How to deal with the dwelling emergency through an innovative conception of habitats according to strategies and actions for evolved settlement ecosystems? What adjustments to make in the planning, technical policies, standardization and contents of the architectural project? What techno-typological innovation of tangible and intangible networks and infrastructures to introduce for new models of interpretation and organization of living forms and socio-economic assets? How to rethink the housing within a new cultural, planning and production condition oriented towards the self-sufficient approach, capable of marking new civil and ethical values?
    3. The eco-systemic conversion of the construction sector
      How to innovate production process and forms of production within the building field, also in the innovative interactions with other sectors, to adapt them to the new complexities of construction, with respect to the advanced concepts of circular economy, carbon neutrality and building renovation? What new roles and redefinitions of organizational models and operational processes to propose for the world of professions and public administrations?

Further details can be found in the pdf version of the call (PDF ITA) (PDF ENG)