3rd Bernardo Secchi Working Seminar


Urbanism of Hope. Designing horizons of expectations 

At the core of this Seminar lied the role of design, namely the design of cities and territories as an agent in the social construction of hope. “Our forecasts are extremely limited, as limited are, in a pluralist society, the individual and collective capability to coordinate the actions of the different subjects that contribute to the city construction, transformation and modification. Who builds ‘scenarios’ is a disenchanted person that has no certainty and, for this reason, only proposes possible lines of reasoning.” (B. Secchi, 1996). A project aims to change the reality. For this reason it explores the frontier of what is concretely possible in its multiple dimensions: institutional, economic, technical and political. Any project is accompanied by an act of hope. “What may I hope?” The third interrogation of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason admittedly designates a controversial field. This is particularly true in a period, such as the contemporary one, of drastic social, economic and environmental mutations; of deep re-adjustment of values and critiques to simplified ideas of progress. Indeed, those fundamental social long-term aspirations fuelled by modern urbanism, engineering and architecture, in other terms the “great modernization project”, are not widely shared any more.