Design and Restoration: A Holistic Approach

Design and Restoration: A Holistic Approach

Anna Anzani (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) and Claudia Caramel (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7314-2.ch001


This study uses a design based approach which is focused on the human dimension in all its complexity to give value not only to a functional or rational use of spaces, but also to an experiential one, gaining further significant inspiration from the memory layered in complex historical spaces. Interestingly, psychological studies highlight the collective base characterizing a number of disorders and suggest that changing the outside world can be just as therapeutic as changing the subject's feelings, indicating that psychology merges with ecology. From an intersection between design, psychology and restoration, emphasizing a cultural inclination more than a technicistic attitude, opportunities seem to develop to promote beauty, identity and memory as essential dimensions for collective and individual well-being. Design oriented processes could bring out the potential of the built environment, promoting multiple functions and reuse methods, inspired by quality and capable of creating hospitable and welcoming physical and relational spaces.
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Restoration Vs. Beauty

Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence […] into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual's life. […] Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress. It is wrong, then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences […], but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty. (Kundera, 1985, p. 52)

Architectural restoration is generally considered to be any kind of intervention that allows a building to recover its function and be preserved. It was defined by Cesare Brandi as the «methodological moment in which the work of art is appreciated in its material form and in its historical and aesthetic duality, with a view to transmitting it to the future» (Brandi, 2005, p. 230). In this respect, Carbonara (1996) questions if, in order to meet the historical and aesthetic requirements of the ancient monument, it is absolutely necessary to restore it according to procedures that are formally “indifferent” or “neutral”, albeit “scientifically” reliable. The possibility he envisages is to give back to the architectural element not only a worthy physical context, but also a figurative aspect, which of course can be neither the original - lost or irrecoverable - nor that of an atrophied and incomprehensible image too badly damaged. The new context has to derive from placing the object in a new “artistic work” where it maintains an independent legibility, while joining new elements. In this respect, the design process is not too different from that of the interior design.

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