Bring forward or intercept?

Edited byMarco Svara
Where : Trieste, Italy
Artworks: A21 Workshop

Translition: Bianca Baroni


“An eco-friendly renovation –volume II” workshop: an operative instrument to grow.


Assign anonymous questionnaires to about 1.200 students who attend two of the High Schools of Trieste, Italy, and ask these people to tell something about the level of criticality and the potentials of their schools, taking part in a process of active citizenship.

Then, take a public building of nearly 180 mq, which hasn’t been used for more than ten years and which stands near these two schools. Finally, pick 24 students who belong to the Construction School – Edilmaster and the Institutes for Surveyors Max Fabiani and Žiga Zois (the last one, they teach in Slovenian).




Separate them in four mixed groups and give each team a newly graduated tutor or a young freelancer. Lock them into a well-provided library for six days, after having let them scamper in the project area for a survey lasted something less than eight hours.

Then, give them the results of the critical analysis of the questionnaires, asking them to interpret it as if it was requested by a certain enlarged “clientele”, since they think that the previously named unused building can be an opportunity.

Give them twelve informal conversations realized by the same number of professional figures who have had the responsibility to inspire their job, bringing also some personal experiences and international references.



Put in competition these four groups but, before, inform a class of Pictorial Decoration of the local Artistic High School. This class, during May, had to realize the communication material to support the single projects and they had also to take care of the exhibit of the works realized during the workshop period. Actually, a flash-exhibit, which was open and closed on the 3rd on June at Revoltella Museum of Trieste. A jury, composed by the stakeholders of the project, judged the single re-activation projects, the quality of the ability to speak publicly and the preparation itself.

Throw in the support by the Provincial Authority of Trieste, that was careful in anticipating times in order to make possible a competitive adding in the working dynamics of the youngest part of the local population, intercepting new forms of active planning.

Commit it all to a heterogeneous team of under 30 freelancers who are interested in the activation from the bottom of processes of urban regeneration: Association MANIFETSO2020.



Shake it all and pour the contents into an hybrid glass, something between a coffee cup you can drink with friends and a wine glass you can from which you can sip on your own terrace, wondering about this workshop activity. It is within the process of Agenda 21 Locale per la Scuola di Trieste (its second edition this year) and it may appear as a device for the analysis and consideration of the actual state of the “things” and of how these “things”, if managed, can be able to give life to cross processes and parallel too, in order to grow as persons and as community.

The students’ planning ideas are obviously lighten with some fancyful thoughts (due to the young age), but are also so realistic and so able to interpret the requests of the “clientele” that might (or should) make the whole bunch of Italian designers blush, thinking about the role of their professional figure and of the project-tool itself.

Since win-win processes can be won nor lost, it’s useless to say the name of the group who prevailed. Doing it would be paradoxical and this article wants to be everything but “a reasoning that seems contradictory but that must be accepted, or a correct reasoning which leads to a contradiction”.

Or we’d risk to drink an espresso in a flûte.


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