EPHEMERAL SQUARE, OR A PUBLIC SPACE IN MILAN


EPHEMERAL SQUARE [Piazza a tempo. Uno spazio pubblico a Milano] is a master thesis that investigates the meaning of contemporary public spaces and the potential that ephemeral interventions can add to such contexts. The work has been a bi-directional process: on one side a research about the meaning of publicspace today in the city and, on the other, a reflection on the potential that temporary interventions can add to such contexts, through a project in the Lazzaretto in Milan.
Lazzaretto is an extremely dense and highly populated part of the city of Milan. Over time the area has undergone many architectural and social transformations. At first it was conceived as an empty space and then it became part of the urban fabric. Nowadays, Lazzaretto is a multi-ethnic place, characterized by a wide cultural pluralism, a central space for the city’s nightlife and for the Milanese queer community. It is a place for everyone and no one at the same time, a fragile place as its identity is defined by the overlapping o a multitude of bodies and images. [...] In such a delicate framework, the choice is to non-rebuild the missing volume, but to design an empty space. The project is a zero-volume space made only of images.
This new public space is articulated through four interventions: a new square (basement), two vertical infrastructures and a small structure resembling a kiosk. The project is an exercise of imagination: a design of possible future scenarios for this space. Support. Just as much as the emptiness of a square is not perceived as an absence, but as a completely available open field, the intervention is not conceived as a conclusion, nor is it conceived to close the urban void that generates it. The square - new, angular and temporary - suggests and enacts possible futures.
The appendix - “Archivio Lazzaretto” - is an ongoing reportage of the cultural pluralism of Milans’s Lazzaretto, a photographic project with external contributions.



PUBLIC SPACE, RESEARCH, DESIGN
Master Thesis, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisors: Matilde Cassani, Pierluigi Salvadeo
Milan (IT), 2021