Milan, 2009

Project: Proposal to convert Milan in a city of the future.

Location: Milan, Italy. 

Author: External Reference; Carmelo Zappulla, Nacho Toribio, M. Tepedino.

Team: Chiara Gortani, Alfonso Peralta, Iris Perouliou-Sergaki, Ilektra Simantira, Yu Ting Huang, Yu Ting Tseng. 

Butterflies are lightweight animals with powerful large wings if compared to the size of their bodies. Their sense organs range over a wide number of items, including eyes for vision and antennae for the smell. Butterflies are prompt in responding to the stimuli coming from the environment and have a short lifecycle. On the contrary, elephants last for decades but are not lightweight. If their environment changes, it takes some time for them to change too. Our proposal is to work on butterfly buildings, light and movable pavilions which may activate temporary public space within the city of Milano.




Portable structures are the outcome of a nomadic instinct that rejects the steadiness implicit in most architecture.   The city and its public spaces are mutually interconnected. What happened to the vitality of public spaces after the models of “rational cities” had a widespread application?
The Modern Movement optimistically introduced a new way of urban planning based on an analytical and linear process. The elements considered essential for the contemporary city were classified, quantified and distributed through the cities as homogeneous areas defined according to ratios and distances. This method led to the proliferation of homogeneous zones with no consideration for the social factors and the vitality of the city.   The Postmodern city has clearly exhibited the plurality of forms of public life and the shortcomings of urban planning strategies based on zoning and long-term planning. As our families are experiencing new ways of living together, new social behaviors and new ways of using public spaces are spreading in our cities.
Can these new attitudes and awareness interact with new forms of flexible and reversible urban planning?
We believe it possible to design lightweight and movable devices which can quickly give us feedback on the efficiency and on people’s response.




Any spot in the city can be public space if fuelled by some sort of activating experience   Rather than working on the urban voids inherited from the past cities and former urban planning strategies, we focus our attention on the modifications which can trigger unexpected changes of role in the built-up urban space.




The purpose of these Micro-Architectures is not to achieve immediately a public success, but to test interactively their own effectiveness through a trial-error process: they are granted the right to exist as long as they generate some kind of public response, otherwise, they can be moved to another test area. Accordingly, our proposal is aimed at scrutinizing test cases, which might work as indicators of citizens’ reactions and allow us to draw accurate “hypermaps”  to be used for the realization of further architecture.