An aerial spatial revolution on the territory, the city and architecture

The “Aerial Spatial Revolution” and a new gaze are at the center of a SUPSI project awarded by the Swiss National Science Fund

The use of airplanes, drones and satellites has provided powerful tools for controlling and planning Earth's space.

The “Aerial Spatial Revolution” project, coordinated by the Design Institute of the Environment, Construction and Design Department of SUPSI, in collaboration with a network of national, European and North American partners, is one of the 19 winners who have obtained funding from the prestigious "Synergy" program of the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research (SNSF).

Of the 19 projects selected, the “Aerial Spatial Revolution” is the only one conducted by a university of applied sciences.

The team's objective is to study the impact of the aerial space revolution on the territory, the city and architecture.

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Aerial Spatial Revolution: a new look at the aerial space revolution at the center of a SUPSI project awarded by the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research
The research of the “Aerial Spatial Revolution” project, coordinated by the Professional University School of Italian Switzerland, develops the analysis up to the present day, mapping the cultural geographies of the aerial revolution along its different phases, the birth of new paradigms and languages , changes in patterns of understanding space at all scales
(Illustration: Professional University School of Italian Switzerland)

A truly world to be investigated from the sides of urban planning, architecture and design

Aerospace technology has evolved to the point that it has a strong influence on the control of air and land space, both in the military field and in civilian life.

The possibility of observing the environment from an aerial perspective (that of airplanes first, then satellites and space travel, and finally drones) has influenced the way we design and perceive the space we inhabit, generating new forms of spatial self-awareness, and together with these visions, utopias and dystopias of various kinds.

However, the space revolution inaugurated by aeronautics at the beginning of the 20th century has not yet been studied as a whole and in all its implications, in particular with reference to urban planning, architecture and design.

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Aerial Spatial Revolution: a new look at the aerial space revolution at the center of a SUPSI project awarded by the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research
The possibility of observing the environment from an aerial perspective (first of airplanes, then of satellites and space travel and, finally, of drones) has influenced the way of designing and perceiving the space we inhabit, generating new forms of spatial self-awareness, and together with these visions, utopias and dystopias of various kinds, each of them monitored by SUPSI
(Illustration: Professional University School of Italian Switzerland)

A multidisciplinary approach from the skills of aesthetics to those of political philosophy

The objective of the project coordinated by the Professional University School of Italian Switzerland is to open a window on this topic through a multidisciplinary approach that combines the skills of aesthetics, the history of architecture, the history of urban planning and political philosophy.

The research starts from the study of the impact determined by the conquest of the third dimension on the reform of the spatial imagination during the modern era.

Then, it develops the analysis up to the present day, mapping the cultural geographies of the aerial revolution along its different phases, the birth of new paradigms and languages, the changes in the patterns of understanding space on all scales.

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Aerial Spatial Revolution: the main entrance of the new SUPSI university campus in Viganello
The main entrance to the new SUPSI campus in Viganello

Awarded a loan of 1,3 million francs from the SNSF's "Sinergia" program

The Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research, through its "Sinergia" program, has awarded the "Aerial Spatial Revolution" project funding of 1,3 million francs.

Support is given to innovative projects that promote collaboration and interdisciplinarity in research.

In fact, out of 74 proposals presented in November 2022, 19 projects were selected for the quality and competitiveness of the research at a national level (success rate of 26 percent).

“Aerial Spatial Revolution” is the only one conducted by a university of applied sciences to have been awarded.

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Aerial Spatial Revolution: Professor Matteo Vegetti of the Design Institute of the Environment, Construction and Design Department of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland
Professor Matteo Vegetti of the Design Institute of the Environment, Construction and Design Department of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Italian Switzerland
(Photo: Emilio Garroni International Chair)

A 3-year project extended to USI, the Sorbonne and three US universities

The project, lasting 3 years, will be coordinated by Professor Matteo Vegetti of the Design Institute of SUPSI, Department of Environment, Construction and Design, in collaboration with the Institute of Architecture of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Eastern Switzerland and the Department of Philosophy of University of Fribourg.

The project also makes use of a network of Swiss, European and North American partners, including the Institute of History and Theory of Art and Architecture of the Academy of Architecture of the University of Italian Switzerland, the International Laboratory of Research in the Arts of the Sorbonne University, the Cultural Studies Graduate Group of the University of California, the Department of Space History of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington and the Laboratory on Global Media Technologies and Cultures of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology .

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The welcome message of the SUPSI “Aerial Spatial Revolution” workshop

The introductory speech of the SUPSI "Aerial Spatial Revolution" workshop

Aerial Spatial Revolution: a new look at the aerial space revolution at the center of a SUPSI project awarded by the Swiss National Fund for Scientific Research
The “Aerial Spatial Revolution” project, coordinated by the Design Institute of the Environment, Construction and Design Department of SUPSI, in collaboration with a network of national, European and North American partners, is one of the 19 winners who have obtained funding from the prestigious program “Synergy” of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (Illustration: Professional University School of Italian Switzerland)