Water Machines. Devices for the river environment enhancement


Workshop proposal, Tirana Design Week 2019


Gaetano De Francesco



1. General overview of the workshop


Environmental crisis and sustainable development are contemporary topics in the name of which to experiment with new design solutions.

Over the last few decades collaborative and interdisciplinary work developed by architects, engineers, artists and designers has defined a particular landscape of projects that provide urban prototypes for expanding, augmenting and altering capacities of the urban space. These objects – urban device, eco-machines, smart creatures, infrastructural bodies – hybridize scales, uses, functions and engage information technology as a catalytic tool for the interacting spaces.



How to design new prototype for the Mediterranean river environment enhancement? Is it possible to design new device for these contexts and their multiples crises?

The proposing workshop intend to investigate this question.


The course is addressed to students of architecture, product design, urban and landscape design and it provides an intense week of research and design experimentation during the Tirana Design Week.


The course inscribes in the category of instrumentality and intend to partecipate to the built of a methodological approach to the project of the student.


2. The outcomes of the course


This workshop is planned to engage students in the design of a small Water Machine

of medium complexity to be located in a Mediterranean marginal river. It intends to promote the development of micro-architectures based on six key



- rebuilding nature

- infra-structuring

- creating

- exchanging

- living


Some urban voids on the banks of Lumi river in Tirana and of Aniene river in Rome are choosen as project areas.



3. The content of the course


Water front and suburban area design, environmental crisis, Climate change, landscape and public space, human geography, design methodology, new concepts, change in the concept, technological aspect in architecture.


4. Assignments/Projects and other requirements


The main assignment for each team is to produce a projects of a small prototypes that will be presented during a collective jury moment.


Gaetano de Francesco is Phd in Architecture - Theories and Project at Department of Architecture and Project - Sapienza University of Rome, where make activities of research and teaching assistance.


Investigating the implications of the information age on the contemporary city, his research focuses on the theme of infrastructure, more specifically on urban flooding. He edited volumes, articles and essays on online magazines and trade magazines, he participated in conferences as speaker.


He complements to research activities the experiences in Italian and international design firm. He has been member of the collective nITro (New Information Technology Research Office) and he is founder of DFR, an architecture practice based in Rome (www.dfrarchitecture.com).


He is Authorized Rhinoceros Trainer and Adjunct Professor at Quasar Design University in Rome.



Copyright © 2019 | Tirana Design Week