Revitalization of public spaces in Cavalese with the Steam School

The challenge for students from the Universities of Bolzano and Trento. The first “UniTN & UniBZ STEAM Spring School” will take place in Cavalese from March 15 to 1, 2024

A challenge for those passionate about smart solutions, leveraging the possibilities offered by technologies to design sustainable community space solutions, centered especially on the needs of the citizens. Over the weekend, from Friday, March 15 to Sunday, March 17, in the rooms of the library and service center of the Municipality of Cavalese, about thirty students and expert teachers from the Universities of Bolzano and Trento, enrolled in various faculties (including Design and Arts, Education Sciences, Engineering, and Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction), will pool their specific skills and abilities to design together solutions that challenge perspectives and stereotypes and foster dialogue among those who use a common public space.

“This is the first time that we are offering a trans-disciplinary and experiential school of this kind, uniting the two universities and students from different disciplines,” explains Professor Rosella Gennari, faculty member of Engineering at UniBZ, “time will be limited but, for this reason, we will be highly motivated to build proposals for solutions that can be relevant for citizens and inspiring for institutions, to imagine new uses of public spaces currently underutilized.”

The goal of the professors from the Universities of Bolzano and Trento (Rosella Gennari, Luisa Petti, and Letizia Bollini for UniBZ and Alberto Montresor, Francesca Fiore for UniTN) is to encourage participants to challenge stereotypes and imagine new uses for underutilized spaces, to bring back and recreate new forms of sociality and intergenerational dialogue. A task to be tackled with the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), to which the “A” for Arts is added. “We want to facilitate dialogue between different disciplines,” adds researcher Francesca Fiore from the Department of Engineering and Information Science at UniTrento, “because we are convinced that a multiplicity of approaches to problems, and a close synergy with the territory that hosts us, will be more fruitful and useful for confronting the ‘work of tomorrow’ for our students, a job that will increasingly require the ability to dialogue and consider different perspectives.”

The venue for this laboratory course will be provided by the Municipality of Cavalese. Equipped with versatile rooms for workshops, a dance floor for social activities, and outdoor spaces ready to be transformed into an urban garden, the current senior center will be the ideal testing ground for the experiments of the students from the “unibz & unitn STEAM Spring School.” Participants in the residential school will learn the basics of person-centered design in a diverse team. They will design solutions starting from data analysis gathered from meeting with citizens, so that the solutions are not imposed from above but correspond to what the community has expressed.

An initial meeting with the municipal administration will already take place tomorrow, Friday, March 15, to welcome the students to Cavalese, which will be held at 3:30 PM in the Frasnelli Room of the Cavalese Municipal Library. The sharing of initial results and a discussion, again with the mayor and other municipal representatives, will also take place the following day, Saturday, March 16, from 10 AM in the same venue. On Sunday morning, the participants will solidify the project hypotheses they have worked on during the previous two days and will present, still in the Frasnelli Room of the Cavalese Municipal Library, the identified solutions, considering their sustainability.