Choose the campus


Choose the campus

Libraries without borders

Team Leader: Alberto Piazzalunga (Itinerari Paralleli)


19-24 February 2024

IAAD. Turin

To involve citizens in a collective dialogue we need to create a proper setting and use effective methods to raise the voice of each individual. Design plays a key role in this regard, as a creative tool that can engage and empower people. Emerging practices in fact increasingly consider design as a key factor for critical inquiry, capable of opening discussions and stimulating reflections, rather than a mere technical discipline.
The goal of the workshop is to adopt the same approach, leveraging the different design languages (product, communication, interaction…) to create an interactive prototype solution for participation and dialogue.
A prototype, which will have the form of a pop-up installation, will be placed in three libraries located in suburbs of Turin, to support the community engagement activities part of the city’s new Integrated Urban Plan.
The installation may have analogical or digital components and will need to be visually impactful to attract the attention of visitors and users. Among its functions it will have to:

  • integrate a systematic approach for collecting opinions or data from library visitors;
  • contain elements of playfulness to engage a wide audience, including children and adults;
  • explore ways to facilitate social interaction and collaboration within the library space.

Cities increasingly need spaces for dialogue, participation and discussion, where people can gather, connect, and contribute to shaping their community.
Public libraries are a fundamental resource for this process. Traditionally, libraries have been sanctuaries of knowledge, offering a haven for book enthusiasts and seekers of information. Today, they are undergoing a transformative journey, transcending their conventional boundaries to become dynamic hubs that foster social connections and community well-being.
Libraries are no longer confined to the hushed whispers of reading rooms. They are emerging as vibrant community hubs, embracing technology to provide digital resources, interactive learning spaces, and connectivity for all. Modern libraries are redefining their role as centres for lifelong learning, where individuals of diverse backgrounds converge to explore, collaborate, and create.
The City of Turin’s Integrated Urban Plan goes in this direction, putting libraries at the centre of an ambitious program aimed at improving the quality of life in the city’s neighbourhoods. The plan includes numerous interventions on the libraries and on the urban fabric that surrounds tackling material and social vulnerabilities, the elimination of physical and socio-cultural barriers and improving the quality of public space and places of sociality and inclusion.
In this picture libraries should become hubs of participation where to establish a dialogue with and among citizens and foster their protagonism in the cultural life of neighbourhoods.

Alberto Piazzalunga

Alberto is a multidisciplinary designer working on social impact projects. After studying Communication Design with a focus on illustration in Milan (IT) and in Prague (CZ) he worked as visual designer in Italy and Denmark, mainly in the cultural sector.
Since 2021 he has focused on the design of participatory processes and placemaking interventions, often through the production of visual and communicative artifacts. He took part in the development of ExSA, a community hub established in the former Sant’Agata prison in Bergamo and he collaborated in rural community projects with Brave New Alps in Rovereto. Currently he works with Itinerari Paralleli on territorial development projects across Italy and Europe.

Itinerari Paralleli

Itinerari Paralleli is a social enterprise experienced in promoting creative contents for social innovation and impact by aggregating complementary competences.