By Walter Nicolino, Coordinator of the First Academic Diploma “Interior design”


The visionary and dystopian scenarios of the future conceived by the digital environment, divided between the dystopian visions of the sci-fi genre and the optimistic rhetoric of Silicon Valley, have more and more effects on our daily life, thanks to the evolution and the pervasive distribution of technological tools. Since the beginning of the 2000s, interaction in virtual habitats has been added to the simple representation of these phenomena: in 2003 it was created Second Life, a sort of parallel world within which relationships, spaces, and activities can be reinvented. Unfortunately that digital platform has never gone beyond the million active users, turning faster into a playroom for a few close friends. Nothing compared to the more than 2.25 billion users of the Facebook social network that, despite many contradictions and problems to be faced, ten years after its creation continues to connect people. So far the “relational” process has prevailed over the “immersive” one: it seems better to increase the reality of new opportunities, rather than to create parallel worlds in which to escape. What will happen with the increasing presence of AI in the creation and management of spaces? Will spaces become themselves subjects with personality? Will the spaces be self-designed? How will they see us? How will we communicate with them? What will be the common ground between the real habitat and the virtual one? During the workshop week, we will explore different scenarios to imagine possible evolutions of our ecosystem, in which the man-machine relationship will no longer be a simple co-habitation but a real co-evolution.




Walter Nicolino (born 1975), a graduate of the Architecture Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Turin, is a practicing architect and is active in the fields of design and urban planning. Since 2013 he has taught, as an adjunct professor, at the Architecture Department of the Università degli studi di Ferrara, where he also coordinates the multidisciplinary research group Next City Lab. Since 2017 Walter has been the scientific coordinator of IAAD’s Interior Design Department in Turin and in Bologna.



During the workshop we put our idea of space into play: physically inhabitable space, space that is perceived exclusively with the senses, space that can be designed only in an anthropocentric way, favoring an evolutionary vision where the new habitat becomes a subject, equipped with its own intelligence, with which to relate and to establish a dialogue.

From the space-object to the space-subject, from co-habitation to co-evolution.

The proposed scenarios involved natural habitats able to protect themselves from the damage caused by humans: public spaces that involve citizens in their transformation, virtual habitats in which to learn a sport, or to overcome physical limitations; kitchens with an infinite memory; resourceful houses able to request appointments with potential tenants through emotional affinities.