Project: Introduction

This working paper aims to engage designers, scholars, students and experts worldwide, including policy makers, in deepening the discussion about potential scenarios for helping to design cities for knowledge and integrating “knowledge infrastructures” in growing urban areas worldwide. Such scenarios would also help guide the design of the future “university campus” and science parks, and better materialize (spatially) the opportunities for technology-enabled active learning environments.


The goal of the project is to facilitate the development of a new “narrative” that helps guide the transformation of every working space within different learning platforms, as well as the overall design of the “university campus” and science parks at a global level and in very different socio-economic and cultural contexts. It should aim to consider design practices that facilitate multi-objectives under diversified contexts, including:

  • Fostering the learning capacity of students in modern university environments, by “balancing” an improved usage of technology-enabled active learning environments, social interaction and other traditional forms of “experiencing” university campuses;
  • Facilitating the interaction of university students, teachers and researchers with key stakeholders, including companies, the labour force and the population at large;
  • Preserving the uniqueness of the “university campus”;


Our tentative approach is a research-based initiative including a series of studios, advanced workshops, doctoral seminars and conferences, and information exchange networks to enable the involvement of recognized competences worldwide leading to a new field research. It considers the identification of case studies and diversified experiences worldwide in urban planning and design of “knowledge infrastructures”. The case studies shall reflect an understanding of the local characteristics of the processes of technical change and of the specific regulatory and institutional constraints in these local contexts, calling upon our knowledge of the social construction of technological systems. They will be structured and developed through studio work. The field studies and studio work should be carried out by multidisciplinary teams including urban planners and designers, architects, education and learning experts, ethnographers and sociologist.

The implementation of the project will consider establishing a “Steering Committee”, to guide the development of the work in academic and policy terms, as well as to facilitate its potential impact.

The outcome of the work will consider the publication of a book, academic publications, as well as specific reports about the case studies.


Please look at the following sections of this working paper:


Introduction: goal and approach (This page)

Context and background

Implementation and field research

Work proposal

Appendix 1: background information and sample literature survey

Appendix 2: Preliminary list of cities and institutions for field research