Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre, Jiaotong University & Milan’s Polytechnic | The Plan
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Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre, Jiaotong University & Milan’s Polytechnic

Collaboration and Dialogue Among Peoples

Remo Dorigati | Pierluigi Salvadeo

Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre, Jiaotong University & Milan’s Polytechnic
By Pierluigi Salvadeo -

A complex process of research and collaboration between Milan’s Polytechnic and the Jiaotong University of Xi’an was behind the recently built Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre. Occupying a dedicated plot in what is known as the XJTU New Campus in the Xi’an New District, the school is part of a location a considerable distance from the city center, not far from Xi’an’s international airport, Xianyang, considered the largest airport in northwest China and the second largest in the whole of northern China. With this location, the Design and Innovation Centre, like the rest of the university, seems to be showing it belongs to a wider political, cultural and human community. In fact, the links between China and Italy go back a very long way. Xi’an was the city from where the caravans started out on the Silk Road, whose various ramifications led ultimately to the Mediterranean and the final destination, Rome.

As we know, it was not only goods that traveled the Silk Road. Ideas, religions, philosophy, culture, technology and knowledge in general took the same route. The Joint School of Design and Innovation Centre is by its very nature a place of ideas, open to different cultures and all possible innovation, a place where research, start-ups, experimental laboratories and innovative postgraduate teaching come together. The idea of inclusivity the center embodies springs from the way contemporary societies have been transformed by globalization, which has led to the opening up and mobility of our social systems, and in turn to acceptance of what is new and diverse. All this is expressed in the clear simple design of the two main volumes making up the center: a
single-story volume and a corner tower. The long low building hosts a series of work environments called “laboratories” arranged in a fluid space called the “trading zone”,...

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