The workshop represents nowadays an advanced didactical method especially valuable for learning architectural design and artistic production, allowing students with different backgrounds to confront themselves with common themes in contemporary design research. The seminar activity faces, in a short period of time, the production of analysis, narrative documentation, and designing intervention through didactic activities elaborated and applied to peculiar contexts. This approach promotes the students’ capability for developing their critical thinking through original research, representation and design methods that can contribute to a more unusual education. The confrontation with unknown themes and subjects, taken on over a very short period of study, produces a disorientation ( shock methodology), that may turn into a creative experience through an analytical examination and a consequent design proposal.

Themes for studio seminars are proposed by LAN’s team in agreement with the hosted institution. Laboratories may be open to the participation of other foreign and Italian students that do not belong to the hosted institution. Their participation offers a further opportunity for cultural interaction. For the same reason, every workshop includes the participation of local, nationally, and internationally recognized members from different disciplines, who participate through lectures, reviews and critical research.

LAN encourages the exchange of ideas and confrontation also through the organization of events that do not strictly belong to laboratory activity. Our deep understanding of the local context and of its opportunities allows students and faculty to be involved with the artistic, intellectual, and cultural scene of the city. At the same time, LAN organizes specific events that puts in contact hosted schools with research centers and academic institutions (Naples has one of the world’s oldest Universities, under the same name as the king that founded it, in 1224, Federico II of Svevia. The city welcomes more than one hundred thousand students, divided among four main universities, apart from internationally known cultural institutions such as Institute for Philosophical Studies, Institute for Historical Studies, and the Oriental University.

LAN offers logistic and didactical support for workshops that can last one or two weeks. Students face a dense didactical activities program based on the given selected topic (site, urban fabric, territory, social event). The first phase consists on an exploration, looking for experiential and tectonic data, done through “ socio-architectural promenades” that puts in direct contact students and context. Once the investigated subject is acknowledged, the program asks the participant to narrate the experience using different means of representation : installations, maps, performances, surveys, films, poems, etc. The developed work becomes subject of discussion and confrontation among each participant. The second phase concerns design activities. Collected data becomes matter of interpretation through a design approach that push the student to make choices and to define the best strategy for their representation. The workshops ends with the final review and exhibition.