SWISSENGINEERINGTICINO Awards: The winners
Institutional Communication Service
1 October 2021
The prizes of the PREMIOSWISSENGINEERINGTICINO Foundation have been awarded every year since 2007 to young and upcoming talents in the field of engineering at professional schools, universities of applied sciences and universities in the Canton of Ticino. From this year, the foundation also awards a prize dedicated to young talents in architecture, rewarding students of the Master course of the Academy of Architecture of USI. The first edition of this prize was awarded to Sofia Boarino and her thesis "Hit the Beat, Chiasso Station". Zeno Zanderigo was awarded with a prize in this latter category for the Faculty of Architecture.
For the Faculty of Informatics were awarded Noli Manzoni (best thesis topic,"Automated recognition of features in architectural 3D models, using Artificial Intelligence Methods") and Aldo Gabriele Di Rosa (best presentation). We asked the four of them to explain the meaning of these awards and give us a closer look at the awarded projects they developed.
Noli Manzoni (recent graduate of the Master in Artificial Intelligence): After almost a year of work, this award is a great satisfaction and it is a further confirmation that pursuing the Master in Artificial Intelligence was an apt path, as well as doing a thesis in this field, which led me to win this award. Moreover, reviewing the work done and its results I remember the academic world with nostalgia. I believe that seeing the practical application of one's knowledge and the results obtained from research is very inspiring. For this reason, for this Master thesis, I got in touch with a start up in Lugano (HEGIAS) in order to use my knowledge in Artificial Intelligence to help solve a problem that the company was facing. Following several interviews, we decided that the goal of my Master's work would be to recognize and classify automatically 3D objects/models that could then be used in CAD contexts. The fact that the goal was to have a product that would be commercialized motivated me and allowed me to flawlessly carry out both the academic research (literature analysis with various verifications and development of an innovative idea) and the actual implementation of the 3D model recognition algorithm.
Aldo Gabriele Di Rosa (recent graduate of the Master in Software and Data Engineering): For me, winning this award means being rewarded for all the sacrifices made to complete my studies. This takes on even more value thinking about how many smart former students participated. The theme of my thesis is to measure and try to improve the productivity of a developer. To do this, I collected -through a development environment extension (IDE)- data on what a developer does while in an IDE. To measure productivity, in addition to what happens in the IDE, you need to know what happens outside of it, for example in the browser or on the computer. So I developed an app (for Mac and an extension for Google Chrome) that would capture all the actions a person performs while on the computer, from browsing websites to changing the application in use. I collected data from several developers, including students and workers, and developed a web app that shows (via graphs) the developer what actions they actually performed during their working hours.
Sofia Boarino (recent graduate of the Master in Architecture): Winning this award is an honour for me and a source of great motivation. After university, while entering the world of work, you have to work hard to find your way, be heard, succeed in your projects, and fulfil your ambitions. Indeed, receiving a first professional recognition brings great satisfaction. But, above all, I am happy that the project made it to the jury and that it was able to convey the message it supports. For me, it is an essential thing: to be able to share ideas, emotions and beauty, in all its forms, through architecture. My graduation project deals with a topic that is often underestimated in architecture: acoustics. It is a complex issue that is usually dealt with in a purely technical way and almost solely in terms of isolation, that is, thinking about how to protect the space and its users from sound. For a couple of years now, I have been working on the subject with a different approach, expanding research on acoustics to music, deepening the physics of sound, its influence on mechanics, its effects on the body, and experimenting with the inclusion of sound within the architectural space as a design element. In the city context of Chiasso, a place extremely rich in noises mainly coming from the railway infrastructure, I decided to work with sound. Situated on the long lot adjacent to the station - currently primarily occupied by empty and decaying buildings and a large parking area - I thought to promote an approach of openness to the railway and its noises, its music, rather than closure. The intent is to revitalise the urban fabric and create new landmarks for daily life, spaces for social relations and urban paths, starting from the strong industrial vibe of the city. The "Hit the Beat" project includes the construction of a Sound Art Master School and a Concert Hall for Experimental Music & Arts and the reuse of existing buildings adjoining the station as an event hall and shelter for immigrants. Finally, the entire lot is treated as a large urban park connecting all the projects. Through the project programme dedicated to music, Chiasso becomes an actual open-air library of sounds and a source of inspiration for the students' creative process of the university complex. Research, creativity and solving complex mathematical formulas were the ingredients of my design process.
Zeno Zanderigo (recent graduate of the Master in Architecture): As an ex-student of the Accademia, being contacted after a long process of elaboration and discussion of my thesis is an invite to reflection and introspection. The fact that, after one year, my thesis was not abandoned somewhere, but it is still an object of gratification and discussion, confers a deep sense to my professional path. Moreover, if we consider that this prize was attributed from a foundation based in Ticino, territory in which architecture students are confronted during the studies, it strengthens this recognition. The project of my thesis hypothesizes the recovery of the territory's fragment now part of Chiasso's highway by bypassing the valley with a tunnel under the Penz. In the space now occupied by the highway, the project aims to insert a series of urban constructions and functions, from a urban park to courtyards near the Breggia river, including sport and commercial halls connected with each other by a system of slow mobility which runs on the two sides of the border. This section of the highway would be deconstructed and its beton layer would be dismantled to be reused in the reconstitution and renaturalization of the urban portion of the Breggia. I believe my project distinguishes itself for its approach to the development of the territory which takes into consideration the innovation of the deviation of the highway (based on Elena Fontana's project created in the context of Nunes-Gomes' project atelier) mixed with a process of naturalization flexible and applicable according to the conditions.