The BUDDcamp experience it’s a workshop offered as part of the Master in Urban Design of the University College of London  that has been considered an attempt to offer the students a provocative, contemporary and instant, brief immersion into an urban reality, extracting a certain momentum of reflection on the design research challenges and methodologies for intervention as part of a broader attempt to recalibrate the discourse around urban design in development.
The BUDD Camp, is run in conjunction with Association ADL Zavidovici Onlus, which has the duty to offer each year different case studies to the students, host them and guide them through the city.
Students interpret and appropriate their own methods and definitions for ‘observation’ and ‘action’. There is no right or wrong answer as every place and time dictates its own character. Groups should identify certain key elements or phenomena of their site that they wish to highlight and address. Groups should use, but not be limited to observing, mapping, interviewing, sketching, photographing, and video recording as a means for collecting, documenting and analysing.  In doing so, students will 1) develop questions to inform their action research and 2) find ‘clues’ leading to design interventions.
The exercise culminates in each group producing socially-rooted design strategies to present to ADL Zavidovici. Presentations canbe in any medium, but should include the content of initial objectives, methodologies (both in terms of analysis and group dynamics), tools, findings, reflections and of course the proposed catalytic design intervention(s).
During this three-day design workshop, students are working on five sites in the city of Brescia, and tasked to ‘observe’ and ‘document’ the urban and social phenomena and occurrences within that given area. Provoked by a critical and creative reading of the ‘Six Memos for the Next Millennium’ from Italo Calvino’s not-so-famous text and topical design briefs, students are encouraged to explore possible catalytic and strategic interventions that highlight, mobilise, and/or transform existing social activity in that specific locale.
On June 6, 1984 Italo Calvino was invited by Harvard University to hold the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures on Poetry. It is a cycle of six conferences that take place in the course of an academic year 1985-1986 but never delivered as Calvino died before leaving Italy. The lectures were originally written in Italian and translated by Patrick Creagh. They were to be given in the fall of 1985, and Memos was published in 1988. At the time of his death, during the night of 18/19 September 1985, Calvino had finished all but the last lecture. The lectures were written on the values of literature which Calvino felt were important for the coming millennium; they were entitled Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility, Multiplicity and Consistency.
The memos and all of Calvino’s oeuvre have a strong connection to the urban debate and specifically in the BUDDcamp task. The city is not only the primary sphere in which our daily experience unfolds. It is above all a complex text that makes individual and collective experiences legible. The city has a textual character and a discursive narrative. It is the place that welcomes multiple forms of living, life stories, sociability, but also has agency, capable of generating meaning, values and passions. As a Wittgenstein-ian city, language accumulates, old and new houses, straight routes and others twisted, plazas and streets, to form a complex maze where the individual and the multitude mingle – often effectively, often frantically.
Fundamental, this year, had been the collaboration with the Municipality of Brescia, that supported ADL Zavidovici in the identification of the study cases.
BUDD CAMP 2011-The City Of Euphemia
BUDD CAMP 2012-The City Of Euphemia 2
BUDD CAMP 2013-The City Of Euphemia 3
BUDD Camp 2014-ThinkingdoingBrescia_CICLOFFICINA MONDO
BUDD Camp 2014-ThinkingdoingBrescia_VIA VILLA GLORI
BUDD Camp 2014-ThinkingdoingBrescia_AUTOLAVAGGIO MONDO
BUDD Camp 2014 -ThinkingdoingBrescia_LE TORRI DI SAN POLO
BUDD Camp 2014-ThinkingdoingBrescia_VIA LIVORNO