Resilience – Between mitigation and adaptation





durability, resilience, design for disassembly, use, efficiency


The relationship between architecture and time can be studied from different points of view, for example, concerning physical durability (maintenance, interchangeability), functional temporality (transformability, technological flexibility), aesthetic obsolescence (changes in style and fashion). Today, it seems to be a central topic in relation to the emerging concept of resilience. Considering durability as one of the design variables means being able to evaluate the architecture as an adaptable organism that responds to changing environmental needs. After discussing the topic of time in the culture of sustainable design, the text describes what declinations this topic can assume in relation to the advent of the concept of resilience, applied to architectural design and the present experimentations of Design for Disassembly.


Architecture | Essays & Viewpoint

Durability in a resilient design approach

pp. 98-111


Maria Canepa, Chiara Piccardo, Andrea Giachetta

Author(s) Biography

Maria Canepa, Architect and PhD in Architectural Technology, is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Departments of Architecture and Design of Genova University (Italy). She has carried out researches and teaching activities in Italy on sustainable design and on Near Zero Energy Building, and recently investigated strategies to address Climate Change.

Chiara Piccardo, Architect and PhD in Architectural Technology, is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems of Aalto University (Finland). She has carried out research and teaching activities in Italy, France and Sweden on the sustainable building materials and technologies with a life cycle thinking approach. She has recently investigated design for disassembly in Finnish researches.

Andrea Giachetta, Architect and PhD in Architectural Technology, is an Associate Professor at the University of Studies of Genoa (Italy), Department of Sciences for Architecture. He is the Coordinator of the Science of Architecture Programme Board and a Member of PhD Committee of Research Doctorate in Architecture and Design. His research interests are sustainable design, project teaching.


Altamura, P. and Baiani, S. (2019), “Superuse and upcycling through design: approaches and tools”, in BAMB CIRCPATH: Buildings as Material Banks – A Pathway for a Circular Future, 5-7 February 2019, Brussels, Belgium – IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, vol. 225, pp. 1-8. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 7 October 2019].

Brand, S. (1995), How Buildings Learn – What happens after they’re built, Penguin Books, London.

Boeri, S. and Muzzonigro, A. (2019), “Horizontality/Verticality. A Dialogue between Azzurra Muzzonigro and Stefano Boeri | Orizzontalità/Verticalità. Un Dialogo tra Azzurra Muzzonigro e Stefano Boeri”, in Techne, n. 17, pp. 289-299. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 9 October 2019].

Braghieri, N. (2005), Buoni edifici, meravigliose rovine – Louis I. Kahn e il mestiere dell’architettura, Feltrinelli, Milano.

Canepa, M. (2018), Riflessioni sullo sviluppo sostenibile a trent’anni dal Rapporto Brundtland, Mimesis Edizioni, Milano.

Celadyn, W. (2014), “Durability of Buildings and Sustainable Architecture”, in Technical Transactions Architecture, n. 7-A/2014, pp. 17-26. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 11 October 2019].

Corrado, S. and Sala, S. (2018), “Bio-Economy Contribution to Circular Economy”, in Benetto, E., Gericke, K., Guiton, M. (eds), Designing Sustainable Technologies, Products and Policies – From Science to Innovation, Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 49-59. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 07 October 2019].

European Commission (2015), Communication from the Commission to European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the Circular Economy, 614 final. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 20 October 2019].

Giachetta, A. (2004a), Architettura e tempo – La variabile della durata nel progetto di architettura, Libreria CLUP, Milano.

Giachetta, A. (2004b), “La durata dell’architettura. L’opera in pezzi”, in Costruire, n. 255, pp. 126-133.

Gorgolewski, M. (2018), Resource Salvation – The Architecture of Reuse, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford.

Gunderson, L. H., Allen, C. R. and Holling, C. S. (eds) (2010), Foundations of Ecological Resilience, Island Press, Washington (DC).

Gunderson, L. H. and Holling, C. S. (eds) (2001), Panarchy – Understanding transformations in human and natural systems, Island Press, Washington (DC).

Holling, C. S. (1973), “Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems”, in Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, vol. 4, pp. 1-23. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09 October 2019].

IPCC (2019), Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09 October 2019].

IPCC (2018), Global Warming of 1.5 °C – An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 October 2019].

Jacobs, J. (1969), The Economy of Cities, Random House, New York.

Martinez-Fernandez, C., Audirac, I., Fol, S. and Cunningham-Sabot, E. (2012), “Shrinking Cities: Urban Challenges of Globalization”, in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 36, issue 2, pp. 213-225. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 October 2019].

Rios, F. C., Chong, W. K. and Grau, D. (2015), “Design for Disassembly and Deconstruction – Challenges and Opportunities”, in Procedia Engineering, vol. 118, pp. 1296-1304. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 October 2019].

Sloterdijk, P. (2016), “Das Anthropozän – Ein Prozeß Zustand am Rande der Erd Geschic”, in Sloterdijk, P. (ed.), Was geschah im 20. Jahrhundert? Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin, pp. 7-43.

Tiezzi, E. (2005), Tempi storici, tempi biologici, Donzelli Editore, Roma.

Trabucco, D. (2019), “Progettare i grattacieli, oggi. Osservazioni sull’evoluzione tecnologica e morfologica degli edifici alti | Designing contemporary skyscrapers. Remarks on the technical and architectural evolution of tall building”, in Techne, n. 17, pp. 110-118. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 09 October 2019].

UNISDR (2007), Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2019].

Vale, L. J. and Campanella, T. J. (eds) (2005), The Resilient City – How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster, Oxford University Press, New York.