AR-527 / 3 credits

Teacher: Tombesi Paolo

Language: English


Construction Policy seeks to familiarise architecture and engineering students with instruments of policy analysis, evaluation and, eventually, design. This by introducing elements of policy theory, examining historical and contemporary case studies, and preparing a proposal.



building policy, architectural practice, building culture, knowledge production, discursive and institutional frameworks, economics, wealth, industrial structure, power relations, professional boundaries, community involvement, information exchange, decision making, validation methods


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Recognize the various dimensions of the construction industry and the macro-scale logics that move it.
  • Elaborate the relationship between building industry output, socio-political environment and policy actions.
  • Discuss built environment characteristics in relation to political processes and their technical underpinnings.
  • Formulate the terms of a policy proposal aimed at achieving a specific construction result.

Transversal skills

  • Set objectives and design an action plan to reach those objectives.
  • Use a work methodology appropriate to the task.
  • Communicate effectively, being understood, including across different languages and cultures.
  • Identify the different roles that are involved in well-functioning teams and assume different roles, including leadership roles.
  • Resolve conflicts in ways that are productive for the task and the people concerned.
  • Demonstrate the capacity for critical thinking
  • Manage priorities.
  • Access and evaluate appropriate sources of information.

Teaching methods

The subject has a lecture component and a research component.

The lecture component provides a general theoretical framework largely borrowed from policy studies but adapted to the analysis of the design and building sector and integrated with examples, which will be presented to the students to enable the development of policy development skills.

The research component will seek to apply the elements of this framework to specific situations proposed by the students and providing opportunities for exposing the complexity of the subject matter.

Expected student activities

Students will be asked to select a topic of their own interest in the evolution of the building sector, and outline a policy for its implementation in the course of the semester. This will be done progressively with the help of the instructor, and through seminar discussions with the other students.

Assessment methods

Assessment revolves around three components:

  • Class participation, or the display of one's ability to identify and discuss the elements required for ambitions to become reality in the realm of construction.
  • Gathering of discussion-specific data, showing one's ability to research and collate information about relevant social elements in given industrial contexts /situations.
  • Policy proposal due at the end of the term, demonstrating one's ability to identify and address key steps and issues when planning technical change with large social impact


Office hours Yes
Forum Yes

In the programs

  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: Construction policy
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
  • Type: optional
  • Semester: Spring
  • Exam form: During the semester (summer session)
  • Subject examined: Construction policy
  • Lecture: 2 Hour(s) per week x 12 weeks
  • Type: optional

Reference week


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