Elena Porqueddu is an Architect, Researcher and Lecturer based in Milan.
She received her Ph.D. in Architecture, Urban Design and Conservation at the Polytechnic of Milan with a thesis partly developed at the University of Melbourne. The research she has been conducting since 2012 investigates the implications of systemic thinking for spatial design practice, with a focus on theories of Complex Adaptive Systems, Emergence, Self-Organization, Autopoiesis, Resilience and Assemblage. Through a multi-scale social-spatial approach, she explores the role of spatial design disciplines in triggering processes of spontaneous self-regeneration in cities.
Her research has been published in international peer-reviewed journals, and presented at international seminars and conferences in Europe (Architecture, Education and Society, Barcelona, 2012; Cosmos+Taxis, Milan, 2016; New Science and Actions for Complex Cities, Florence, 2017; Open City Forum, Berlin, 2018; Systemic Design Symposium, Delft, 2021- Brighton 2022; New Metropolitan Perspective, Reggio calabria, 2022), Russia (Moscow Design Week, 2014) Indonesia (Bazaar Art Jakarta & Casa Jakarta, 2014), Colombia (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotà, 2014) and Santo Domingo (UNIBE, UNPHU, 2014-2015).
She is an Adjunct Professor at the Marangoni International School of Design in Milan (2010-current) where she teaches Design Methods, Project Development, and Architectural Design both for undergraduate AFAM courses and Master’s courses. With Marangoni’s students and colleagues, she developed a wide range of projects for external companies (among others Valentino, Cappellini, Park Hyatt Hotel, Vibram, Flaminia, Starbucks, Victoria Arduino, Poltrona Frau, Alessi), in which she experimented heterogeneous forms of adaptive design.
She currently collaborates with RAPu+ Lab at Polytechnic of Milan, where she was also an Adjunct Professor (2006-2014), teaching in Architectural Design Labs for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
As an architect, she has a history of designing at different scales. As a senior designer at Cecchi&Lima Architetti Associati (2003-2009) she worked on projects for housing and public spaces in Milan, following different design phases, from concept to construction. As a freelance architect (2012-current) she mainly develops interior design projects for the renovation of existing spaces, enhancing their adaptive capacity through minimum progressive interventions.
Her research on spatial design is also nourished by a multi-year practice of Contemporary Dance and Yoga (1st level instructor), and by a strong interest in participative performing art. This parallel research led her to investigate architecture as a relational art.