Professor Steffen Lehmann is the Director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities, an interdisciplinary research group, consisting of over 35 key researchers from various faculties. The University of Portsmouth initiative aims to promote sustainable urban living and create a carbon-neutral society.
Steffen recently returned from his successful tour in Italy, where he spent the 25th and 26th of September exploring Bologna, and meeting with colleagues at the University of Bologna (UniBo) in the School of Engineering and Architecture.
Prof Alessio Erioli (pictured with Steffen, right) and Niccolo Casas, teach digital architectural design at UniBo, and are currently exploring new methods of digital fabrication, such as 3D printing, and manufacturing.
The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is considered to be the oldest university in the western world, as well as one of the leading academic institutions in Italy, with a long, proud history of educating architects, designers, and engineers.
Whilst in Bologna, Steffen was able to meet up with architect Mario Cucinella (pictured with Steffen, left), who recently founded a new practise-based academy, the International School of Sustainability (SOS), a post-graduate private school offering good opportunities for up-skilling and specialisation in sustainable architecture and cities. Teaching at SOS is in English, with more information available on their website.
After his time in Bologna, Steffen moved on to Florence, where he spent the 27th and 28th of September visiting the University of Florence, being hosted by Fabio Fabbrizzi (pictured with Steffen, below), the Head of Department of Architecture.
Florence is a modern city built around an historical core, full of history and tradition, whilst having a keen interest in innovation and propelling into the 21st century.
Recently a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Portsmouth, and the University of Florence was signed, allowing for a range of collaborative activities, as well as staff and post-graduate student mobility over the next five years.
The Department of Architecture is based in a beautifully renovated historical building with a range of excellent facilities available to staff and students, and is just a short distance from Il Duomo.
During his busy visit, Steffen was also involved in a design workshop for ‘New Outdoor Furniture’, led by Professor Paolo Di Nardo, and Professor Francesca Tosi, Head and Professor of Industrial Design.
The University of Portsmouth’s close relationship with the University of Florence, now makes it much easier to visit Italy as an exchange student, offering UK students, new perspectives and cultural experiences, and promising to be an amazing experience, because great architecture, beautiful design, and incredible food, are all integral parts of Italian Culture.