Research Unit


TAU-Lab is a transdisciplinary research unit in the field of urban, planning and architectural studies. It carries out research and higher education activities focusing on transnational urban and architectural forms, processes and trends. The activity of this group started in 2016 and unfolded in many research, education and dissemination programs.

Besides a general interest in transnational trends in contemporary cities and multiple facets of urban processes of globalization, the unit deals with the mobilities and trajectories of architectural and urban projects, of designers and with their implications for cities in different parts of the world.

Particular attention is paid to:

  • Transnational competences of urban planning and development;
  • Transnational agents of urban and architectural design;
  • Transnational circulation of urban policy, mega-events, masterplans, projects, models and technologies.




The main aim of the TAU-Lab is to advance knowledge through theoretically-informed and empirically-sound research. The TAU-Lab aims at educating current and future architects, urban designers, planners, urban policy makers about the challenges and opportunities of working in a transnational environment. On this basis, TAU-Lab intends to foster public debate with reference to the relationship between the various transnational processes, agents, etc. that affect the local transformation of contemporary cities.

TAU-Lab constitutes a research environment that is critical but open to multiple approaches. It supports informed and targeted trespassing across the fields of urban planning, policy and architectural studies. The research team uses multiple qualitative and quantitative methods utilizing different mapping and visualization tools. It evolves by mixing available methods of research, teaching and dissemination.

The Department of Architecture and Urban Studies is a thematic and interdisciplinary research structure of the Politecnico di Milano. The Department carries out research, design experimentation and training activities in the field of architectural and urban design, spatial planning and territorial governance, urban policies, preservation and intervention on the built and natural heritage, historical and critical interpretation of architecture and the city.

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