Paola Menzardi is a visiting Ph.D. researcher from Polytechnic of Turin, Italy, where she obtained the master’s degree in Systemic Design e the bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design.
She is carrying out a research at the Department of Architecture and Design in the field of Design for Territories aimed at investigating how participated geography – community mapping – can be tools for initiating long-term processes of local enhancement, resulting in plans for the development of territories. Such participated project are a particular branch of cartography and territorial studies that are intertwined with the design of participatory processes for the enhancement and dissemination of the territorial heritage. According to different and informal methodologies, they combine the geographical and topological representation of the territory with further levels of information related to intangible, elusive, even temporary aspects of places (points of view of interest, vegetation, stories of popular culture, aspects of local identities, situations to attend to…).
The purpose of her research is intended to, starting from community maps, advancing a on-field project that leads, starting from an existing participatory map project, to the creation of a product-service/system of products-services with functions of dissemination and tourist promotion of the area involved.
In i-DAT she is collecting data and case studies related to past and ongoing projects that have interpreted the cartography and other forms of representation of the territory as tools for the involvement of people in order to bring out the awareness on own territory, promoting and developing it.