Category Archives: 2018/1-2

Editorial

The Research section of Formamente opens with two commemorations on Stephen Hawking, considered one of the most important theoretical physicists of the 20th century, the robotic voice of scientific divulgation, who only recently passed away.
Lord Rees, Royal Astronomer and Master of the Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, and Professor Fabrizio Fontana, physicist at Guglielmo Marconi University, pay homage with two contributions, tracing the intricate life of the celebrated scientist.
From his eureka moment – namely his famed intuition regarding the link between gravity and quantum theories – to the elaboration of the Hawking theory, the British scientist advanced sophisticated studies on the origin of the universe, on quantum cosmology, and on black holes, divulgating comprehensibly, concepts that scientific language barriers generally render abstruse.
In the same section, Andrea Gentile’s article recalls the sociological theories of Jürgen Habermas and Wright Mills, where images and mass media systems offer mediated, second hand realties, leading to inactiveness of the mind, of emotions and of creativity. This postmodern human condition, characterizes the modern society and it forces us to reflect on Hawking’s divulgation theories, corroborating the quality of second hand learning that makes up for great part of our knowledge, as opposed to first hand experiences.
The Application section proposes original case studies that focus on present-day issues. The CIHEAM Bari (Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomique Méditerranéennes) article puts forth the inclusive teaching project results that support farms in war crisis zones. Whereas the Apollonian Case in Albania is a research project developed by the students of the International Master in Interior Design at Guglielmo Marconi University. The quali-quantitative case study for territorial regeneration pursues sustainable development and spatial integration of the territory, in respect with the cultural patrimony.
The Application section concludes with a case study on territorial reconstruction, from the viewpoint of the masonry works. The study focuses on L’Aquila and Amatrice, the areas of central Italy devastated by the earthquakes in 2009 and in 2016. The objective was to offer temporary wooden housing modules that kept together residual parts of collapsed civil houses.
Lastly, the Highlight section presents two experimental didactic modules: entertainment seminar cycles, divided in Art Workshops, Talks and Live Works and ESA, Engage, Study, Activate, an innovative language teaching method for adults.

Professor Stephen Hawking: an appreciation by Lord Rees

ABSTRACT. In this paper, the Astronomer Royal and former Master of Trinity College, Lord Martin Rees, pays tribute to Professor Stephan Hawking, reminiscing the significant events of his life. The focal point of the essay is Hawking’s manifestation of willpower and determination in face of the deadly disease he was diagnosed with at the age of 22. Amongst some of the most significant achievements, Rees mentions Stephen’s ‘eureka moment’, namely when he unexpectedly discovered a link between gravity and quantum theory, predicting that black holes would not be completely black, but that they would radiate in a distinctive way. According to Hawking, this radiation is only significant for black holes because they are less massive than stars – and none of these have been found. ‘Hawking radiation’ theory had very deep implications for mathematical physics and one of the main achievements of string theory has been to corroborate his idea.

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Stephen Hawking and a new vision of the Universe

ABSTRACT. It is definitely an arduous challenge to describe in few words a person who has been considered the greatest physicist of nineteenth century. Research focused on the complexity of the Universe, Big Bang and Black Holes Theories, on the age of the Universe, on the Chronology of the Universe, on the hypothesis of Multiverse, the study of galaxy formation and evolution, as well as the cosmological inflation. His diversified activity has contributed to the scientific disclosure of several physical and astronomic theories, which have been presented in an engaging way to the audience. The essential bibliography invites the reader to appreciate the interdisciplinary and international qualities of his collaborations opened to the possibility of existence of other Universes.

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The Power of Images – How mass media can influence the human mind

ABSTRACT. Do the mass media condition and educate their audience with clever manipulation? In the current era of expanding digital technologies, our environment is often dominated by the power of images. Human tragedy in modern society is that our scientific-technological automatisms drive us too far from real and pure authenticity of feelings and emotions of the human being. Images and mass media systems determine passivity in the human mind and they do not develop experience, real motivations, spontaneity, creativity: they are not able to form creative and critical minds. In the sociological theory of Jürgen Habermas, the mass media are seen as being controlled by political and economic forces, which have an interest in manipulating the audience. The first rule for understanding «the human condition is that men live in second hand worlds». They are aware of much more than they have personally experienced and their own experience is always indirect. The quality of their lives is determined by meanings they have received from others. As Wright Mills suggested, we do live in a «second hand world», in which many of the things we know, were learned from others rather than experienced first hand.

This means, quite simply, that more than ever we are dependent on the meanings given us by the mass media and through mass communication.

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Remote Technical Assistance to strengthen professional and economic resilience of people in war crisis A success case study by CIHEAM Bari

ABSTRACT. As part of a project to support farmers and livestock farmers living in extremely vulnerable areas in Syria, professional online technical assistance was undertaken despite considerable limitations caused by serious emergency situations. A careful analysis of exogenous (e. g. social, economic and technological context) and endogenous factors (virtual communities, cognitive needs, motivation, expectations, etc.) has been the basis (diagnostics) for the appropriate methodological and technological choices. Given the context, this paper highlights the importance of solutions related to the major aspects of inclusive teaching, methodologies and technologies suitable for adult training courses.

In conclusion, the analysis of the final evaluation data of one of the courses provided substantiates the effectiveness of this activity.

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Wearable technology and schools: where are we and where do we go from here?

ABSTRACT. The area of wearable technology is having a rapidly growing impact on society with more consumers purchasing wearable tech. At the same time, wearable technology seems to be poised to have an impact on educational settings. This paper explores the area of wearable technology related to schools. It considers how wearable technology can be used by teachers to improve instruction and by students to change how they interact with the school environment. Wearable technology applications are currently being implemented as part of the curriculum in schools were they are identified and discussed. To conclude, traits and skills that school leaders need to exhibit for a wearable technology initiative to be successfully implemented are proposed. Wearable technology has the potential to impact schools in the same way computers and mobile devices do today. This paper does not set out to provide answers but it is designed to create discussions about wearable technology and schools.

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Sustainable development and territorial regeneration in archaeological areas – The case of Apollonia in Albania

ABSTRACT. This paper examines how the revitalization of archaeological areas, might be a pivotal element to sustainable development. Following this objective, the paper explores the procedure of inserting a new function in the case of the archaeological park of Apollonia, in Albania and consists of a detailed analysis of the transformative changes brought by its spatial integration.

For this reason, the paper presents the issues and challenges of the archaeological site and explores the implications of the transformation of this area towards a ‘learning environment’. The analysis shows that public participatory activities, because of the establishment of a Creativity Center, may lead to a transformative planning process and generate, therefore, the context for the ‘territorial management planning strategies’ index. Through this instance, the meaning and value of the area becomes apparent and offers valuable insights for its future redevelopment process.

This article is the result of a research developed at the University of Guglielmo Marconi. The project involved researchers from different departments also with the involvement of postgraduate students from the International Masters in Interior Design of the same university. As such, it presents the elaboration of different themes: urban planning, territorial sustainability and socio-cultural development of the archaeological areas.

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A post-seism rebuilding proposal for civil masonry buildings – A case study

ABSTRACT. The seismic events which affected Central Italy in the last ten years, in the city of L’Aquila 2009 and Amatrice in 2016, had catastrophic consequences, in particular concerning the loss of human lives and buildings in old towns. The use of good masonry was not sufficient and the building materials, in many cases of low quality, did not resist strong shakings, crumbling and causing the sudden collapse of the buildings. The real problem for small villages having an historic importance, like in Abruzzo municipalities, was rebuilding, in particular civil houses with one or two overground floors. The case study treated in my master thesis consisted in designing a low-cost wood house, energetically self-consistent, simple and easily assemblable, for the post-seismic phase. This should be exploitable not only in the emergency phase, i.e. as a temporary solution, but also as definitive solutions, which on one side does not deface the architecture of affected old towns, and on the other side does not bring to the birth of a “new town”.

This could be accomplished by preserving the external walls of a partially collapsed civil house, tying them with a new internal wood structure.

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