G.Y.M. Growing Youthful Material

by | Feb 15, 2023 | G.Y.M.

The contemporary cultural job market demands comprehensive and increasingly specialized professionals, and the G.Y.M. program is a residential training program for designers, architects and visual artists designed to meet the following needs:

  • professionalize students in three disciplines, design, visual art and architecture, that are fundamental to implementing the changes needed to meet the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda:”we are committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and interconnected manner”.
  • bring contemporary experimentation and innovation to the center of cultural debate through a residential educational format where art and visual communication interact with design.
  • develop skills of internationalization and interdisciplinarity in cultural design.



The role of the visual artist today is increasingly approaching that of the cultural designer: this professional figure is required to assimilate new techniques and to provide with his research a broad analysis of material and immaterial contexts with which to draw a synthesis of the urgencies of the contemporary world. Thus becoming a prophet of new lifestyles and new ways of enjoying physical and intellectual places capable of influencing and modifying ideas and behaviour. This path certainly has many points in common with the designer’s path, who through his humanistic and aesthetic sensibility implements a synthesis of all the instances necessary for the realization of projects capable of truly affecting contemporary issues related to the use and usability of private and public spaces, with a view to environmental, social and economic sustainability and an evolving ecology of the mind. In addition, design, operating in a highly complex system, is able to accompany and manage, at all stages of project development, the mutual dialogue between the various actors in this new cultural terrain, which finds its theoretical basis in disciplines such as cybernetics and sociology, which in the 20th century began to consider processes as a network of incoming (input) and outgoing (output) relationships that are self-regulating through feedback mechanisms. This is even more necessary in a largely globalized society, where the cultural project and its communication must deal with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-tasking audienceand be, for all these multitudes, readable and shareable.



An ancient knot unraveling in contemporary times: today the term techné encompasses the meaning we give to “technique” as well as to “art”. The designer can be defined as the technical-intellectual professional who also works in the field of the visual, and to do this he or she must acquire in his or her training, awareness, consciousness and mastery of the visual language, through research in the past and present to imagine the future. Versatile cultural designer in cooperation with different professionals, practical and practices and exhibition realities of the international market. For their part, visual artists have also become technicians because their action involves a method and implies both theoretical and practical knowledge as well as a conscious participation in what they make, and in order to express themselves at their best, they must necessarily become their own entrepreneurs. Thus, we can identify the link between designer and artist: both move in a contemporary communicative field that, although distinct in its objectives, is governed by the same assumptions and contexts; both require complex research and analysis to arrive at the creation of a project or; both will influence the aesthetic culture and the construction of the contemporary.

The dividing line between these two professions is getting thinner and thinner, as both must take responsibility as much for the realization of the project as for its design, which must be sensitive to the very rapid anthropological, economic and social changes of our present. The same is true for graphic designer, pivotal figures in conceiving, re-editing and communicating the multi-dimensional analogue and virtual world with which we are rewriting our post-pandemic century lives. Historically, architecture has been the favored container of visual arts, but architects also need to relate to sister disciplines to meet the challenges of our time. To the dialogue skills and depth of discourse of these professionals is entrusted the task of designing perspectives of futures that are economically, socially and psychologically sustainable. The new generations of content creators will be not only witnesses, but active agents of the evolution of behaviours and imaginaries in the communities in which they work. Connectors between concepts and applications of the multiple effects of reality and issues on human sustainability in relation to the reproducibility, not only technical, of itself. To the ability to invest in research and cultural development of today’s ruling classes is entrusted the answer to the question: how much real value in terms of international relations and historical transmission of our identity will produce the Italian content creators of the future?

The only possible means of change is interdisciplinary training. Within this framework, the Italian public education system found itself unprepared for the great economic and social upheavals due to the technological innovations of the early part of the new century, and today it is trudging along in a background role in the global system, affected by a lack of vision in investing resources to train and promote the creativity and innovation skills of the younger generations: the only passport to a sustainable international future. With this in mind, there is a clear need to train our youngsters through professionalizing crossover training equal to those already active in major European and U.S. training centers. The national training offer is at present insufficient and often obsolete, and Italian content creators, in order to compare themselves with their peers in other countries, are often forced to access international programs. We recall the value of historical schools and movements that were pre-cursors of interdisciplinary practices such as Bauhaus, Black Mountain School, Dance Deck, Fluxus, Gutai…, which have made a profound mark on the history of the arts and education, and are still the subject of research and study today. Therefore is clear how urgent it is to initiate actions that promote professionalization, sustainability innovation and contamination of languages and skills as founding values of the future behaviour underlying the New European Bauhaus.



It is a residency program of postgraduate higher education promoted by SYDERE Center, an international center of expertise and an acronym for SYSTEMIC DESIGN RESEARCH and EDUCATION of the Polytechnic of Turin, which through an intensive workshop and live restitution program for designers, graphic designers and architects enrolled at the Polytechnic of Turin and visual artists working in the country. GYM, as a contemporary abbreviation of gymnasium, a place where young people trained in athletic games and shared spaces of philosophical education and reunion filled with theatrical performances, lectures, conferences, and maieutic exchanges. Through the innovative formula of a finishing school for Italian content creators, G.Y.M. is an on-the-job training program designed by a faculty consisting of professionals from the cross-disciplinary worlds of art, design and storytelling. Following the principles of the latest team-building practices, the G.Y.M. residency program aims to enhance peer exchange based on the learning-by-doing method and foster the development of creativity, research, caring for the social climate and physical and emotional environments, bringing together designers and visual artists who are actively envolved to initiate forms of self-training and production in order to become protagonists of a new story of behavioural ecology in the country. This path will enjoy a specific curatorial approach due to the careful selection of portfolios and the presence of visiting professors called to integrate with direct testimonies and practical experiences the training route of the young participants, coordinated by the faculty who is always present in actively participating at the debates, suggesting the most appropriate strategies to carry out the objectives identified by the students throughout the duration of the residency. The result will be an interdisciplinary training residence of excellence unique in Italy and the first realized by a prestigious Italian public university: the Politecnico di Torino. G.Y.M thus becomes a place of interdisciplinary knowledge, where each of the students can really engage with his academic preparation, (artist, architect, designer, graphic designer) in an experience where each participant will contribute according to the skills and needs developed during the workshop.

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