OFF CAMPUS | Il Cantiere per le Periferie is an initiative promoted by Polisocial with the aim of strengthening the presence of Politecnico in the city of Milan. The underlying concept is that of a more engaged University, targeting social challenges and closer to neighbourhoods and communities.

The initiative was launched in 2018 and the first Off Campus space was opened in the San Siro neighbourhood in April 2019, followed by new spaces in the Nolo district (September 2020), in the San Vittore detention centre (October 2022) and in the former farmhouse Cascina Nosedo (December 2022).


Within the Off Campus spaces, teachers, researchers and students are engaged in the following activities: innovative learning, focused on work in real contexts as a means to develop new skills; responsible research, seekeing a greater inclusiveness of knowledge production processes; co-designing with local stakeholders, to implement projects with a positive impact on the community. Local services are also offered, along with a cultural and educational agenda aimed at communities nearby.

The Politecnico di Milano has been acting in San Siro for several years, thanks to the Mapping San Siro research and action lab, which is at the head of various projects in the district.
Off Campus San Siro hosts a number of activities joining Politecnico, inhabitants and local networks, coordinated by the Mapping San Siro and WRP – West Road Project research groups, also within the Envisioning San Siro educational project.

Activities at Off Campus San Siro:
research: role of Living Labs in the periphery; educational poverty and segregation in multicultural contexts; policies and projects for habitat.
education and culture: training workshops on neighbourhood-level citizenship; Caffè San Siro (San Siro Cafè); cultural events; educational workshops; students’ internships.
co-design: reactivation of empty, public and/or common spaces; upskilling of foreign women; working group on future scenarios.
neighbourhood archive: collection of documents, also recovered from personal archives of local inhabitants.
• coordination of the Sansheros Local Network, gathering stakeholders acting in the district.

Off Campus San Siro also hosts a Legal Support and Education Desk, managed by the Bocconi University. Over time, collaboration with other universities such as Bocconi and Milano-Bicocca has been strengthened, especially at San Siro.

Off Campus San Siro
Via Gigante, in front of house number 5
Opening time: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Download the OFF CAMPUS SAN SIRO postcard (IT)
Press review (IT)

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The second Off Campus space is located in the Nolo district and aims at consolidating and strengthening the presence of our University in this area. Over time, a series of projects and actions have been developed for the marketplace building (where the Off Campus is located) and the surrounding blocks, thanks to the work carried out by POLIMI DESIS Lab (Design Department) together with the School of Design and the School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering.

Activities at Off Campus Nolo:
• an observatory on issues related to neighbourhood regeneration and reactivation.
educational workshops, seminars and lectures open to the neighbourhood, as well as shows, exhibits and public events.
co-design, dialogue and exchange with local and institutional bodies.
• an open neighbourhood archive, in which documents, research reports, theses and projects are being collected as heritage for the district and the city.

Off Campus Nolo hosts Radio Nolo, the district radio open to the local community, scheduling information, entertainment by/for inhabitants and media education activities targeted to all age groups.

Off Campus Nolo
City Marketplace (Mercato Comunale), Viale Monza 54
Opening time: from Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 18 pm

Download the OFF CAMPUS NOLO postcard (IT)
Press review (IT)

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Off Campus San Vittore, the third space being inaugurated, is meant to bring the prison closer to the city and, vice-versa, the city to the prison. Thanks to the work carried out by the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies and the Department of Design, Off Campus San Vittore has been activated right inside the penitentiary, as a support to building new knowledge on detention places.

Activities at Off Campus San Vittore:
designing activity carried out through educational labs, internships and degree theses.
research on the role of the prison in the city and on the spaces of detention.
development of projects supporting experimental actions to improve the living conditions of inmates, also involving the business world.
seminars and open lectures aimed at the prison and the city, as well as cultural and educational activities promoted by students and inmates.
• a historical and new narratives’ archive dedicated to detention, telling the prison reality and life stories.

Off Campus San Vittore will also host the Legal Clinic project, promoted by the Bocconi and Milano-Bicocca Universities.

Off Campus San Vittore
Casa Circondariale F. Di Cataldo, P.zza G. Filangieri 2, Milano
Opening time: Tuesday and Thursday from 09:30 am to 5:30 pm

Download the OFF CAMPUS SAN VITTORE postcard (IT)

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Off Campus Cascina Nosedo is characterised by its particular location on the border between the urban fabric and the South Milan Agricultural Park, in a renovated farmhouse halfway between the Corvetto district and the historic Chiaravalle abbey.

Off Campus Cascina Nosedo is a centre for the development and sharing of knowledge and skills between university (teachers, researchers, students) and local actors, on issues concerning the peri-urban context. Specific attention is paid to various topics that emerge from the coexistence of agricultural, urban and metropolitan landscapes and functions, as well as to local development opportunities.

Activities at Off Campus Cascina Nosedo:
research on peri-urban landscape and environment, agri-food supply chains, circular economy, local policies, water management.
• learning through designing and other activities involving students of the Politecnico (labs, internships, theses).
networking with local actors and development of collaborative projects.
• design of services for the local context (e.g. concerning biomaterials production, food chain innovation, reuse, etc.) with a view to promoting sustainable practices.
• programming of a cultural and training offer on topics of local and public interest.

Off Campus Cascina Nosedo also hosts Piùlento, a spin-off of the Politecnico di Milano active in the field of soft mobility.

Off Campus Cascina Nosedo
Via San Dionigi 78/80

Opening time: Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Download the OFF CAMPUS CASCINA NOSEDO postcard (IT)