Barbara Piga

Staff – Coordinator, Assistant Professor

An Architect by education, Barbara E. A. Piga is Assistant Professor (RTDb) at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) (2021 – 2024), where she is also Coordinator of the Laboratorio di Simulazione Urbana Fausto Curti – labsimurb (POLIMI – Department of Architecture and Urban Studies DAStU) since its foundation in 2007. At labsimurb she coordinates and leads research projects related to experiential simulation and sensory urban design. She is founding partner of the REAACH – Representation Advances and Challenges Association since its foundation in 2022. She is also member of the Board of the interdepartmental research laboratory i.Drive – Interaction Between Driver, Road Infrastructure, Vehicle, And Environment since 2019, where she is responsible for mobility experiential simulation and the urban/landscape environment guidelines (assessment and design perspective). She is member of the Scientific Committee of the POLIMI laborA laboratory (since 2022), which develops simulations in both Virtual Reality, physical, and holographic modeling.

She is the POLIMI Coordinator of the project “NextGenerationEU – PNRR Innovation Ecosystem –Multilayered Urban Sustainability Action (MUSA)Spoke 1 – Urban Regeneration (City of tomorrow) – Musa ( where she is also Scientific Coordinator of the Action “Phygital4P – ‘Public–Private–People partnership’ (4P)”.  She Scientific Responsible for DAStU of the project “NextGenerationEU – PRIN: MED4PED: Mobility Experience Decision support system for pre-assessing PEDedestrian walkability through on-site and off-site simulation”She is the POLIMI Scientific Coordinator of two European Projects H2020 EIT Digital (Digital Cities) AR4CUP: Augmented Reality for Collaborative Urban Planning (2019 and 2020), where she designed a novel co-design methodology via Augmented and Virtual Reality. In these projects, she developed an innovative methodology for (pre-)assessing the experience of people in space through simulation; this led her to the ownership of two Copyrights (Experiential Environmental Impact Assessment – exp-EIA©; Copyright BOIP N. 123453 – 06.05.2020 and Copyright BOIP N. 130516 – 25.02.2021) and of the International Patent for Invention Method for calculating one or more isovists of a physical or Extended Reality environment (International Publication Number WO 2023/275679 A1 – 5.1.2023 with POLIMI and Università degli Studi di Milano). She is on the Advisory Board of ARtwin H2020 European Project (2021-2022). She was part of the H2020 Lighthouse European Project Sharing Cities (2016-17) for the co-design methodology for developing innovative urban services.

She is Scientific Committee and Academic Council Member of the Vietnamese University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH)College of Technology And Design (CTD) since 2019. She was invited as Foreign Researcher at CRENAU – UMR 1563 AAU, Nantes – France (2022 and 2014). She is member of the GUDesign – Genealogy of Urban Design International Network (since 2021) and Associated Member of Atmospheric Spaces (since 2017). She is member of the Editorial Committee of the International Journal of Sensory Environment, Architecture and Urban Space (since 2013). She is member of the Steering Committee of the European Architectural Envisioning Association – EAEA (since 2009), an international association focused on simulation at the architectural and urban scale. She is Member of the International Ambiances Network (since 2011) and its Steering Committee (since 2015), an international research association dealing with urban ambiances with an interdisciplinary perspective. She is Member of the Scientific Committee of the American and European Design Communication Association – DCA (since 2014), an international society of academics and professionals of the architectural representation field. She was member of the Steering Committee of the five years’ inter-university POLIMI-UNIMI project Città Studi Campus Sostenibile – CSCS since its launch (2011 – 2016). She is instructor in POLIMI courses and design studios on the topic of simulation and representation for urban design since 2011.

Her research interest is focused on representation as an aid for investigating and anticipating the human\environment relationship, with a specific focus on the role of experiential simulation for sensory urban design from conception to evaluation and presentation. She investigates and proposes innovative forms of simulation, even via multi-sensory immersive environments related to Mixed Reality, e.g. via Augmented Reality (also Augmented Maquette), and Virtual Reality (also Augmented Virtuality). She fosters a One Health, multi-scalar, and interdisciplinary approach. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from POLIMI (2010).

Find more about Barbara E. A. Piga

Research Gate
Google Scholar

Engaged in these projects at labsimurb
MUSA Urban Regeneration, Cities of the Future
PNRR Monza Park
Luminous Planning Table (LPT)
AR4CUP 2020
AR4CUP 2019

Sharing Cities
Envisioning the City of the Future: Making the Invisible Visible” International competition (coordinator)

Città Studi Cambia
Translating Ambiance
Città Studi Campus Sostenibile
Linear Landscapes
Garibaldi – Repubblica

in the press and media coverage

List of public events related to the exp-EIA© (experiential – Environmental Impact Assessment) method by Piga, Boffi, Rainisio et al. 
exp-EIA© & City Sense (AR4CUP) Events

Barbara E. A. Piga & Marco Boffi \ The Luminous Planning Table project: news and interviews

TGR Lombardia \
TG Leonardo (da min 7:15) \
il Giorno \
la Repubblica \
Lastampa \
Huffingtonpost \
Geagency \
Laprovinciapavese \ \
Agenzia 9colonne \

Marco Boffi & Barbara E. A. Piga (interview) \ Wired Next Fest 2021
video of the interview

Barbara E. A. Piga & Marco Boffi \ Milano Digital Week 2021
“Experiencing the City of Today and Tomorrow”

Barbara E. A. Piga (interview) \ RAI 3
Memex Doc – CambiaMenti – pt.6: Città

Barbara E. A. Piga  (interview) \
Simulazione Architettonica e Urbana: quali sono gli obiettivi e cosa si studia al Politecnico di Milano?

Fausto Curti, Andrea Arcidiacono, Barbara E.A. Piga \ Corriere della Sera
Torri e parchi, la sfida della città verticale