Anna Karla De Almeida Santos
Domaines de compétences
BiographieFellow EPFLinnovators co-funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie
Anna Karla Almeida received a 5 years B.Arch degree in 2015 (Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, Brazil), a triple M.Sc. degree in Historical Sciences with honours in 2018 (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, University of Padova and University of Evora) and is currently doing a PhD in Architecture and Sciences of the City at Laboratory of Urbanism (2019-2023) under the direction of Prof Paola Viganò.
In early 2019, she awarded a Smithsonian Institution fellow to work on the behalf of the United States Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS International Exchange Program) at the Office of Historic Preservation of the City of San Antonio, Texas. In the same year, Anna Karla was awarded with a fellow Marie Skłodowska-Curie cofund EPFLinnovators for her current doctoral thesis entitled "Conditions of Habitability in a Company Town, rethinking the industrial cities and its productive habitats".
From 2020, Anna Karla is also a member of the Executive Board of Habitat Research Center at EPFL and from 2022, a representative of the Architecture section at the Diversity Office of ENAC.
MissionIn a context of persistent urban and environmental transformations, characterized by the transition from the modern city to the contemporary city, rethinking Company Towns becomes significant to observe the interaction between inhabitants, the urban space and their living conditions. Therefore, assessing citizens’ demands of habitability is important to promote urban and industrial innovation within a healthier and more sustainable environment. The focus of the doctoral thesis is to study Company Town from a perspective of its contemporary living conditions.
Master Erasmus Mundus TPTI
Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Geografiche e dell'Antichita' - DiSSGeA, University of Padova
IEP Class 2019 (Intern, Historic Preservation)
City of San Antonio TX, Office of Historic Preservation
US/ICOMOS United States International Council of Monuments and Sites, Smithsonian Institution
Studio di Architettura Dell'Osso Milano
MSc. - Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree TPTI: Techniques, Heritage, Territories of Industry
Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (Coord.); Università di Padova; Universidade de Évora
B.Arch - Architecture and Urban Planning
Architecture and Urban Planning
CsF - Science without Borders Excellence Scholarship Program
Architecture and Urban Planning
Sapienza Università di Roma
Dalmine: From Company Town to Hybridized Productive Habitat
The establishment of company towns played a significant role in developing both urban and rural areas in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By combining historical and urban research, this study provides findings about the industry's political influence on the region. Using the company town of Dalmine as a case study, it is observable that the steel pipe industry still shares today, one hundred years after its foundation, spatial, political, and social dynamics. Over the past few decades, Dalmine transitioned from a one-company town to a mixed-productive habitat, shifting from its productive hegemony to sharing space with the university, start-ups, and other productive entities. By embracing this multi-faceted composition, Dalmine exemplifies the concept of hybridization, wherein different forms of production coexist and interact. In this condition, hybridization into new forms of production demonstrates the possibility of the survivability of a company town.2023-06-28. 10th International U&U PhD Seminar: Beyond Metropolization. Exploring new hybrids , Lille, France , 28-30.06.2023.
Living industrial heritage in a persistent company town.
In recent decades, industrial heritage has gained notoriety among the richness of heritage narratives. However, its promotion is primarily done by the production entities and business archives, and less attention is given to the significant contribution of citizens in constructing a territorial identity. To gain a deeper understanding of the continuous process of industrialisation-related memories and the significance of everyday life for working communities, it is crucial to examine the context of company towns. This city model was relevant in Northern Italy, where favourable social, historical, and economic conditions led to the emergence of various towns that serve as excellent examples of the interdependence between industrialisation and local culture, as in the cases of Metanopoli, Ivrea or Crespi D’Adda. Although less documented, the city of Dalmine (province of Bergamo) represents another relevant case of the Italian company town. For instance, while most Italian company towns suffered a decline and the consequent cessation of activities in the second half of the twentieth century, at Dalmine, the company is still active today. There, the company’s business archives emerge as a place of dialogue integrating historical documentation with the active memory of the community through collaborative and intergenerational projects and initiatives that promote the town's history, which is, in part, the history of the industry itself. Dalmine chronicles a microhistory of how the modern western project was engaged to control, protect, manage, and emancipate life and how company towns are a valuable archetype to shed light on these questioned spaces' narratives.Hidden/(un)told heritage narratives and the politics of storytelling, Istituto Svizzero, Rome, 15-16.05.2023.
Dalmine and its Industrial Politics Translated into Type
The research examines the entanglement of urban rationalities and industrial biopolitics in constructing company towns' identities and spatialities, providing different housing typologies for its workers. An epitome of spatial production under industrial power in the 20th century, these cities were usually founded by a single enterprise through pioneering social and economical methods in previously uncolonized terrains. The enterprise operated as employers and landlords, security enforcers, promoters of social harmony, and providers of housing, services, and goods for workers’ consumption to enhance the living conditions and health of production sites and their surroundings. This phenomenon was also prevalent in Northern Italy, where social, historical, and economic conditions favored the emergence of various company town models, as in the cases of Metanopoli, Ivrea or Crespi D’Adda. Although less documented, the city of Dalmine (located in the province of Bergamo, Italy) represents another relevant archetype of the Italian company town. The presentation will showcase three different housing typologies built between 1906 – 1961 in the company town of Dalmine and discuss the extent to which industry politics shaped the city's living conditions. Through the intersection of historical, business archival, and urban research, my work dialogues with the unearthing traces that reflect the industry's power in Dalminese territory. These traces are the political projects managed by the industry and the series of infrastructures affirming the company town as a typological question. As a growing machine working in favor of regulating the use of urban space in the name of profit, this rationale transformed the peasant man into a new modern subject with new behaviors, rhythms, and moral ideals, reproducing discipline inside and outside the factory. For instance, the agenda of company towns corroborated this process, by developing that mentality, using labor power as the vital energy to construct an empire.The Fifth Typology. A Symposium on Type and Architecture, EPFL, Lausanne, 04.04 – 05.04.2023.
When the industry built the city: business archives, memory and community in a contemporary company town
This short essay illustrates the role of the business archive in the transmission and maintenance of contemporary industrial culture, with a focus on the company town of Dalmine. In the context of Dalmine, the business archive managed by the Fondazione Dalmine emerges as a place of dialogue integrating historical documentation with the active memory of the community through collaborative and intergenerational projects and initiatives that promote the history of the town, which is, in part, the history of the industry itself.UNEARTHING TRACES. Dismantling imperialist entanglements of archives, landscapes, and the built environment; Lausanne: EPFL Press English Imprint,
DOI : 10.55430/6638VA01.
Introduction : urban regeneration and industrial heritageUrban Regeneration and Industrial Heritage, EPFL, February 23-24, 2023.
International PhD Seminar Post-extraction territories in transition: Designing the socio-ecological transition in post carbon marginal spaces
The Seminar proposes a European and transatlantic dialogue around the questions of the social and ecological transition (post-carbon) of marginal spaces, and territories of exploitation as the ancient coal territories on the two sides of the Atlantic. The post-extraction marginal spaces are characterized by a condition of permanent land exploitation due both to the past extractive phase and to present processes of strong ecological impact, shortage of resources, and negligible investments. As a result, these areas experience stagnation and lower pressure from an economic growth standpoint. Yet, these territories inherit a high environmental and cultural quality - also given by technical and industrial processes that have marked their development - and a rooted identity that underlies a dormant social and human capital. Given these premises, these territories could be seen as a laboratory in which to investigate a socio-ecological transition. In a panorama of energy precarity, resource contraction, landscape erosion and climate urgency, we advocate for new proposals of socio-environmental reconciliation of these marginal spaces and a new gaze that considers these territories as subjects of their transformation. Keynote Speakers Michel Desvigne - Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme 2011, Agence MDP Arthur Hardy - Architect, Landscape Designer, Charleroi Bouwmeester Hannah Le Roux - Visiting Professor of the Theory of Architecture, ETH Beatrice Mariolle - Chair Post Mining, Scientific International Network Post-Mining, Architecture, Landscape, Design, École d’Architecture de Lille Benoît Moritz - Head of Metrolab Brussels, Belgium, LoUIsE, Université Libre de Bruxelles Thaddeus Pawlowski - Managing Director, Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, Columbia University GSAPP Discussants Chiara Cavalieri - UCL Louvain Martina Barcelloni Corte - ULiège Roberto Sega - Swiss Federal Office for Space Development Scientific Committee Tom Avermaete - Chair of the History and Theory of Urban Design, ETH Elena Cogato Lanza - Director, EDAR, EPFL Paola Viganò - Director, Habitat Research Center, EPFL Executive Board Anna Karla De Almeida Santos - Lab-U, EPFL
The Biopolitics of Habitability in a Persistent Company Town. Rethinking the Industrial Cities and Their Productive Habitats
Company towns are cities founded during the Industrial Revolution by single enterprises operating as employers and landlords, enforcers of security, promoters of social harmony, and providers of services and goods for workers to enhance the living and health conditions of the production sites and the surrounding settlements. In the second half of the twentieth century, existing company towns encompassed a transition process, which contributed to a radical change in the modes of living, in most cases caused by the disappearance of the industry that had ceased its industrial activities in the area. Where today production has not ceased, the company's power in the territory is still discernible. My work hypothesises that these companies adopt postmodern spatial and social control dynamics to shape the conditions of habitability. I use the city of Dalmine, funded in 1906 in Northern Italy, to corroborate this hypothesis. Dalmine represents a curious archetype of an Italian company town, where the company is today still actively contributing to the construction of the town's identity through educational and social programs freely offered to the citizens. The analysis of the 100 years of welfare programs recorded in the private business archives of Fondazione Dalmine allows grasping how the dynamics of spatial, social and body control have changed over time, following changes in the company's biopolitical strategies.DocTalks, Online, September 27, 2022.
The biopolitics of a company town: shaping the urban, shaping identities in Dalmine, Italy
Since the Industrial Revolution, Industrialists promoted and funded the development of housing projects, infrastructures, and social facilities around the production sites, some of them known as company towns. The scope was twofold: the entrepreneur or the company built and managed the community following business and production needs and promoted social harmony and social cohesion, providing services and goods for citizens’ consumption to enhance their living conditions urban health, where state services were not yet entrenched. the company towns could be retained as a valuable case study to examine how the urban rationalities and living conditions were shaped by industry politics. For this scope, this paper attempts to discuss the extent of the industry biopower in the context of cities entirely constructed by one company, with the case study of the city of Dalmine, a seamless pipe mill founded in 1906 in Italy. To reach this goal, the company town of Dalmine is investigated through archival research with a subsequent thematic content analysis of the house organ Conversazioni, from the company archives collected during two research periods in Fondazione Dalmine. The archival and thematic content analysis yields two main findings: (a) the company town was planned as a self-sufficient container environment in which urban planning and welfare policies appear as an instrument to exercise its biopower over the citizens; (b) the industry dictated the rules of working-class housing construction and entered workers' domestic lives with the incursion of industrial governance into the most intimate spheres of citizens was key to moulding citizens' values.2022-09-21. 17th International Docomomo Conference. Modern Design: Social Commitment & Quality of Life , Valencia, Spain , September 6-9, 2022. p. 995-1004.
Conditions of habitability in a Persistent Company Town. Rethinking the industrial cities and their productive habitats
A company town can be defined as a settlement completely owned by an entrepreneur or a company, which builds and manages the community following business and production needs, coordinating all the facilities, including the houses, stores, the school, and even the chapel. To understand the company town palimpsest and truly consider these cities and their different historical strata, it is necessary to observe the temporalities these cities encompassed. In Dalmine, the reading of the company town allow us to have a glance in a past utopia, materialised in architecture and immortalised in their business archives.Workshop between EPFL and PoliTO, Turin, Italy, July 5, 2022.
One hundred years of Company Town: the case of Dalmine, Italy.
The appearance of new forms of inhabiting the space has emerged to meet citizens' demands and new business paradigms. The contemporary city embraces a postmodern concept. The outcome is a new biopolitical project that affects citizens' living conditions through new models of urban planning frameworks on an ever-increasing and integrated scale. To investigate this modern model and its transition, I use as a case study the company town of Dalmine, founded in 1906 by the Mannesmann Tubes company. In the first half of the Twentieth century, Dalmine reflected many characteristics of a company town: (a) it was settled on an agricultural and unexploited territory; (b) the production site was surrounded by welfare facilities for the employees, including housing and public and leisure utilities; and (c) this housing policy imposed residential segregation, an instrument the company used to exercise its biopower over the citizens-workers. Looking up the living remains of the company town, it is evident that “Dalmine went through all the moments of rupture in which spatial and organisational models are redefined and created” 5 in a context which while most Italian company towns have suffered decline and the consequent cessation of activities in the seventies and eighties, the company still plays a leading regional and global role in the steel industry. Nowadays, this industry is in the same place of foundation, producing the same product line. It is an essential driver of the economic growth and development of the city, the surrounding territories, and the whole country. Dalmine can be read today as a collage of different coexistences within industry's omnipresence in the territory. What transitions did Dalmine encompass thought time? What remains of this modern town in the middle of the highly fragmented, heterogeneous, and discontinuous Po Valley? Is it still sustainable to have large plants in the urgency to tackle the socio-ecological transition we are passing on? The presentation will seek to go through the town's history from its establishment to the present day to discuss the model of modernity and its post-modern condition.Post-Modern? 6th Rencontres de l’EDAR - Interdisciplinary PhD seminar, Lausanne, Switzerland, June 3, 2022.
The company town palimpsest: space, life and politics in Dalmine, Italy
This article proposes a reflection on the company towns’ actual conditions, presenting as a case study an up-to-date and articulated reconstruction of the conditions of habitability in Dalmine, Italy. The research strives on the phenomenon of company towns not as a mere static historical object but as an object that has undergone many transformations during the last three centuries in step with the social, environmental, and economic transition of the Anthropocene. For this purpose, the research uses a mixed-method approach to trace the urban condition of the case study town using business archives from the Fondazione Dalmine, among others. Findings demonstrate that the industry’s role in the city has changed from a producer and supplier of social services and welfare policies to a supporter/contributor of high-level education and innovation, research facilities, and development programs. Dalmine is an interesting case study of a contemporary company town and can stimulate the discussion around the current role of historical industries in the development of the territory.Stati Generali del Patrimonio Industriale 2022; Venezia: Marsilio,
Rethinking urban health in productive habitats: a One Health approach perspective
Urban planning in the twentieth century has expressed as one of its main objectives its concern for the health of cities. With the advent of the hygiene movement and the decentralization of industry, new urban models and rationalities came into practice, especially concerning industrial areas. Among these, we can identify the company towns that industrialists funded using their financial resources to attract inhabitants-workers by offering them better and safer living conditions (Porteous, 1970).1 These towns offered the individual the privilege of hygiene (Foucault, 1976; Cowie, 2011) and sought the well-being of the human being, while attention to environmental issues and the care of other living species assumed a secondary role.2,3 This article aims to reflect on productive habitats and their habitability, to provide a historical reading of the urban processes and industrial decisions that marked these territories, according to a One Health perspective.3 To this scope, the paper examines the company town of Dalmine, founded by a company operating in the steel sector in the province of Bergamo (Italy). Through the analysis of company archives and the collection of testimonies from company managers and directors, the study discusses the role of the industry in promoting urban health, from its implementation in 1906 to the present day. Whereas previously, between the 1920s and 1960s, the company engaged in building public health works, e.g., heliotherapy and cryotherapy colonies, food cooperatives, milk factories, outpatient clinics, and other facilities to improve human health, today the company has integrated environmental challenges into its decision-making strategies. Emphasis is placed on the industrial policy of reducing CO2 emissions and the pioneering choice to become the first Italian steel company to use green hydrogen to decarbonize the steel sector. The example of Dalmine reflects the need to conceive the health of productive habitats through an integrated ecosystem approach to guarantee the livability of space, the health of species, and sustainable development.Designing cities in a changing world, Lausanne, Switzerland, 29 Nov-1 Dec, 2021.
Urban living, mobility & health – the future of our cities
The Covid-19 pandemic brought to light the social inequalities and exposed frailties in the access to certain fundamental human rights, such as access to health and mobility. The type of housing, sanitation level, mobility, and urban structures play an essential role in people’s individual and collective health. The right to the city, the right to an efficient mobility structure, planned urbanization, and urban equipment improve a population’s quality of life and health. How can architects and urban planners tackle the global challenges of developing necessary infrastructure and services, especially in more impoverished regions of the world? Which practices can be implemented to improve citizens’ lives? How can technology, innovation, and local communities contribute?Urban living, mobility & health – the future of our cities, Online, March 4, 2021.
Vivre plus localement après le coronavirus ? - Scénarios d'avenir pour les économies locales
Le citizen think tank intitulé “Vivre plus localement après le coronavirus ? - Scénarios d'avenir pour les économies locales » s’inscrit dans le cadre de la recherche Corona Citizen Science. Les citoyens et les scientifiques de l’EPFL, de l’UNIL et de l’idiap ont travaillé ensemble dans le but de repenser et de recadrer notre vie individuelle et collective et les conditions de logement et de bien-être durant le (semi-)confinement causé par la pandémie COVID-19. Bien que ces discussions autour de l'économie locale ne soient pas nouvelles, elles ont été relancées récemment par la crise du coronavirus. Cette situation inédite, d'une part, a mis en évidence notre éventuelle dépendance à l'égard des biens et services fournis par les acteurs de proximité et, d'autre part, a incité les autorités locales à mettre en place des moyens pour soutenir l'économie locale paralysée pendant la pandémie. Dans ce contexte, la question posée qui a motivé le think tank "Vivre plus localement après le coronavirus ? - Scénarios d'avenir pour les économies locales" a été la suivante : Qu'est-ce qui détermine le rayon de la vie économique quotidienne, et comment peut-il évoluer dans l'avenir post-pandémie ? Au vu de l'étendue des possibilités offertes par les quatre scénarios discutés avec les citoyens, les résultats de la recherche ont démontré que la situation de l'économie locale en Suisse en 2030 reste une question ouverte. Toutefois, la contribution du think tank a été de donner une forme explicite à ces possibilités et d'entamer une conversation bien nécessaire sur les mesures à prendre pour arriver au scénario le plus souhaitable au cours des dix prochaines années.
Urban Living and Covid-19: Impacts on Architecture and the future of cities
As the world is being hit by the Covid-19 epidemic and people are asked to stay home, the way we use the city grid, urban spaces and constructed areas is changing. New flows and rhythms are adopted, new ways of experiencing spaces are born. Are cities’ structures ready to adapt to this new way of living?Urban Living and Covid-19: Impacts on Architecture and the future of cities, (online) SwissNex Brazil, June 18, 2020.
Se un censimento dei tipi insediativi che hanno accompagnato il pro- cesso di industrializzazione è difficilmente realizzabile, resta indispensabile ampliare lo sguardo oltre la casistica più nota. Cosi, in questo volume, alle 47 schede principali si affianca un repertorio di 120 ulteriori casi di studio, selezionati per documentare consistenze, tipologie e localizzazioni di rilevanti esempi di città e paesaggi industriali nel mondo. Per garantire la comparazione, il repertorio utilizza la medesima partizione cronologica adottata per le schede: dalle origini preindustriali alla diffusione del fenomeno tra Otto e Novecento, dalla modernizzazione nel periodo tra le due guerre alla ripresa della costruzione di nuovi insediamenti nel quadro del più recente welfare d'impresa. I casi repertoriati sono accompagnati da un'immagine emblematica e da brevi note redatte dagli autori che si sono avvalsi del contributo di corrispondenti e specialisti delle molteplici manifestazioni del patrimonio industriale nelle diverse aree geografiche del pianeta.Architetture del lavoro. Città e paesaggi del patrimonio industriale; Forma Edizioni,
Corona Citizen Science Research Team. Regards sur le futur / Perspectives.
L’enquête a donné l’occasion aux répondant.e.s de se projeter dans l’avenir et de partager leurs attentes et inquiétudes sur les effets à plus long terme de la crise du Covid19. Ce rapport synthétise ces résultats.
Modernidades Industriais no Maranhão
In the construction of the memory of the modern city, the industrial vestiges are an important part in the understanding of the modernities in Brazilian cities. The ICOMOS advisory body evaluation, when evaluating the candidature of São Luís do Maranhão as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHL, 1997), argues that the capital was "a relevant textile producer until the middle of the twenty century, giving the city an important role in national culture, represented by the work of its poets, writers and politicians and in material terms by its urban fabric of open spaces and housing". This article aims to understand the industrial modernities of Maranhão, addressing to how the economic cycles, urban development and the implementation of factories, from the turn of the nineteenth century to the twentieth, was influenced the urban transformations of São Luís, Brazil. Between the city center and the axes of urban expansion, from the Caminho Grande to the Anil River, the article highlight the emersion of bourgeois bungalows and working-class districts such as Filipinho district. In conclusion, the study presents a reflection of the urban development of industrial areas should be recognized as a Brazilian industrial heritage.
Labor e Engenho
DOI : 10.20396/labore.v13i0.8656090