The paper presents the results of a didactic experience and of a research developed at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Pavia in the field of the cooperation, focused on the sustainable design approach in the global south. All the different experiences are based upon a multidisciplinary and holistic design concept as a possible strategy to control both the technical feasibility and the environmental and social sustainability of the intervention. The paper is focused on two different experiences both regarding the health planning sustainable design in Kenya, Africa. The first one is the results of an International Winter School BSuR-Building Sustainable (Re)Construction. Innovative design approach for developing countries, developed on February 2012. The school had been attended by engineers, architects and PhD students of different universities, such as Pavia, Milan, Turin. The project activities consist in frontal and multidisciplinary lectures and in workshop focused on different design topics held by professors and designers with direct experience in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations. Students had to work on real needs, regarding the formulation of workable solutions for the Maternity Unit at the Malindi General Hospital, dealing with realistic data of context, materials and costs. The second case study concerns the design of a medical dispensary in Chakama, near Tzavo Park. The need to design a first medical support health was expressed by the local diocese and the Hospital San Matteo of Pavia and it’s developing under the technical support of the Laboratory STEP, University of Pavia. The main idea is to design and implement a modular, sustainable and expandable unit that could be used as a prototype to be implemented in different territorial contexts, as a possible answer to the needs of the community, settled in an area without care facilities and characterized by an extremely critical of the socio-general health.
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