Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub

Fondazione Cariplo, Proges, Lacittàintorno

Designing services and governance systems

Action area
Well-being and care practices, Futures & Foresight

Co-design, Strategic Design, Community Building, Business Design, Governance Design, Identity Design


The project

Magnete is a community hub located in the Adriano neighborhood in Milan. Through a unique model of spaces and governance, Magnete stands at the center of a new relationship between care and culture, becoming a space deputed to interpret a renewal in care services and cultural production.
The facility integrates an innovative model of RSA with spaces dedicated to culture, relationship, and sociability open to the territory and citizenship, co-governed by 28 selected subjects operating on different levels.

Magnete is a place of inclusion and relational exchange capable of positively impacting the psycho-physical well-being of its inhabitants. Magnet is a container of art, live performance, training, robotics, job orientation, good food, social and labor inclusion, open to the territory and integrated into the city.

The challenge

How can we facilitate the construction of a governance model and strategic framework capable of transforming Magnete into a place where care and culture act as levers for change?

Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The Challenge
Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The Challenge
Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The Challenge

The strategy

To build the community hub model and strategy, we drew on two essential aspects of the concept of “culture as care”. The first focuses on a system’s ability to adapt to external stressors. The second on the ability to seize and respond effectively to opportunities through a fluid model of leadership. The two result in a governance model capable of changing quickly, enhancing its internal resources and driving toward a shared vision of social impact.

Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The strategy
Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The strategy

The process

We started with the collection of needs and context analysis, steps that allowed us to initiate the co-design process that led to the design of a concept, future scenario, and narrative capable of conveying Magnete’s shared vision. The following steps included the launch of two call-to-actions: the first to gather diverse projects and map out potential stakeholders; the second to select partners and projects that would become part of Magnet.
This path led to the design of the hub’s governance, which was developed along several axes: business model and sustainability; places and set-ups; identity and strategic positioning; and tools, roles, and responsibilities.

Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The process
Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The process

The impact

Magnete is the protagonist of a complex process of urban regeneration, offering orientation, training, job inclusion, and edutainment activities for young people and fragile individuals, families in the neighborhood, and the entire population. Magnete becomes par excellence, a place where making culture means producing social welfare with a view to active participation and collaboration.

Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The impact
Culture as care: Magnete Community Hub - The impact

Magnete is among the projects selected for the Oslo Triennial 2022 Neighborhood Index, a catalog of projects, practices, and perspectives for more sustainable neighborhoods.

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    See how
    it went

    Watch the video we shot at the opening event of the new community point in the Adrian neighborhood to learn more about the project.