Architectural Engineering has been identified as the discipline with the highest potential in the fight against climate change. It promotes the construction of sustainable, resilient, adaptive, and high-performance buildings, in order to meet the needs of increasingly evolving, sophisticated and cutting-edge users. In those countries with a high Human Development Index (HDI), these users push designers to rapidly think of new ways of inhabiting buildings and cities in order to ensure the well-being, safety, and health of its occupants, along with the rational use of resources and the protection of the environment.
The gradual technological innovation and field experimentation, implemented through the years, aimed at constructing buildings and cities in different climatic contexts, with materials availability that differs from country to country, using dissimilar cultural approaches but always underlying the same need: building places for living, capable of measuring and composing the space "between Earth and Heaven" (as Heidegger stated during the 1951 conference "Building Living Thinking"). This innovation led to the disciplinary definition of Architectural Engineering, which is capable, today, of providing "tools, methods, and models, including digital ones, for the knowledge and design of buildings, from the critical, systemic, functional, typological, technical, and constructive point of view."
By comparing training, research, and project experiences, we will discuss the role of the Architectural Engineer, in Italy and abroad, from the design, construction and building management point of view, in the past and/or future. The Architectural Engineering multi/interdisciplinary approach can effectively contribute to the analysis and resolution of problems affecting buildings, cities, and the built environment, in Italy and in the world, proposing innovative technical solutions/materials/components, in order to always guarantee the identity of the places.