DAStU is currently one of the main Italian research structures operating in the fields of architectural, urban, and interior design, regional planning and governance, urban and regional policies, conservation and intervention on the built and natural heritage, historical and critical interpretation of architecture, the town and the region.

In recent years, the Department has established relationships and has held a dialogue with a variety of parties, such as different public institutions and authorities (European Union, central government, regional and local authorities, other public sector entities), actors of the third sector and the private social sector (associations and representative bodies, foundations, voluntary and civil commitment organisations), companies and private organizations that operate in sectors connected to the transformation of cities and territory, other research and educational entities and subjects, in Italy and abroad.

DAStU is articulated internally into four sections that aggregate different scientific fields and disciplines: architectural design, urban design and planning, history, representation and restoration and human and social sciences. The plurality of competencies on offer and the multi-discipline nature of the department are expressed in turn by multiple research themes, mainly focused on the transformation, care and governance of settlements and historical and contemporary landscapes and on housing issues, inspired by principles of environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The operational research structures are represented by Research structures, Technical laboratories, and Interdepartmental Laboratories, working group aggregating professors, researchers, internal and external staff around different thematic fields.