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ecosistema urbano lecturing at GSD Harvard

Category : ecosistema urbano + events + ⚐ EN

dreamhamar - Ecosistema Urbano

Tomorrow October 16 José Luis Vallejo and Belinda Tato –Harvard GSD Design Critics in Urban Planning and Design– will be speaking on the design of environments, spaces and dynamics in order to improve the self-organization of citizens, social interaction within communities and their relationship with the environment.

Looking forward to meeting you there!

Tuesday, October 16, from 12:00 pm to 02:00 pm
ecosistema urbano lecture – Harvard GSD website

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ecosistema urbano en GSD Harvard | ¡Lanzando #networkedurbanism!

Category : arquitectura + diseño + ecosistema urbano + educación + urban social design + urbanismo + ⚐ EN + ⚐ ES

¡Ya hemos comenzado el curso en Harvard! @jlvmateo y @belindatato somos este cuatrimestre de otoño profesores invitados en el máster del GSD de Harvard. Nuestro studio se llama “Networked Urbanism“.

El pasado día 30 de agosto fue la presentación del curso, el llamado “lottery day” donde todos los estudiantes de la escuela asisten a las presentaciones de los profesores invitados cada cuatrimestre y después eligen su grupo favorito. Esta vez, compitiendo por el favor de los estudiantes, podíamos encontrarnos con estrellas del firmamento arquitectónico de las últimas décadas (Nathalie de Vries de MVRDV, Christian Kerez, Ben van Berkel, …).

Esta es una foto del momento de la presentación del curso #networkedurbanism que nos hizo Blanca Abramek (@tendrebarbare) desde el auditorio:

Jose y Belinda en el "lottery day" -  GSD Harvard

Finalmente nos eligieron un grupo de estudiantes con perfiles muy distintos e interesantes, una mezcla de arquitectos, landscape architects y planners.

Group photo #networkedurbanism

Si queréis estar al tanto de la producción de los estudiantes podéis seguir el curso en el blog del studio www.networkedurbanism.com donde estamos compartiendo enlaces y referencias. En Twitter podéis seguir #networkedurbanism donde estamos compartiendo información permanentemente.

Os dejamos con el brief del curso y la presentación. Enjoy it!

Course Description

The boundary between public and private is shifting. The one between personal and professional is becoming increasingly blurred. This rapid evolution has led us to conceive and experience physical space differently than in the past. Real-time connectivity, ubiquity, unlimited access to large flows of information and knowledge, have also altered the way we relate to and work with each other. However, despite those rapid social and technological changes, city planning processes worldwide remain dull, bureaucratic and insensitive to how humans experience the city.

This studio will bring an alternative to the traditional way of designing cities from a bird’s eye view, and a single designer’s perspective. It will not only examine the physical dimension of the city, but also its social processes and fluxes.

Students will be encouraged to use this data to develop individual and collective initiatives that generate spontaneous transformations and set up conditions for change instead of delivering a completely finished product.

In a connected world, an urban design should be the result of an open and multilayered network of creative designers, technical experts, citizens and stakeholders. The studio will challenge the students to develop designs that reconcile the existing physical conditions—that respond to lifestyles from the past—with the emerging needs of the citizens through network design thinking.

We will also explore the new role of a designer as an activator, mediator and curator of social processes in a networked reality in which citizens have shifted from being passive receivers or consumers to active producers or prosumers.

Main topics will include: communication and information technology, open data, mobility, open source, transparency/mapping, activism, design thinking and environment awareness.

La presentación original consta de una serie de GIFs animados que se reproducen en bucle mientras se explica cada apartado. Aquí, por facilidad de comprensión, hemos puesto cada animación por separado, acompañada del texto correspondiente de la presentación (en inglés).

00 #networkedurbanism
We are presenting our option studio called Networked Urbanism:

01 What?
Urbanism is the mirror where other aspects of society and layers of information reflect. Architects, Sociologists, economists, geographers, seem to be cloistered in their specificconceptual worlds and focus on developing only certain aspects of the problem linked to their interests and profession:

We believe that in today’s connected world, an urban design should be the result of an openand multilayered network of creative designers, technical experts, citizens andstakeholders, combining design with data, needs, inputs. As David Harvey states in his article The Right to the City:

“The right to the city is not merely a right of access to what already exists, but a right tochange it after our heart’s desire”

Within this new context, it is necessary to explore the new role of the designer as an activator,mediator and curator of social processes in a networked reality in which citizens haveshifted from being passive receivers or consumers to active producers or prosumers:

In addition, Internet is the “space” where the most successful models of collective creationand self-organization are taking place. Internet is the most democratic space, the platformwhere every citizen can express him/herself freely and horizontally, the space where ideasflow in every direction.This studio will bring an alternative to the traditional way of designing cities from a bird’s eyeview, and a single designer’s perspective. It will, not only examine the physical dimension of the city, but also its social processes.Students will be challenged to develop designs that reconcile the existing physical conditions-that respond to lifestyles from the past- with the emerging needs of the citizens throughnetwork design thinking.

02 How?
In contrast with a more traditional way of teaching in which information goes unidirectionally from ‘knowledge-owners’ to ‘knowledge receivers’. We do apply the concepts of active learning, which focuses the responsibility of learning, on learners; learning by doing, an active constructive learning process, and networked learning, a process of developing and maintaining connections with people, information and communicating in such a way so as to support one another’s learning. The central term in this definition is connections. Connections among students as well as connections between students and information:

We will become a networked group using a studio Twitter network for sharing knowledge,experiences, references and comments throughout the whole process.

This course is for active, curious, versatile, open minded and creative people regardless their previous background, experience or computer skills.

We understand our role as designers is challenging since one has to overcome all kind of obstacles. So we want to make of this studio a training experience.

You could either be a MacGyver type of personality, being able to implement amazing devices from a piece of cardboard, a chip and chewing gum; or a computer geeky updated version of NEO in the movie Matrix, working on his own individually in a room but actively connected to the network community. You are all welcome.

From all the possible /fascinating cities worldwide, we decided to explore the city that surrounds us: Boston.

04 Where?
Students will be encouraged to explore and discover its community, economy, social networks, environmental challenges, digital layer, physical infrastructure, public space, and more. Creating connections and links between existing initiatives and their own projects.

Instead of experiencing just the physical sphere of the city, we will arrange an anthropological tour to meet interesting professionals who are dealing with urban issues in different ways and by different means. This will give us a different perception of Boston, revealing layers which are currently invisible to us.

05 When?
Instead of air-commuting, parachuting and landing every two weeks, we decided to camp this time.
We will be based in Boston to share the experience with you and make the most out of it, so we will be available every week with studio meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There will be both collective and individual sessions.

In addition the group will be real-time connected with Twitter.

06 So what?
Outcomes from our different teaching experiences are diverse: from socially engaged projects working with the community to designing a responsive interactive façade and building a prototype of it. From working with Arduino electronics, to instantly transforming a deprived corner of the city by hand work getting new reactions from people.

From creating a digital interface to enhance community networking to building a mobile kitchen as a catalyst for the activation of a central city square.Spain, Norway, Denmark, France, Italy, Bahrein, US … different environments and different cultures but always a lot of shared energy and enthusiasm. We are very happy to say that some of these projects developed within the studios grew beyond the academic boundaries becoming professional investigations and businesses:

ecosistema urbano is a Madrid based group of architects and urban designers operating within the fields of urbanism, architecture, engineering and sociology. We define our approach as urban social design by which we understand the design of environments, spaces and dynamics in order to improve self-organization of citizens, social interaction within communities and their relationship with the environment. We have used this philosophy to design and implement projects in Norway, Denmark, Spain, Italy, France and China.We have a background in architecture and urban design and we build buildings, we organize demonstrations, we design urban strategies, working in both the physical and digital spheres. We are currently exploring new ways of engaging citizens into urban design matters.

DREAM YOUR CITY is our latest project, developed for the city of Hamar in Norway. It was officially presented short before at the opening of the Biennale of Architecture in Venice:

We hope you enjoy it and get some inspiration for the Fall! We are thrilled to be back here at the GSD and we are looking forward to start!

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Dream Your City | Ecosistema Urbano at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012

Category : design + dreamhamar + ecosistema urbano + events + network design + social toolbox + urban social design + ⚐ EN

Dream Your City - Ecosistema Urbano at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012

Dream Your City - Ecosistema Urbano at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012

Dream Your City - Ecosistema Urbano at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012

From past August 27th to November 25th, the Venice Biennale of Architecture, titled “Common Ground”, is open to visitors; and so is SpainLab, the Spanish pavilion, in which we were invited to take part for this edition.

The curators Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa proposed us to show the way we work, according to the “lab” approach of the pavilion. We decided to do this with a single project, Dreamhamar, which incorporates many of the concepts, objectives and means that Ecosistema Urbano has been working on and is currently experimenting with: urban development, advocacy, citizen participation, workshops, digital tools, design, open culture, network learning, urban actions, network design…

We understand the role of the architect and urban planner is undergoing a huge transformation according to the new needs of contemporary society. This forces us to redevelop a whole “set of tools” to be able to meet these new needs and challenges. Under the title of DREAM YOUR CITY we explain these new tools or methods we are dealing with and the way we think network design can be applied to socially engaged designs for the creation of city spaces. This 90 seconds movie illustrates how we understand network design and how we specifically implemented it in Hamar or how it could be applied somewhere else.


Video by ecosistema urbano + forma.co

Considering the ephemeral nature of the exhibition, we chose to make it a simple, lightweight installation, consistent with the way we are used to work in this kind of projects: trying to get the most out of minimal resources and low-cost means. Almost all materials needed for the installation were taken to Venice by ourselves, as checked-in luggage.

The paint that covers the floor and the walls, made by urban artists Boamistura, transforms the perception and character of the space with a single intervention, bringing to the hall the look and feel of the previous PaintHamar urban action in Stortorget, the main square of Hamar. The natural light, the seats integrated on the floor and the trampoline all recall that outdoor public space and invite visitors to occupy it with their minds and bodies.

Seven small screens show videos telling different aspects of the network design process we deployed in Hamar, giving the visitor some brief glimpses of the variety and complexity of the project without trying to explain it thoroughly –which will be done soon in a more suitable format.

A series of real-scale pictures of various day-to-day objects that were used during Dreamhamar, some of them being physically on display, show the variety of work/life situations that the team had to cope with while working in this project both remotely from Madrid and locally in Norway. From the more disciplinary tools to objects related to social life or cultural events, they evoke the changing role of the urban professional.

Here are some quick photos we shot during the process, taken from the Flickr gallery.

Created with flickr slideshow.
We invite you to visit the installation, have some fun jumping on the trampoline and imagining you are in Stortorget, and share your thoughts –and your photos!– with us on Twitter, Facebook or just down here in the comments.

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ecosistema urbano ganador del concurso para el centro experimental Reggio Children

Category : arquitectura + concursos + ecosistema urbano + noticias + sostenibilidad + ⚐ ES

Centro educativo experimental Reggio Children

El pasado mes de junio compartíamos en nuestro blog que habíamos sido invitados a participar en el concurso para el diseño de un centro experimental de educación infantil en Reggio Emilia (Italia).

A lo largo de estos meses hemos trabajado desarrollando la propuesta, una escuela-laboratorio donde experimentar nuevas aproximaciones a la educación infantil, intentando ofrecer una respuesta que potenciara el espíritu de la Fundación Reggio Children, su método de trabajo y su filosofía, abordando a su vez temas de eficiencia energética, sostenibilidad, participación, etc. Ha sido apasionante profundizar en el “Reggio approach” y su método de aprendizaje, y experimentar con el papel que juega el entorno espacial y urbano en el contexto educativo.

Es un honor para nosotros saber que hemos resultado ganadores del concurso, compitiendo con extraordinarios equipos de toda Europa. El desarrollo de la propuesta y la materialización de las soluciones se plantean como un reto que estamos deseando afrontar.

¡Enhorabuena, Ecosistema!

">Centro educativo experimental Reggio Children - clic para ampliarCentro educativo experimental Reggio Children - clic para ampliar

Os dejamos con un extracto (en inglés) de las consideraciones del jurado del concurso.

“The proposed solution is the best suited to represent the new school concept, making the new building a new collective experiment. The building itself becomes an opportunity for comparison, on issues of sustainability and eco-backwards compatibility, making the children themselves active participants. The construction techniques proposed include a development which can be implemented over time, according to needs for teaching-learning related to the school’s teaching plan, which makes the construction of the building itself a community project, seen as a process rather than a point of arrival”.

Escuela en Reggio Emilia - vista general

Centro educativo experimental en Reggio Emilia - vistas generales

Escuela en Reggio Emilia - funcionamiento climático - clic para ampliar

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Ecosistema Urbano en Harvard GSD: Urban Social Design II

Category : ecosistema urbano + eu:live + urban social design + ⚐ ES

El próximo otoño, Jose Luis Vallejo y yo, Belinda Tato, de ecosistema urbano nos unimos una vez más al equipo de GSD Harvard comoVisiting Professors dentro del departamento de Urban Design, que dirige Rahul Mehrotra.

El título del option studio es Urban Social Design II, una continuación del taller que realizamos en 2010, donde exploramos la construcción de un nuevo espacio público aumentado fruto de una nueva relación entre lo físico, el espacio digital y el ámbito social. Los estudiantes trabajarán en el desarrollo de nuevas herramientas que posibiliten una mayor y mejor participación democrática en la vida urbana como una respuesta más eficiente a los nuevos problemas urbanos contemporáneos. Y como caso de estudio… la ciudad de Boston.

A continuación os mostramos uno de los proyectos más interesantes realizados en el Taller que allí realizamos en 2010.

Actual Air en funcionamiento

Mike Styczynski -estudiante del GSD Harvard- crea con Actual Air un proyecto híbrido entre instrumento de medición, base de datos y red social. Detectando altos niveles de asma en un barrio de Boston, se plantea profundizar en este fenómeno, sus causas y consecuencias. Para visualizar, registrar y denunciar los alarmantes niveles de contaminación, elige un elemento de uso cotidiano en la ciudad, la bicicleta. Actual Air es un dispositivo plug in que se acopla fácilmente a cualquier rueda de bicicleta, monitorizando la calidad del aire a través de distintos sensores. Un piloto de iluminación LED varía de color en función del grado de contaminación y dicha información recogida en tiempo real, es volcada a una base de datos en la web, mapeando los niveles de contaminación urbana, y visibilizando un problema hasta entonces ignorado. La información, así accesible, es un instrumento al servicio de la comunidad para potenciar la controversia.

Por acción o por omisión, cualquier iniciativa ciudadana tiene significado político. El geógrafo y teórico social David Harvey habla de la necesidad de acostumbrarnos al conflicto continuo que promueva el consenso para generar entornos urbanos saludables. Por ello, debemos percibir como positivas las iniciativas de carácter reivindicativo que activando a los ciudadanos generan ese clima de debate.

Prototipo de Actual Air

Mike ha continuado con el desarrollo de su proyecto más allá de GSD, lo cual responde a la actitud proactiva que intentamos potenciar en los estudiantes, con el desarrollo de nuevas herramientas que les capaciten y conecten con nuevas posibilidades de desarrollo profesional.

Estamos entusiasmados con esta nueva etapa en Harvard. Y si estás por Boston el próximo otoño, ¡te esperamos en el GSD!

Página oficial de Harvard GSD
Si quieres saber más sobre el proyecto: ActualAir.org o en Facebook
Fotos cortesía de Mike Styczynski

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Ecosistema Urbano prequalifies for a planning competition in Kiruna, Sweden

Category : competitions + ecosistema urbano + news + urbanism + ⚐ EN

Ecosistema Urbano has, together with the Norwegian architecture office 70°N arkitektur, the Danish landscape studio Kristine Jensen, the Swedish lighting firm Ljusarkitektur and Atkins engineers, been prequalified for the planning competition in Kiruna, Sweden.

Kiruna kommune has shortlisted 10 international teams —out of 56 that were applying— for the next phase of the competition.

Kiruna Center from the southwest, with the LKAB facilities in the foreground

It’s an unusual, but very interesting challenge the Municipality of Kiruna is facing after more than a century of mining by the LKAB company. The ground is becoming unstable as some of the main tunnels are localised right underneath the city, so the city centre and all other areas affected will have to be relocated. In a time frame of approximately 20 to 25 years, some 400,000 sq. m. of housing and non-housing development will need to be replaced within the forecasting line of LKAB’s next main level, 1,365 metres below ground.

Map of Kiruna

The aim for the competition is to create a sustainable, distinctive and pleasant urban environment, a city centre linking together surrounding housing and industrial areas with the whole city and constituting the natural hub of the new Kiruna. This is an opportunity for creating something completely new, emanating from Kiruna’s unique history, to accommodate future needs and the desire for good living in an Arctic climate.

Kiruna, view of the city centre

We are very excited to start working with the other firms in our team in this competition, and we look forward to develop the future Kiruna during autumn 2012.

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Ecosistema Urbano invitado a diseñar un centro experimental de educación infantil en Reggio Emilia

Category : arquitectura + concursos + work in progress + ⚐ ES

Hace unas semanas nos contactaron de la Fundación Reggio Children invitándonos a participar en un concurso restringido para diseñar un nuevo centro experimental de educación infantil junto con otras 6 oficinas internacionales: Raumlabor (Alemania), Carlo Ratti (Italia), 70ºN (Noruega), Francesco Librizzi (italia), ZPZ (italia) y Giancarlo Mazzanti (Colombia).

Reggio school

La semana pasada tuvimos la oportunidad de encontrarnos todos los participantes en Reggio Emilia con las personas responsables de la Fundación para recoger información y experimentar directamente el mundo pedagógico de Reggio Children. Un sistema educativo público, financiado por la ciudad de Reggio Emilia, que comenzó en los años 70 y que actualmente está formado por una extensa red de centros municipales de educación infantil repartidos por la ciudad. El pedagogo italiano Loris Malaguzzi es el impulsor de esta nueva forma más libre y creativa de potenciar las capacidades infantiles, fomentando la  escucha como actitud contrapuesta a la atávica incapacidad del hombre de poner atención y consideración a las palabras, y a las acciones de los niños.

Reggio school

Otros hallazgos de este sistema pedagógico en palabras de Sergio Spaggiari (director de las escuelas municipales infantiles de Reggio Emilia):

El redescubrimiento de la creatividad no como una facultad mental distinta, sino como una forma de ser y de pensar de todas las personas. La participación de las familias y la gestión social, que, abiertamente, han destruido la idea de separación de la escuela, de la familia y de la sociedad. La pedagogía de las relaciones, que ha exaltado la colectividad y la cooperación entre los niños y adultos, superando la idea de la escuela como lugar de aislamientos individualistas, tanto para quien enseña como para quien aprende…”

Reggio school

Después de recorrer algunos de los centros más representativos de esta red pública de escuelas infantiles, muchos de los visitantes quedamos impresionados con algunas de las escenas que pudimos experimentar en directo, viendo a los niños en un ambiente absolutamente creativo interactuando a la vez con herramientas analógicas y digitales incorporadas como un elemento cotidiano en el paisaje del aula. Dibujos, maquetas, proyecciones, webcams, photoshop… todo un entorno que promueve un aprendizaje experiencial. Niños y niñas de entre 3 y 11 años compartiendo conocimiento en un entorno sin discontinuidades espaciales ni compartimentaciones convencionales, llegando incluso a participar de la preparación de los alimentos que ellos mismos consumen y convirtiendo las cocinas de los distintos centros en aulas que forman parte de la experiencia educativa de Reggio Children. La visita terminó con un almuerzo en el comedor de uno de los centros, compartiendo mesa y alimentos con los niños de Reggio Emilia.

Reggio school

Más tarde, leyendo la documentación del concurso y la historia del “reggio approach”, comprendimos algunas otras cosas importantes. Vivimos rodeados de palabras que han perdido parte de sus significados gracias a una carrera absurda de marketing urbano (sostenible, smart, green, eficiente…), donde siempre hay mucha gente hablando pero muy poca practicando. A esto se suma la reciente oleada de recortes en sectores públicos fundamentales (educación, sanidad…)  que afectan seriamente a la vida en nuestras ciudades. En Reggio Emilia parece que tienen alguna idea clara al respecto y la ponen en práctica: ¡¡un tercio del presupuesto municipal se destina a educación!!

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Ecosistema Urbano in the winning team for Albertslund Syd

Category : colaboraciones + competitions + ecosistema urbano + ⚐ EN

Last year, 2011, when we moved to Hamar and started working for the new Stortorget, we had the opportunity to meet Vandkunsten, the danish office responsible for the design of the new Culture house in Hamar. We then started to know more about their work and different and interesting projects.Albertslund Syd recreationFrom this encounter, we cooperated together for the competition of Albertslund Syd, an intervention for the renovation of 1.000 courtyard houses in Copenhagen. The team also included other companies and professionals as Wissenberg, Transolar, Lise Gamst, Imagine Envelope, etc. The task was to develop the best suggestion for the renovation of the houses and to provide ideas for the urban architectural vision for improving Albertslund Syd.

Albertslund Syd diagrams

Last week we found out we have won the competition. We are very excited about this, and we are looking forward to start this new cooperation!

Albertslund Syd diagrams 2

The full report with jury evaluations is available at  www.masterplansyd.dk and at the website of the Albertslund Kommune.

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Ecosistema Urbano lecture in Tromsø

Category : ecosistema urbano + events + news + ⚐ EN

Ecosistema Urbano will lecture next Thursday in Tromsø, a city located 1.643 km north from Oslo. The lecture is hosted by the North Norwegian Architects Association and will take place at Drivloftet, starting at 8.30 pm on Thursday,  14th.

I will present Ecosistema Urbano latest works, including dreamhamar, the project we are currently developing for the main public space of Hamar, Norway.

Tromsø in the North

By the way, this is the further north I have ever been to… I guess their summer is different from ours.