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

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

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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Public Space for the Extreme: Convection

Category : ⚐ EN + architecture + city + networkedurbanism + research + sustainability + Uncategorized

Digestible Gulf Stream, Philippe Rahm, Venice Biennale 2008. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Digestible Gulf Stream, Philippe Rahm, Venice Biennale 2008. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Con·vec·tion. Convection results from the tendency of most fluids to expand when heated.

The use of convective air flows with the purpose of cooling traditional houses was not alien to traditional Persian and middle eastern architecture. Joining the “simple” badgir ventilation system with more refined and complex cooling technologies was one of the most advanced points reached by Persian/Iranian building knowledge. Passive cooling systems in the Yazd desert were so advanced that iced formed (and accumulated) during the cold winters could be conserved frozen until the height of the long, hot, desertic summer.
In addition to sensible cooling, the cooling caused by a change of air temperature but not its humidity, badgir combined with a savvy use of water can provide also evaporative cooling which is generally more effective than sensible cooling alone.

Water deposit cooled with badgirs in the Yazd desert, in Iran

Water deposit cooled with badgirs in the Yazd desert, in Iran. Image courtesy of Flickr user dynamosquito, CC BY-SA

In order to do so, windcatchers have to work together with a water source that supplies water which is then evaporated cooling down the flowing air, this can be achieved in many ways. The first one is taking advantage of the of the basement damp walls of the windcacher itself, if there is enough humidity in the underground the basement walls will be constantly wet and when the wind tower is working as an air intake the evaporation of the thin superficial layer of water will cool down the downward incoming stream of air. The second solution is to put a water source, if available, right under the shaft of the tower, a fountain or a small pool is used in this case, sensibly and evaporatively cooling down the entering wind. A great example, found in Yazd, combines and refines even more these two methods placing the tower further than usual from the house (50 m) and then using an underground tunnel to connect the tower with the house. The tunnel, being underground benefits both from the earth thermal inertia and from the humidity of the soil and at the end of the tunnel a fountain is placed to cool down even more the air. The third, and more advanced, passive cooling system based on windcatchers benefits from an underground water stream to cool down the water.

Climatic Tree in the Vallecas Ecoboulevard, Madrid 2004. Image courtesy of Ecosistema Urbano.

Climatic Tree in the Vallecas Ecoboulevard, Madrid 2004. Image courtesy of Ecosistema Urbano.

The use of convection with the purpose of cooling public space is mostly centered on evaporative towers, in a normal evaporative (cooling) tower hot water is distributed in the upper part of the tower, the sprayed hot water release heat in the atmosphere condensing and flowing down to the bottom of the tower where it is collected and recirculated if it’s the case. In evaporative towers designed to cool the surrounding space the process is inverted, cool water is sprayed with nozzles at the top of the tower and rapidly evaporating absorbs energy from the air coming in from the top of the tower, the cooler and more humid air being denser descends to the bottom and causing the area above it to cool down. The design of an evaporative tower able to work properly is challenging, a single design flaw or dysfunction can cause the sprayed water to condensate an drip.

During the 1992 Seville Expo the white towers of the Avenida de Europa were originally designed just to be architectural objects landscaping one of the main avenues of the exhibition but considering a wider plan to improve public space comfort in the whole exhibition area, technically developed with the help of the “termotecnica” group of the university of Seville, were converted into evaporative towers to improve the environmental conditions in the area.

The design, obviously not conceived thinking about the cooling effectiveness, had to be converted a posteriori into a cooling machine. Two main modifications were made: a wind collecting cap was added to the top of the tower and nozzles were installed inside it. For six months the exhibition remained open and the engineers responsible for the bioclimatic design of the event collected data about the functioning and the performances of the design (the report can be found in this book). The added wind-collecting cap proved to be too small for the purpose it was installed and was not sufficient to “catch” enough wind during an average summer day. The second flaw was caused by the structural design of the tower itself, the internal part of the chimney wasn’t smooth and wasn’t totally free either, the secondary steel structure that stiffened the tower was in fact a lattice continuously crossing the chimney section, water nozzles were installed in circles on the inner perimeter of the membrane and functioned properly but the vaporized water copiously condensed on the lattice structure causing continuous dripping under the tower itself. This was obviously a major flaw and the towers functioned only partially, also due to the difficult maintenance of the water nozzles.

In 2004 Ecosistema Urbano realized one of its most iconic designs, the eco bulevard in Vallecas, Madrid. Each one of the three trees has different characteristics and each one is focused on a different aspect of public space, but in this case the most interesting is the northernmost one that was designed as a rack of twelve evaporative cooling towers grouped to form a semi-enclosed public space shaded and cooled by the bioclimatic tree. Each one of the cylinders is made of two textile tubes, the exterior and reflexive one creates a protective layer for the inner cooling mechanism, the interior tube is the evaporative tower itself. A cap, provided with three openings to collect winds from all directions, is placed on the top of the inner cylinder, right under the cap there is a fan that starts spinning when temperatures rise above 28ºC to increment the existing breeze or to move the air if there is no breeze at all. About at the height of the fan water is sprayed creating a fine mist and its evaporation greatly increases the cooling effect on the air descending in the inner tube and then exiting in the semi-enclosed public space, delimited by the crown of the cooling towers.

Ecobulevar- Arbol de Aire, Ecosistema Urbano, 2004, Ensanche de Vallecas, Madrid.

Ecobulevar- Arbol de Aire, Ecosistema Urbano, 2004, Ensanche de Vallecas, Madrid.

The ecobulevar, being a fully designed public space, can count on many other design characteristics that improve the overall functioning of the cooling towers, their efficiency and the energetic behavior. The design of the public space under the “tree” is very important, the enclosing section, creates a favorable space for artificial climate conditioning, though it is an open space the “habitable” part (the first 2m from the ground) are somehow closed by the design of the pavement itself, this design contributes to the refrigeration of the central area reducing the hot breeze influence at the ground level and avoiding the direct escape of cooled air. Solar panels contribute to the over sustainability of the artifact generating enough energy to power the fans and the pump for the water. Extensive studies on the ecobulevar, demonstrated that air temperature at the ground level can be up to 9ºC cooler than the air at the top of the tree and that the average temperature difference is around 6,5ºC.

The last two examples are practically based on the same design principle but there are huge differences concerning both the size and the technological character of the project.

The first one is the wind tower that the British architects Foster+Partners designed for the Masdar Institute in the planned city of Masdar, Abhu Dhabi (which they also planned). The Masdar institute is, as of 2016, one of the few built parts of the city, which, in turn, is facing serious development and financial problems with only the 5% of the planned area being completed. The core plaza of the institute hosts a 45m tall windtower that contributes to the climatic comfort of the plaza channeling down the breezes that often spire in the desert, it is important to notice that the tower is not the only element designed to improve the ambient conditions of the plaza but all the strategies are focused on the sustainability and the comfort of both the buildings and the public spaces, in this case the dense urban form is supposed to reproduce the one of the traditional local architecture and buildings façades are self shadowing reducing the reflected sun radiation in the square, streets are narrow, etc.

Masdar Institute Courtyard showing the wind tower. Image Copyright: Nigel Young/ Foster+Partners

Masdar Institute Courtyard showing the wind tower. Image Copyright: Nigel Young/ Foster+Partners

This tower is a hi-tech interpretation of traditional ones, its size is greatly increased (the highest windtower in Iran is 33m high) and many design details are engineered improvements of the original windwoter concepts. The 45m teflon sleek tube is naturally designed to offer the smallest possible resistance to the passage of the wind and to reduce the possibility of condensation to the nebulized water used for passive cooling. Computer controlled louvers opens and close according the direction and the speed of the incoming wind and reduces the suction caused by negative pressure on the downwind side of the tower, with this refined mechanism, and the triangular design, the tower is always exploiting the precious wind. To increase even more the cooling potential a ring of water nozzles, also computer controlled, is placed right at the top of the shaft transforming this tower in a evaporative cooling device.

A low-tech version, though very similar in the functioning is the windtower built at the Nitzana Educational Village, in the Negev desert at the border between Israel and Egypt. This design is constituted only by a vertical metal chimney topped by a fixed wind catcher oriented towards the prevailing wind. The playful design is enhanced by a clever usage of the bottom part of the tower, a perforated ceramic brickwork is used to enclose a relatively generous meeting place that can host dozens of people from the local community, to reduce solar gain on the habitable part of the tower a sun protection is installed around it permanently shadowing the ventilating part.

Nitzana Educational Eco-Village, Nitzana. Picture courtesy of the The Jewish Agency for Israel CC BY-SA 2.0 from flickr.

Nitzana Educational Eco-Village, Nitzana. Picture courtesy of the The Jewish Agency for Israel CC BY-SA 2.0 from flickr.

 

The cooling process is based on a combination of wind-catching, mechanical ventilation, and evaporative cooling. In the upper part of the shaft a large fan is installed to generate an artificial windflow (power is apparently generated by solar panels placed on the south side of the tower) and under the fan two rings of nozzles are placed to implement passive evaporative cooling. Though being quite a raw design, this cooling tower uses all the technical mechanisms to achieve a cost effective cooling for the small public it has to refrigerate. Compared to the Masdar windtower this one might have a major flaw, in both the Ecobulevar and Masdar the proper cooling shaft is always protected from the direct sunlight, in this case instead the shaft is thermally conductive and prone to overheating,

But the most advanced look at what convection means for the perception and comfort of the human body in the space has to be find in Rahm’s “Digestible Gulf Stream”. In this project, two white sleek metal boards are placed at different heights in a room, one of the boards, placed on the floor, is constantly heated to 28º C, the second one, hanging at a higher point is cooled down to 12ºC. The temperature difference between the two panels creates a convective flow, the air heated on the lower plan becomes less dense and lighter and tends to float towards the second object that gradually cools it down causing it to descend until reaching again the warm plate. This constant air flow is invisible but certainly perceivable by the human body, for the purpose of the exhibition in fact, actors with different clothing (from naked to well dressed) were standing on the plates showing various levels of comfort and doing various activities that had a different impact on the heat production.

Digestible Gulf Stream, Venice Biennale 2008 - Philippe Rahm. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Digestible Gulf Stream, Venice Biennale 2008 – Philippe Rahm. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Rahm’s pioneering work in “climatic architecture” is extremely interesting, in this case the space is defined only by its temperature which is something we are not really used to, our normal physical division of space (walls, windows, curtains…) is totally visual but then our comfort is determined by variables like air temperature, this is particularly true in public space, where usually there are no “rooms” and the use (or the avoidance) of space is more often determined by factors like shadow, noise, comfort, etc.

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dreamhamar contado como nunca antes: presentación del libro y exposición

Category : ⚐ ES + dreamhamar + ecosistema urbano + publicaciones + urban social design

dreamhamar

dreamhamar es el proceso de network design que llevamos a cabo alrededor del rediseño de la plaza principal —Stortorget— de Hamar, Noruega. Este proceso creativo se inició como un concurso internacional de ideas en 2010 y en julio de 2012 entregamos el proyecto de ejecución de la plaza.

Poco hemos compartido durante este largo tiempo sobre el proyecto, el proceso participativo y las vicisitudes de abrir una pop up office y trabajar codo con codo con la comunidad local. Ha sido un proceso apasionante, intenso y lleno de todo tipo de anécdotas; una experiencia única que nos permitió trabajar sobre un espacio que literalmente habitamos durante 4 meses, ya que nuestra oficina estuvo localizada precisamente allí, frente a Stortorget.

Recopilar, ordenar, cribar y presentar la información producida ha sido una enorme tarea. La voluntad de mostrar y contar esta información en un libro nos ha obligado a realizar una labor de síntesis que por otro lado ha resultado muy esclarecedora. Con este post queremos contaros el proceso que hemos seguido, mostraros unas primeras imágenes del resultado e invitaros a su presentación en público.

dreamhamar book - interior

dreamhamar book – interior

Volver a contar la historia

Acabado el proceso participativo, que tuvo lugar entre los meses de agosto y diciembre de 2011, redactamos un informe para el ayuntamiento contando lo que se había hecho desde distintos puntos de vista. Nuestra idea inicial era pulir ese documento, convertirlo en un libro y hacerlo público. Pero pronto nos dimos cuenta de que para hacer todo el proceso inteligible y, sobre todo, facilitar el aprovechamiento práctico del conocimiento generado necesitábamos contarlo de otra manera. Tras meses de redacción y revisión en inglés y noruego, el resultado es una forma de contarlo, de muchas otras que podría haber, que creemos que es más estructurada y fácil de “navegar”, leer y consultar.

Revisar el proceso de forma (auto)crítica

Uno de los valores más claros de plantear una metodología definida aun sin precedentes directos es el de la experimentación. Pero ese valor no trascendería más allá de la experiencia concreta si no fuéramos capaces de extraer conclusiones con vistas a mejorar el proceso y repetirlo en otra ocasión. De modo que, junto a varios colaboradores del ámbito de la sociología urbana y la antropología, realizamos una revisión del proyecto, repasando las herramientas y metodologías utilizadas, explicitando nuestras propias impresiones tras la experiencia directa, destacando cosas que funcionaron bien y aspectos que habría que mejorar en el futuro, y tratando de condensar todo ello en una serie de conclusiones que pudiéramos compartir.

Clasificar, seleccionar y reelaborar materiales

dreamhamar nos dejó con una cantidad ingente de materiales de todo tipo. Notas escritas en cuartillas y postales, comentarios y posts publicados en la página, paneles con propuestas de proyecto hechas por estudiantes, cartones con esquemas dibujados durante los talleres, dibujos hechos por los niños en las escuelas, documentos impresos y digitales, maquetas, vídeos y sobre todo muchísimas fotografías de todo el proceso. Desde el principio tuvimos claro que para poder mostrar y compartir posteriormente el proceso teníamos que poner especial cuidado en documentarlo muy bien, y así lo hicimos. El resultado es que, a la hora de recapitular y contar el proyecto, hemos echado en falta muy pocas cosas, pero nos hemos tenido que enfrentar a la difícil tarea de ordenar, cribar, seleccionar y formatear todo ese contenido que sí tenemos.

Maquetar, revisar, maquetar, revisar…

Y por último, montar el libro. Para ello contamos con Lugadero, una joven editorial de Sevilla que desde el principio vio muy claro el proyecto y apostó sin dudarlo por su publicación. Con ello comenzó un largo proceso de pruebas y maquetas para encontrar una estructura adecuada, y después un aún más largo proceso de revisión y ajuste. En la carpeta del proyecto tenemos cerca de 40 borradores llenos de anotaciones, correspondientes a otras tantas vueltas de revisión. Algunas parciales, otras específicas para revisión de textos o gráficos, y otras, la mayoría, mucho más completas y exhaustivas.

Y por fin… el libro

Gracias a la paciencia y dedicación de todos los que han participado en esto, podemos por fin presentar una edición muy cuidada que, esperamos, permitirá al lector entender el proyecto en su totalidad y revisar al detalle nuestras reflexiones y conclusiones sobre lo que fue una gran experiencia piloto de network design y de lo que nos gusta llamar diseño social urbano.

dreamhamar book

dreamhamar book

Este es el libro que estaremos presentando en Lugadero mañana martes, aprovechando para inaugurar una exposición con materiales complementarios, algunos traídos casi directamente de nuestra última instalación en la Bienal de Venecia. ¡Os esperamos allí! Para los que no estéis por Sevilla, no os preocupéis, en breve os contaremos más sobre el libro y la manera de conseguirlo.

Fecha: martes 29 de abril de 2014
Hora:  20:30h
Lugar: Lugadero (C/Correduría, 5A, Sevilla)

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Anja Humljan | eu collaborators

Category : ⚐ EN + colaboradores

Today we introduce you to Anja Humljan, a young architect with a very diverse profile and an interesting background, who is doing an internship with us and will be contributing with some posts for the blog while working on her own research. Here, she tells us more about herself:

I am a freelance architect from Slovenia, passionatelly pursuing projects around the world – from New York to Madrid, Australia and Denmark, with Tokyo on the to-do list. To fulfill my interests in interdisciplinary and multimedia approach to architecture I studied classical architecture in Slovenia, photo-media, video arts and sound recording in Australia and digital design in Denmark. Together with Danish colleagues we designed an interactive pavilion NoRA exhibited and built at Venice Architectural Biennial 2006.

Anja Humljan

Anja Humljan, photo: Irena Herak

For the past ten years, I have been investigating various fields that at first glance have no connection with architecture: I explored emotional expressionism and dynamic relationship between individual and space through modern dance and ballet. While living in New York City, I was taking part in dance intensives with world’s most renowned modern dance companies – Alvin Ailey and Complexions. Studying vocal techniques and sound recording for six months at Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, working as voice actor, narrator and radio presenter made me sensible for the sonic quality of our contemporary environment, discovering the importance of sound and its immense potential within architecture. By consistently teaching and practicing yoga for twelve years I have been investigating proprioception and pareidolia and learned how to strengthen individual’s sub consciousness via physical training, meditation and discipline.

Space potential

Space potential: Physical vs. existential aspect of space, image: A.H.

SPACE POTENTIAL: URBAN YOGA AND VIDEO METHOD PLES On the threshold between all the respected fields and architecture, I placed a conceptual platform Space potential. It responds to my questions on space and architecture: what is crucial for architecture today, what needs to be pursued in the architectural practice, what we should not give up on, so that architecture will continue to exist and work as architecture. I believe we perceive and experience space in a complex way: objective qualities form physical aspects of space (geometry and function), whereas the subjective qualities form existential aspect of space (multisensory bodily experience, intuition, stories, movement, the passing of time). For analyzing, documenting and presenting the existential aspect of space I established and tested two concepts: Urban yoga project and Video method Ples. Ples is the acrostic of the four consecutive phases (P-rimary, L-atent, E-xperimental and S-ummary), as well as a Slovenian word for dance, which symbolizes the relationship between the architect and space.

Video method PLES

Space potenital: Video method Ples, image: A.H.

Urban yoga project, a series of photos taken and are still to be taken in various metropolises around the world, is rediscovering the lost spatial sensuousness, a situation where city and body are in constant interaction and are thus mutually supplementing and defining each other. I believe that for as long as our bodies will relate to the real space, as the heart relates to organism, cities will remain, citizens will survive, and as for the architecture – it will continue to exist and work as architecture.

Urban yoga New York

Space potential: Urban yoga New York City, photo: Jaka Vinšek

Working for versatile, proactive and extremely productive Ecosistema Urbano Arquitectos is utmost exciting and fun, eagerly awaiting each new project to come.

Occupation: Architect
Interests: Existential and experiential Architecture, Brand design, Voice acting and narration, Modern ballet and flamenco, Electronic music, blues rock, jazz and fado, Jivamukti yoga
City/Country: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Website: http://www.anjahumljan.si
Social profiles: Facebook

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Acto de clausura del pabellón de España en la Bienal de Venecia | 22 de noviembre a las 19h

Category : ⚐ ES + eventos + noticias

Como clausura de la presencia del Pabellón de España en la Bienal de Venecia, este jueves 22 de Noviembre tendrán lugar las micro conferencias y mesa redonda sobre LA INNOVACIÓN EN ARQUITECTURA en el Aulario de Arquería de Nuevos Ministerios a las 19.00 horas.

Modera el evento Martha Thorne y lo presentan Antón García Abril y Débora Mesa (Ensamble estudio), comisarios del Pabellón de España en la Bienal de Venecia 2012.

Cartel del evento de clausura SpainLab

Para más información: spain-lab
Relacionado: La instalación de Ecosistema Urbano en la Bienal

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ecosistema urbano en GSD Harvard | ¡Lanzando #networkedurbanism!

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

¡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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EU collaborators | Marta Battistella

Category : ⚐ EN + colaboradores

Today we are very glad to introduce you to Marta Battistella, one of our most recent collaborators.

Marta is a graduate student at 4Cities, a European master in urban studies which takes students to Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid. Previously, she also studied visual arts and theater in Venice and landscape design in Vienna.

To the question “Where are you from?”, her answer is both open and precise:  30% from Este, 30% from Venezia, 20% from Wien, 5% from Modena, 5% from Bruxelles, 5% from København and 5% from Madrid.

She is mainly interested, among other topics, in cultural theory related to urbanism and public spaces, landscapes, contemporary dance and photography. A wide and rich profile that brings new approaches and perspectives to the agency, so we are sure we will be sharing interesting debates and experiences with her at work during her internship.

Welcome, Marta!

Edit: During her stay at Ecosistema Urbano, Marta wrote a very interesting series of posts about digital social tools for the city. You can check them here: Social Toolbox | Marta Battistella

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PROJECT ECO-DELTA: DESIGN FOR COASTAL CITIES

Category : ⚐ EN + architecture

On August 29th, Van Alen Institute and Environmental Defense Fund will host a roundtable discussion at the Venice Biennale US Pavilion to explore the environmental challenges faced by coastal cities throughout the world.

Titled Project Eco-Delta, the initiative is part of VAI and EDF’s ongoing collaboration in developing design strategies for the landscape surrounding New Orleans—the Mississippi River’s coastal delta. The forum will feature leading experts from the fields of design, engineering, public policy and environmental science, who will discuss innovative ways with which we can address the needs of fragile deltas and the communities living in them.

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3D Ecoboulevard

Category : ⚐ EN + architecture + research

3d_ecoboulebard

After our installation at the Venice Biennale (“10 things we have learned from the city”) we keep doing some research on anaglyph images. This time we are preparing an exhibition on the Ecoboulevard that will take place in February at the Le Sommer Environnement Gallery in Paris. Here we bring you two examples of the work in process. Try them aout! (f you happen to have a pair of 3D glasses in hand)

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re-biennale

Category : ⚐ EN + architecture + blogs + city + creativity + proyectos + sustainability

rebiennale_365

Quite often grand cultural events, as the Architecture Biennale is, cross the city of Venice in a such imposing manner, rarely interacting with what stays out of the exhibition path. This applies to the citizens (inhabitants, students, workers) and also to the professionals and the artists officially invited.