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Category: ⚐ EN+⚐ ES+ecosistema urbano

Estimados lectores, seguidores y colaboradores:

Desde Ecosistema urbano os deseamos un feliz año 2012.

Nosotros hemos comenzado el año celebrando el Día del Dominio Público, con la entrada en éste de las obras de autores como James Joyce, Rabindranath Tagore o Virginia Woolf, y estrenando en nuestro blog una nueva serie de artículos sobre el placemaking, uno de los conceptos más interesantes de las últimas décadas en lo que al espacio público se refiere. Además,  estamos ahora mismo trabajando en otras iniciativas y proyectos que iremos presentando a su tiempo.

Sabemos que hay muchas más cosas interesantes y positivas hechas y por hacer, así que desde este blog seguiremos trayéndoos reflexiones, proyectos, iniciativas, ideas y referencias que nos ayuden a pensar de otra manera y a trabajar mejor en aquello en lo que creemos y por lo que apostamos.

Un saludo con nuestros mejores deseos, y gracias por formar parte de esto.

Dear readers, followers and collaborators:

We wish you a happy 2012 from Ecosistema Urbano.

We have started the year celebrating the Public Domain Day, with the entry into it of the works of authors like James Joyce, Rabindranath Tagore or Virginia Woolf, and also launching on our blog a new series of articles about placemaking, one of the most interesting concepts of the last decades regarding public space. Right now we are also working on other initiatives and projects that will be presented at the right time.

We know there are a lot of interesting and positive things going on around us, and from this blog we will keep on bringing to you those projects, thoughts, initiatives, ideas and references that help us thinking in a different way and working on the things we believe in.

Have our best wishes and regards, and thank you from being part of this.

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placemaking | “Théâtre évolutif” in Bordeaux

Category: ⚐ EN+placemaking+urban social design

placemaking | What if an urban vacant space could turn into a social public space? What if the neglected brownfields that abound our cities were to become a means to social interaction, an urban catalyst of local ventures, a landmark? What if urban design turned out to be a social process? This is the first post of a new series dedicated to placemaking, to projects born in these urban gaps, grown from social participation and involved in sustainable urban development.

Théâtre évolutif - Sketch by the collective Bureau d'études

Théâtre évolutif, carried out by the Bureau d’études collective (France), the artist Marjetica Potrc (Slovenia) and the architects Ooze (Netherlands) invited to collaborate for the Evento 2011, is a co-designed and co-constructed landscape and architecture installation aiming to inspire the future design of André Meunier square.

In the heart of Bordeaux (France), alongside the main avenue Cours de la Marne and close to the train station, sits André Meunier Square, one of the city’s biggest public space and yet, vacant. Situated in St Michel, middle class district hosting mainly immigrants, this urban gap, despite many previous attempts of improvement, remains pending to be occupied. Today, along with an urban requalification program of the district, the square is expecting a radical transformation.

From the 6th to the 16th of October took place in Bordeaux, Evento 2011, an international artistic event. Under the slogan “Art for a re-evolution”, the experience gathered artists from all around the world willing to carry out innovative reflections on urban public space, through creative and social temporary projects. On this occasion, the collective Bureau d’études, think tank and main coordinator of the project in André Meunier square, the architects Ooze and the artist Marjetica Potrc were invited to set up a participation process to design an urban microproject. Local citizens, associations, collectives and volunteers were invited to collaborate for a collective brainstorming around the installation, aiming to inspire the public space’s outcome.

Photography by Pierre Planchenault for Evento 2011

Photography by Pierre Planchenault for Evento 2011

The design process began last summer, officially on July 19th, when participants signed a charter aiming to define common objectives and to engage the members in a common process of design and participation of what would become the Théâtre évolutif. The name of the project highlights two intentions: théâtre, meaning theatre, as for a place where a diversity of individuals may interact, and évolutif, meaning having the capacity to evolve with time and adapt itself to its surrounding, both physically and according to its use. Conceived as a template of urban ecosystem, the project combines a landscape and architectural design and underlines the will to inspire a flexible public space, open to occasional interventions and spontaneous use.

Construction began on September 2nd, gathering all members implicated in the project and two architects, Alan Gentil (from Bureau Baroque) and Marc Berbedes (from Bureau d’études Bois Structures). The project was gradually put together between the stubbornly standing do-it-yourself shed, the Cabane à gratter, built in 2008 from waste materials with Les P’tits Gratteurs association (actively working in the district since 2001) and the menacing municipal construction site of the upcoming parking lot, actually occupying ⅔ of the square. According to its environmental commitment, the structure was made with the trunks of the condemned trees of the adjacent construction, and other building sites in Bordeaux. Free of any determined function, it puts forth more than a space, a welcoming face and a potential of various uses and occupations, aiming to inspire long term involvement.

Photography by Pierre Planchenault for Evento 2011

During Evento, the Théâtre évolutif invited people to take part in workshops such as planting herbs or making “seed bombs”, weapons of mass plantation (with Friche and Cheap association), to enjoy a shady 5 meters high stroll in the treetops (with Adrenaline association), to learn about aromatic herbs and birdhouses along with Bernard le jardinier (from La Maison du Jardinier), to make herbal tea from the plants collected on-site, or even enjoy free collective meals… But what next ? Gabi Farage (Evento commissioner) underlines that the real outcome of the project wasn’t the “one shot” of Evento but relies in its capacity to evolve, hence its name. A closing event on October 15th gathered all the citizens implicated in the process to talk about the future: how can we, real users of the square, get involved in its outcoming design? Evento was just the first baby step of a social process of great ambitions.


Learn more Podcast Radio Grenouille “Éventail d’EVENTO #10 – Écosystème urbain”

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EU collaborators | Manon Bublot

Category: ⚐ EN+colaboradores+placemaking

Manon Bublot


Last week we were glad to welcome a new collaborator here at our office in Madrid.

Manon Bublot is an undergraduate student at the Architecture school of Montpellier in France. She studied last year in the ETSAM in Madrid through the Erasmus exchange program, and during that time she grew interested in social participatory processes as a transversal approach to design architectural projects.

She will be helping us with this blog, providing fresh content in English, highlighting the most interesting projects, professionals and collectives related to her (and our) fields of interest . We hope you enjoy her first series of posts about placemaking and related projects.

Welcome to EU, Manon! We hope you’ll have a nice time here with us.

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Hamar Experience 14 | Do you think a mango plantation on Stortorget is good for the environment?

Category: ⚐ EN+dreamhamar+events

As every week, today we are announcing next monday’s Hamar Experience session, which is a live broadcast made by de Ecosistema Urbano team, full with stories and updates about the dreamhamar project. There goes the original text (by Marisa):

Hamar Experience 14 - livestream

dreamhamar is focusing on green an environmental matters these days and that includes Hamar Experience 14. Don’t be surprised at the title, it is one of the many possible and impossible ideas we get for the future Stortorget. What do you think? Are mangos good for the environment?

Send us your ideas and questions to and Belinda will answer them on Hamar Experience 14.

Belinda Tato will talk about the latest activities going on in Stortorget, Hamar, Norway. For instance, on Saturday 22nd there will be an event called greenhamar. From 13h, Naturvernforbundet, Natur og Ungdom, and Hexeringen mushroom gathering group will be offering free home-made local mushroom hot soup, smoothies at a new looking Stortorget square, courtesy of VEA School (Statens fagskole for gartnere og blomsterdekoratører). The weather forecast is 10ºC and a bit cloudy but there is not such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, as a Hamar neighbour said once.

Join us at our Livestream channel on Monday at 18:00h to have fun with Hamar Experience from your computer!

Meanwhile, you can have a look at the video of the latest session:

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#followweb |

Category: #follow+#followweb+⚐ EN+⚐ ES+sostenibilidad

Aprovechando que es viernes y que el hashtag #followfriday arde por Twitter, retomamos nuestra propia serie de recomendaciones #followarch #web con una interesante incorporación al panorama web hispano- y angloparlante:, creada por los alicantinos Playstudio.

Click to visit

Aparte de su estructura clara y limpia, y el hecho de ser completamente bilingüe, el punto que hace especial esta web es su acercamiento a la sostenibilidad de una manera amplia, tocando todas sus acepciones, y a la vez precisa y cercana, mostrándola a través de ejemplos: ideas, proyectos, buenas prácticas, etc. En sus propias palabras:

PLAYstudio, dirigido desde Alicante por Iván Capdevila y Vicente Iborra, es una práctica que indaga en el campo del diseño sostenible en todos sus ámbitos, desde la arquitectura o planificación urbana, hasta acciones políticas o la gestión cultural. En cualquier trabajo, PLAY es su actitud; la REALIDAD, su campo de juego; la transformación de lo ORDINARIO, su felicidad; EXPRÉSATE, su modo; y la DIVERSIÓN, su destino.

Dentro de esta ideología se encuentra el proyecto MORE THAN GREEN, un concepto integral que agrupa proyectos estratégicos para la implantación y formación de cierta conciencia sobre la sostenibilidad en el contexto de la sociedad. Nace de la necesidad de explicar abiertamente a un público “no especializado” qué es la sostenibilidad MÁS ALLÁ DE LO VERDE, especialmente en un contexto en el que las nuevas políticas universales nos empiezan a hablar de sostenibilidad económica, social, cultural…

Por esta razón, no toma la forma de textos incomprensibles o pesadas teorías sobre la ecología o la sostenibilidad. Mucho más fácil que eso. Arranca tomando la forma de blog-enciclopedia multimedia, en la que se explica qué es la sostenibilidad a través de ejemplos, contados tan solo con imágenes o videos.

Su estructura es también sencilla, dos maneras de entenderse: la primera, desde el aspecto de la sostenibilidad más relevante (medioambiental, social, económica y cultural); la segunda, en función de su campo de actuación (arquitectura, arte, tecnología y políticas). El blog se completa con secciones específicas para niños y selección de los editores.

En esta primera fase, el blog cuenta con la inestimable contribución de Julia Cervantes Corazzina.

PLAYstudio, led from Alicante by Iván Capdevila and Vicente Iborra, is a practice that investigates within the whole scope of sustainable design from architecture and urban planning to political actions and cultural management. In any of their works, PLAY is their attitude; REALITY, their playground; transformation of the ORDINARY, their happiness; EXPRESS YOURSELF, their way; and FUN, their destiny.

Within this ideology is placed MORE THAN GREEN, a comprehensive concept that embraces strategic projects for the establishment and formation of certain awareness about sustainability within our society’s context. It is born from the need of explaining openly to a “non-specialized” public what sustainability is FURTHER THAN GREEN, particularly in a moment that new universal policies have just started talking about economical, social and cultural sustainability.

This is why it does not take the form of incomprehensible texts or stodgy theories about ecology or sustainability. Easier than that. It starts taking the form of a blog-multimedia encyclopedia which explains what sustainability is by means of examples and through images or videos.

It can be read according to what sustainability field you are interested in (social, cultural, economical or environmental) as well as to the work field (architecture, art, technology and policies). It is completed with a section for children as well as an editor’s pick.

At this first phase, the project enjoys the priceless contribution of Julia Cervantes Corazzina.

Como le dije a Iván cuando me presentó la página, me parece un proyecto pertinente, interesante y atractivo, lo cual no es poco decir. Os animo a juzgar por vosotros mismos, visitando la web en y siguiéndoles en Facebook.

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EU collaborators | Urska Cernigoj

Category: ⚐ EN+colaboradores+ecosistema urbano


Urska Cernigoj

Architectur student in Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana

My four months internship at Ecosistema Urbano is at the end. Working with such a great team, of young creative people is excellent experience for me at the point when I am just about to start my professional career. When I came here I immediately landed in the dreamhamar project. I took part at preliminary design process and now I am a part of a network design team. Coordinating, communicating, developing and dreaming Hamar’s square with so many participants and experts made this four months even shorter.

I am from Slovenia and I am an undergraduate student in the urbanism oriented program at the Faculty of Architecture from the University of Ljubljana. Before I finish my studies I decided to take the opportunity of the scholarship for international training exchange and to apply for internship.

In academic year 2009/2010 I was on Erasmus student exchange in ETSAG, University of Alcalá and became more familiar with Madrid’s architecture and also with Ecosistema Urbano, which became one of my favorite’s studios. Specially because of the projects, which are creative, smart, innovative, social and environmentally friendly. Probably the endless blue sky and mostly sunny weather only helped in my decision to come to Madrid again.

I am also the kind of person who always thinks that she does not have enough knowledge and I am always searching for new ways to learn more. Not just more about architecture but also about things from other professions, because when you have knowledge from different fields you can manage it and do things better. And my curiosity only helps. All this I found here and after four months I am even more convinced that my choice about the internship was right.

You can follow Urska on Twitter: @aksruc

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The Bureau of Doing Something About It

Category: ⚐ EN+critical city+design

Bruce Mau Design, a design and innovation studio centered on purpose and optimism, set up design exhibition “The Bureau of Doing Something About It”. The exhibition took place in the Propeller Centre in Toronto, Canada.

During the past year over 1000 grievances, gripes, and annoyances were collected from people across the city. The Toronto Complaints Choir transform this complains into “disappointed people’s song”.

BMD studio decided to do something about it.  Studio designers Amanda Happé, Kar Yan Cheung, Chris Braden, Michal Dudek, and Paul Kawai team set up a pop-up studio, working in real-time in the Propeller Centre. They tried to design solutions in response to the complaints. A book of these ideas was also simultaneously designed, and sent throughout the city of Toronto and their citizens.

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Hamar Experience 13 | Lets get active and green

Category: ⚐ EN+events

As every week, today we are announcing today’s Hamar Experience session, which is a live broadcast made by de Ecosistema Urbano team, full with stories and updates about the dreamhamar project. There goes the original text (by Marisa):

Go green

In this session Belinda Tato will talk about last week ACTIVITIES WORKSHOP. If you have seen the pictures, then you already know that the participants had a great time and really enjoyed themselves. As Creative Guest Elger Blitz said, playing is good for everybody, regardless of their age.

We also have a guest: ENVIRONMENT Community Activator Romy Ortiz, a human geographer from the University of Bergen. She works in the Centre for urban ecology, on environmentally friendly urban development, urban meeting places, and integration issues. This is what she writes about her role:

“Come to the workshop, so we can design a square that is human and environmentally friendly!”

If you don’t feel like surfing, this is your best shot at getting the latest news on what’s going on in Stortorget Square!

See you today, on Monday 17th, at 18:00 on!

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Hamar Experience 12 | Cultural Rucksack and art in public space

Category: ⚐ EN+dreamhamar+events

This evening the energy of the young and the inspiration of the muses make a somewhat different Hamar Experience, but don’t be afraid, for it is what happens when you have so many things to talk about with such nice guests.

Kathrine Berg is a lovely woman and artist who is working with the 1,300 kids from the Cultural Rucksack Project. By the way, the Cultural Rucksack will finish this week and we are looking forward to seeing the results.

Inger Lise works on a different project about art and youth. Whatever she has to say, it is going to be interesting. And yes, we are letting her tell you the details about the project. We think it’s more interesting that way.

And there is more, because next week ACTIVITIES workshops begin and you are going to get a preview on what is going to happen there – What? You haven’t registered yet? It is free, it is fun and you’ll meet interesting people while talking about Hamar. And we might just invite you to coffee and cake, too.

There will also be a surprise for the technology oriented, so don’t forget your smart phone or your tablet pc.

Let the muses and the younsters inspire you this evening at 18:00h on Hamar Experience 12.

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Shop with a concept: Unpackaged

Category: ⚐ EN+creativity+sustainability

Unpackaged is one of the shops with interesting, environmental friendly, and ethical concepts. Their philosophy is simple and they are describing it with this statement: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Buckminster Fuller)

photo: (c) Grainger Laffan (
For The Social Enterprise Coalition

The model of “world with less wasteful packaging” was created in 2006 by Catherine Conwayin, and company is achieving it one customer at a time. Unpackaged was set because Catherine wanted to refill her groceries using her own containers. She set up shop that made it really easy for customers to come and refill all their daily essentials. The products they sell are usually seasonal and from local production, with minimal transportation, mostly certified organic, and fair trade. In Unpackaged shop in London you can buy the exact amount you need or want so you don’t waste anything and also save money. And in the end going packaging-free means also that less waste will end in landfills.

How It Works? They are giving us some instructions:

– Remember to bring your containers* from home (if you forget, you can buy reusable containers here)
– Come to Unpackaged & say hello
– Weigh your containers at the counter then choose the product & amount you want
– Take your goods home & enjoy
– When you’ve run out, come back for a refill, simple as that!

*Containers: bring anything you like, there’s nothing to date that we haven’t been able to refill (even our lovely friend who likes putting lentils in old water bottles!) Bring glass jars, tupperware, old takeaway cartons, brown paper bags, plastic bags, old packaging.. if it’s heavy, we’ll weigh it first, if it’s light then just refill and we’ll weigh at the end.

photo: (c) Grainger Laffan (
For The Social Enterprise Coalition