BARCELONAs GLORIES

Infrastructures as a Tool to Rethink the City

The design studio “maib24 2018-2019” tutored by Cecilia Chiappini focuses on the value of infrastructures as tools to explore the city, as they tend to gather qualities that give space to manifestations of urbanity and collectivity, emergent appropriations and unexpected processes. The aim is to explore those qualities and to use them in design, as developing alternative urban models that questions the dialects between technical and social assemblages.

During an intensive research-design studio, students will discuss conceptual issues, develop and test explorative tools to address the topic, especially looking at “spatial configurations, marks of human presence and voices” around infrastructures;1 deploying a “learning from…” approach. The students will produce an architectural-urban design-case based on their enquiries on a specific location. Based on their explorations on-site, they will define the users and programmes, areas and scope of intervention. Infrastructures as urban spaces at different scales are to be at the core of the proposals. This semester’s site is the transformation process of Glories Square in Barcelona, Spain. The students will go on a trip to the city during the first weeks of the semester and will develop their research and design cases at the campus Sint-Lucas, Brussels during the entire semester.

1. As developed in close relation with the tutor’s PhD-research on Infrastructures under Transformation as Spaces of Collectivities”
2. Inspired by Learning from Las Vegas and Made in Tokyo. See References.

BARCELONAs GLORIES

Infrastructures as a Tool to Rethink the City

Studio Cecilia Chiappini; Roeland Dudal (OPO); Petra Pferdmenges; Caroline Sohie; Jonathan Robert Maj

 

The transformation process of Glories Square in Barcelona, Spain will be the research-design case. Glòries Square is a highly complex area in Barcelona. It has basically gone through a transformation process for more than 150 years since Cerdá marked it as “the centre” of the city in his plan. In time, a great variety of projects and partial works took place. In turn, the incoherence of the efforts gave room to the emergence of all kind of appropriations and spatial manifestations that are hard to define. The current situation is that an overall plan has being launched in 2015, including the demolition of existing elements and the con- struction of a tunnel to free up the surface to a new park. This may seem as the ultimate solution for the area, but paradoxically, it erases most of its dynamic qualities, excluding actual processes and users. The goal is to explore these qualities and to acknowledge the presence of those processes and users that are not embraced by governmental agents; and to investigate the new relations that may emerge. This operation would potentially lead to the identification of design-cases to address them, both in complement of op- position to the official previsions.

 

In Glories Square, several generations of interventions, paradigms, and works have been taken place since its conception. This overloaded process has recently reached an ironic point when after 2 years of works on the underground tunnels, the works got put on hold. This situation puts in evidence the continuous transi- tory conditions of the case that gives birth to a whole range of transformations in the spatial configuration and appropriation processes. The studio aims to explore and understand their complex hybrid dynamics and focus on their emergent spatial outcomes to identify and develop design-cases.

 

Glories Square is not an isolated case, it is right at the core of the city extensions and connects with large flow pressures, particularly the accessibility of central residential and business areas from/to the North- West with the consequent crossing of the city: the link between the roads along the East margin of the Be- sos River (Ronda Litoral-B10), with entrance though Via de les Corts Catalanes (starting from the regional access C31) and the city centre, via Glories Square. Along this access, major transformation processes are taking place: 22@, La Sagrera High Speed Train Station, Forum; these implies, for example, the increase of density and the change of uses at the core of the city. Enormous financial, political and social implications are here involved.

 

In articulation with the tutor´s expertise (her PhD on “Infrastructures under Transformation as Spaces of Collectivities” largely informs her teaching), the Design Studio will focus on the current conditions of the transformation process in Glories Square as generators of urbanity and triggers of architectural design interventions that embody visions at metropolitan and urban scale. Based on the site experience, students will define the users and programmes, areas and scope of intervention of their design in or around Glories Square.

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Methodological Stages


 


Stage 1: Research Case



  1. Infrastructures as Urban Spaces: Conceptual references and identification of Definition of the main terms and focus spatial elements. (Group discussions)



  1. Case-Studies: Study of international The multicultural backgrounds of students will broaden the spectrum of cases. The cases will be restricted to infrastructural constructions with links to the site (main-


ly railways, stations and canals or waterfronts). (Individual)


Stage 2: Research-Design Site



  1. Spatial Explorations: For this stage a specific methodology will be The aim is to explore and unveil the multilayered, overlapping, unexpected, volatile and fluctuant character of collective spaces when


linked to infrastructures though a series of themes. These are “Spatial Configurations”, that explores the physical-material, domain and programmatic components of spaces; “Marks of Human Presence” that explores ways of use and appropriation of these spaces, and the atmospheres created, focusing on their spatial outcomes; “Voices” that brings in the immaterial forces linked to engagement, discussions, projects and imaginaries with a spatial impact; aiming to understand the physical impact of these elements and how (micro) negotiations couple material and immaterial realms. (2/3 Students per Zoom-In)


Stage 3: Research-Design Case



  1. Scenario / Vision / Design Position: Learning from… and identification of trigging elements for the definitions of a personal design The study of the Zoom-In is focused on the actual users and pro- cesses. This will lead to the identification of a design-case including programme, and location. Infrastruc- tures as collective spaces are the key aspects. The overall frame is the transformatino process taking place in Glòries, the previsions and works, addressing them with a critical innovative attitude. (2/3 Students per


Zoom-In/possibility to continue individually)



  1. Design Investigations: Design of an urban-architectural proposal within or around Glòries (2/3 Students/ possibility individually)


Calendar (preliminary)


Week 1; Wednesday Feb. 13;


Morning and Afternoon Sessions



  • Start-up individual design-studio`s

  • Launch Stage 1:

    • Field Trip to Barcelona: Practicalities

    • Further explanation of Glòries Square and Theoretical Frame

    • Preparatory work

    • Launch Stage 1: Spatial Explorations in Glòries Square:




Introduction and assignment of research-design site in Glòries Square and research methodology, group conformation to address the 4 Zoom-Ins, according to the 3 spheres (“Spatial Configurations”: physical- material, domain and programmatic components of spaces. “Marks of Human Presence”: ways of use and appropriation of these spaces, and the atmospheres created, focusing on the spatial outcomes. “Voices”: immaterial forces linked to engagement, discussions, projects and imaginaries with a spatial impact; aim- ing to understand the physical impact of these elements and how (micro) negotiations couple material and immaterial realms.)


Week 2; Feb. 20


Morning Session



  • Stage: 1: Discussion case studies and theoretical position

  • Launch Stage 2.1: Spatial Explorations per Zoom-In.

  • Launch Stage 3.1: Scenario+Vision+Design Position Identification of programmes and sites for emergent design


Afternoon Session



  • Stage 1: Spatial Explorations, findings and transfer to design.


Week 3; Feb. 27- Field Trip to Barcelona. Dates to confirm


(more information to be provided in Week 1)


Week 4; Mar. 6


Morning Session



  • Stage 1: Spatial Explorations, findings and transfer to design. Internal review (presentations)

  • Stage 1: Scenario+Vision+Design Position. Internal review (presentations) Afternoon Session

  • Launch Stage 3.2: Design Investigations


Week 5; Mar. 13


Morning and Afternoon Session Development of work under Tutor supervision:



  • Stage 3.2: Design Investigations


Week 6; Mar. 20


Morning and Afternoon Session Development of work under Tutor supervision:



  • Stage 3.2: Design Investigations


Week 7; Mar. 27 INTERNAL MID-TERM REVIEW


Morning Session



  • Internal Mid-Term Review: Stage 2: Design Investigations with peer-students as jury members. Afternoon Sessions


Feed-back and action plan during the break to discuss with the tutor


Week 8; Apr. 3 MID TERM REVIEW – ALL STUDIOS (to confirm)


Morning Sessions and Afternoon Sessions



  • Mid-Term Review: Stage 3.2: Design Investigations


Easter Break (To Confirm) Week 9; Apr.24


Morning and Afternoon Session


Development of work under Tutor supervision:



  • Stage 3.2: Design Investigations


Week 10; May 1 No studio. Worker’s Day (SKYPE SESSION – to confirm) Week 11; May 8


Morning and Afternoon Session Development of work under Tutor supervision:



  • Stage 3.2: Design Investigations


Week 12; May 15 PRELIMINARY REVIEW


Morning Session



  • REVIEW REHERSAL All Stages Afternoon Session


Development of work under Tutor supervision:



  • All Stages


Week 13; May 22


Morning Session


Exchange moment – more information to be provided towards the final revies.


Afternoon Sessions


Development of work under Tutor supervision:



  • All Stages


Week 14; May. 29 – FINAL REVIEW


All students selected for this studio are kindly requested to become a member of the Facebook Group Collective Spaces and Infrastructures BCN-maib24 2019-Cecilia Chiappini AND to send an email to the tutor: maricecilia.chiappini@kuleuven.be. Also, they are asked to on the International Master´s blog and check the previous studio work, particularly the COLLECTIVE PRODUCTION pdfs, available in the http://internationalmasterofar- chitecture.be/portfolio/cecilia-chiappini/.


Field Trip to Barcelona: Students are to organize their trip to Barcelona 00/00-00/00, making sure of getting the flight, accommodation. INSURANCE IS COVERED BY THE UNIVERSITY. The programme includes 3 work- ing days at Glòries Square and surroundings, 1 day for visiting related metropolitan transformation processes, and 1- day for free visits.


Theoretical Background


The studio theoretical position recognizes collective spaces and infrastructures as core elements of urban life and culture, in many cases merged together absorbing intensity, tensions and conflicts, ultimately be- coming material-symbolic assemblages, namely compounds or devices that include emerging qualities and parameters. Collective spaces are urban spaces shared or co-inhabited by different entities that relate to each other and to space itself in cultural-driven manners, with no-common ground. Infrastructures have always had a determined role in urban environments, and has nowadays become extremely complex: while heavily criticized, their growth and intensification of use is triggered by overall urbanization and sprawl.


Collective spaces and infrastructures embrace different logics, some of them are considered planned, stable, or institutionalized; others rather emergent, unstable, spontaneous, and incremental, the studio will study their hybridization processes.


References


Articles to discuss during the semester:



  1. CHIAPPINI, María Cecilia; HEHL, Rainer; THOMIDOU, Alkistis, “Cidade de Deus +20 Projecting alternative futures” publisher: Ruby Press Cidade de Deus – City of Working with Informalized Mass Housing in Brazil, pag.: 152 – 165.



  1. ANGÉLIL (Ed.) (2016). Infrastructure Space. Berlin: Ruby Press. (chose one article)



  1. SCOTT BROWN, “On Formal Analysis as Research” In: JAE, Vol. 32, No. 4, Search/Research, 1979 2. LEVITT, William. “Levittown 1947-1951” in Venturi, Schott, Brown and Associates Learning from Levittown. 1972



  1. NANGO, “The Behaviour that Atelier Bow Wow Call Research. Made in Tokyo: a research prototype”. (www.bow-wow.jp, archinect.com/features/article/56468/atelier-bow-wow-tokyo-anatomy, urban-sprouts.blogspot.com, ar/2010_09_01_archive.html)


Methodological references: 1. ANGÉLIL M. and HEHL R. (Eds.) (2012). Cidade de Deus – City of God. Working with Informalized Mass Housing in Brazil. Berlin: Ruby Press. 2. JUNZO Kuroda and MO- MOYO Kaijima. (2001) Made in Tokyo: Guide Book, Kajima Institute Publishing, Japan. 3. VENTURI, Scott Brown and IZENOUR (1972) Learning from Las Vegas. MIT Press.


Thematic references: 1. LLOYD, S. & STOLL, K. (2010) Infrastructure as Architecture. Berlin: Jovis Ver- lag. 2. SHANNON, K & SMETS, M. (2009). The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure. Rotterdam: NAi Uitgevers. 3. SMETS, M. (2001). The contemporary landscape of Europe’s infrastructures. In: Lotus international (110), 116-125. 3. VAN ACKER, M. (2014) From Flux to Frame. Designing Infrastructure and shaping urbanization in Belgium. Leuven: Leuven University Press.


Background conceptual references: 1. ARROYO, J. (2011). Espacio público, Entre afirmaciones y desplaza- mientos. Santa Fe: UNL. 2. DE LANDA, M. (2000). 1000 of non linear history. New York: Swerve Editions.



  1. DELEUZE, & GUATTARI, F. (1987). 1000 Plateau. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

  2. DE SOLA-MORALES, (2008). A Matter of Things. Rotterdam: Nai Publishers. 5. FOUCAULT, M. (2004 [1977-1978]). Sécurité, territoire, population: cours au Collège de France (1977-1978). Paris: Gal- limard. 6. GARCIA CANCLINI, N. (1999). La globalización imaginada. Mexico: Paidós. 7. HABRAKEN,


N.J. (1998). The structure of the Ordinary. Cambridge: MIT Press. 8. HILLIER, B & HANSON, J. (1984). The Social Logic of Space. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. 9. LATOUR, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social. An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10. LEFEBVRE, H. (1974). La production de l’espace. Paris: Economica. 11. MCFARLANE, C. (2011) Assemblage and criti- cal urbanism, City, 15:2, 204-224, DOI: 10.1080/13604813.2011.568715 12. SCHEERLINCK, K. (2012). Depth Configurations and Privacy. Proximity, Permeability and Territorial Boundaries in Urban Projects. In: CARUCCI M. (Eds.), Revealing Privacy: Debating the Understandings of Privacy (89-104). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 13. SCHEERLINCK, K. (2012-2015). Street Scape Territories Notebook. Brussels: Dag Boutsen, LUCA, Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Ghent/Brussels, KU Leuven, Faculty of Architec- ture. 14. LATOUR, Bruno. On actor-network theory. A few clarifications plus more than a few complications. CSI-Paris/Science Studies-San Diego. English version in: Soziale Welt, vol. 47, pp. 369-381, 1996


Course Specific Competences maib24


https://onderwijsaanbod.kuleuven.be/syllabi/e/A41314E.htm#activetab=doelstellingen_idp61552 or Google “maib 24+master of architecture ku leuven”


15 ECTS


Course specific competences:


1A1 The student has insight in different aspects of the architectural process such as context analysis, conceptualisation, problem awareness and engagement, ethics and personal imagination.


5A1 The student is able to develop a relevant design project out of various spatial scale levels and the dimension of time.


3A1 The student is able to develop a critical argumentation on the position of his/her design project within the international architectual debate.


5A3 The student is able to develop a relevant design project out of a conceptual-programmatic logic. 7,1 The student is able to develop alternatives from a multidisciplinary and intercultural perspective. 4A2 The student is able to act methodologically throughout the designing process in a creative man- ner.


4A3 The student is able to establish his/her own research or project strategy. 5A4 The student is able to develop an innovative design project.


7,2 The student is able to expand his/her knowledge continuously and creatively. 2C1 The student is able to develop a complex cultural-theoretical analysis.


5C1 The student is able to develop a relevant design, based on an complex cultural / societal context analysis.


6C1 The student is able to explicitate a contemporary point of view out of a cultural-historical rheto- ric within the disciplin.


4B1 The student is able to develop a constructional design strategy for a complex case.


4B3 The student is able to develop a relevant design, taking into account fire safety, acoustics and other factors in constructional physics.


2B1 The student is able to think in a problemsolving manner, related to building technology.


 


Contribution to the generic competences:


The student is able to assimilate and integrate in critical way information through research and study in a way to act in a methodological, explorative and creative way in his architectural design in the UAD design studio. De student can interpret his personal frame of references in relation to archi- tecture through the specific field of UAD(urban architectural design) and specifically in the field of cities in transition. He is able to describe, to evaluate and to apply key concepts on this field.


 


Previous knowledge:


The student can confront and compare different views, thoughts and methods of architecture . The student can discourse about the discipline. He disposes of a cultural, scientific, graphic and technical framework to be able to develop a qualitative discourse on contemporary architecture .


The student can develop on a creative way an answer on new architecture questions. He can develop individually or in group a coherent architecture project.


The student is able to speak, read and write English in subjects relating to the broad discipline of ar- chitecture. He is able to communicate his views to representatives of his discipline, to representatives of other disciplines and to members of the general public.


The student has insight in and affinities with the larger social impact of architecture and architecture projects within a complex urban context of cities in transition.


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