“The workshop and group work opened our eyes to things we are not often exposed to in academia; firstly, because we were not encouraged to think like designers from the beginning of the process, there were more questions than answers throughout. Clearly, the fact that for two weeks we became users of El Raval’s streetscape territories helped us in getting a grasp of the context and made us delve into interactive research methods. To an extent, the neighbourhood itself might also have benefitted from our temporary habitation – yet any new, curious group stirs up local dynamics. Local vendors started recognising us quickly and some even greeted us any time we came around. It made us believe in our immediate, bottom-up intervention.
Undoubtedly, the strength of our project lies in its realistic approach and readiness to application. We recognise the power, but also limitations of architecture in addressing social issues. The operation of projections could be seen as formal-informal shared authority and as spreading responsibility for the neighbourhood across various groups of interest. The ultimate value seems to be shifting towards the notion of ground, towards street life and the streetscape which accommodates it. We truly believe that an animated, flexible streetscape can let El Raval come out of the shadow. “
By Fiona Gomez, Marina Ollé Sambola, Petrus Torstenson, Katarzyna Uchman, Jan Urban, Fie Vandamme