“During the Streetscapes Territories workshop we became acquainted with the social networks of the Raval. Through experiences we discovered the beauty and uniqueness of the place. Inhabitants showed us and told us the importance of social needs in the area.
Our suggestion for intervention is based on subjective observations. As Gernot Böhme argues,
„Atmospheric qualities arise from the designer’s empathetic sensitivity and skill.“[Gernot Bohme, ‘Atmosphere as mindful physical presence in space’, in OASE#91, eds. Havik, K. et.al.] Through this project we have developed this empathic sensitivity. However, the experiences were also systematically analyzed and categorized, for example through making the ground index or the void catalogue. This was done with the intention to get a grip on the abstract and experiential, and most of all, to be able to communicate the personal experiences within a team of 6 international students. Through the visualization and categorization we have succeeded in turning the subjective observations into a productive tool for showing our view on the Raval area, also to those outside the team.
The proposal in the form of the coherent strategy will enrich the existing network of public spaces making it more comprehensible and vital. We believe that a spatial appropriation of the empty plots will increase the quality of the public spaces of el Raval which is beneficial both for the municipality and dwellers.
As Zumthor has argued, the atmosphere and architectural quality of a space does not only lay in building new things, but also in highlighting what is already there. Therefore not only the proposals for intervention should be seen as the result of our joined effort, but rather the entire process; being in the Raval, listening to inhabitants, reflecting and showing in another manner the qualities of the Raval. As Oscar Wilde says: „The critic is he who can translate into another manner or another material his impression of beautiful things.“. To us, Raval is a beautiful thing, and through our project, we have tried to reveal this to others.”
By Antje Adriaens, Alba Alsina, Bozydar Gerginov, Alizon Lafleche, Linda Sieranowa, Edyta Swiatek