The twenty-fourth Vertical Workshop will propose new participatory urban culture models for Barcelona

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Students will work on designing portable theatrical installations that can be used in public spaces around the city

The twenty-fourth Vertical Workshop will propose new participatory urban culture models for Barcelona
'Deployable Cultural HUBs', Alejandro Haiek. Jaca Technology Center, Brasil.

On 1 September, the inaugural session for the twenty-fourth Vertical Workshop took place at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, titled “Put it on wheels! Mobilising the metropolitan cultural convoy”. Over the course of eight days, 140 students between their second and fifth year of the Bachelor's Degree in Architecture will work in teams to design portable theatre installations that can be assembled and dismantled in public spaces around Barcelona. The objective is to generate new participatory urban culture models around the city, combining existing cultural infrastructure with new cultural spaces resulting from citizen participation. 

This year’s Vertical Workshop is being led by architect Alejandro Haiek, founder of Lab.Pro.Fab and lecturer at Umeå University (Sweden), and Dr Raquel Colacios, lecturer at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. During the workshop, students will also receive guidance from lecturers Eva Damià, Maria Barcina, Octavio Pérez and Nacho Vallhonrat alongside architects Valentina Mion, Irina Urriola, Nashira Covarrubia and Luis Pimentel. 

Each team will work on a specific street in the city, taking inspiration from those that form part of Barcelona City Council’s programme ‘Obrim Carrers’ (We’re opening the streets): Calle Aragón, Via Laietana, Gran de Gràcia and Creu Coberta-Sants.  

“We’re facing an unusual format for the Vertical Workshop this year, as for the first time in its history it will be taking place online. That being said, I’m sure it will be an incredible learning experience”, Raquel Colacios pointed out at the opening event.  “Society is calling on us to rethink our discipline and propose new ways of understanding culture in the public space.  It’s a question of moving architecture towards the problems we’re facing, not waiting until they’re on our doorstep”, added Alejandro Haiek.  

The teams’ final proposals will be assessed at the end of the workshop by a professional jury made up of Maria Capell, programming specialist for Fira de Tàrrega and expert in theatre installations, and Rocío Pino, architect and founder of Enorme Studio in Madrid.