For yet another year, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture kicked off the academic year with the Vertical Workshop, an activity that takes place during the first week of class. In this edition, entitled "Doggy Bag: The Reuse of Discarded Resources", the students presented projects aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of recycling.
*Picture Albert Gordillo
This year, the Vertical Workshop was also held within the framework of the “Superillapilot” project, a Horizontal Action that sought to spark reflection on public space. It was organised by the Confederation of Architectural Project Workshops (CTPA), in cooperation with the Urban Ecology Agency from the Sant Martí district and Barcelona Activa. The students brought the space inside the superblock, which encompasses four streets, Tánger, Llacuna, Pallars and Badajoz, in Barcelona's Poblenou district, to life with ideas that promoted civic participation. Each of the four intersections featured a representation of the four fundamental rights of citizenship: democracy, culture, recreation and exchange.
In the area dedicated to Democracy, the students created a forum for discussing ideas relevant to the development and design of new cities. The Culture area was conceived as a place to accommodate cultural events and artistic interventions. The Leisure area played host to recreational activities intended for neighbourhood residents and young people. Lastly, the Exchange area was created as a project aimed at boosting the local circular economy and making it more sustainable.
Over the course of the week, the groups of students used recycled material to design and build urban furniture for the different areas. To build the furniture, they received support from local workshops and the Fab City digital manufacturing network in Poblenou.
The initiative sparked great interest among the residents who actively participated in the activities and the media, which followed the story for several days. The “Superillapilot” initiative is part of the super-block plan promoted by the Barcelona City Council. It aims to reformulate and redefine public space by promoting more sustainable mobility, revitalising public space, fostering biodiversity and integrating governance processes.
On 13 September, the projects developed as part of the Vertical Workshop were presented before a panel of lecturers from UIC Barcelona's School of Architecture. The winning proposal was the project entitled "Culture".
The Vertical Workshop at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture has been one of the School's most important and representative events since it was first organised in 1997. It is an activity that involves all undergraduate students in years one through five, who are divided into teams, each of which is headed by two nationally acclaimed young architects, and perform real architecture work for social purposes.