DPU_SummerLab_Barcelona_2016Are you looking for an intensive course to build your knowledge and skills as a designer in promoting spatial justice? From 19-24 September, the Bartlett Development Planning Unit UCL will host its Summer Lab 2016 Barcelona workshop in collaboration with our master program at the School of Architecture UIC.

Led by Zaida Muxi Martinez (Director of Urbanism, Housing and Public Space, Municipality of Santa Coloma de Gramenet), our workshop will deal with the following:

An accelerating influx of immigrants has been shaping contemporary cities in the last decade. The creation of urban strategies for inter-cultural co-existence is imperative. The municipality of Santa Coloma de Gramenet, in the periphery of Barcelona Metropolitan Area, has recently experienced the convergence of newcomers from Latin America, China and the Maghreb region. In this context, the DPU summerLab will explore the spatial implications of the co-existence of diverse cultures in the everyday life of the study area. Such complex reality strengthens the need to acknowledge and assess the intricate relationships between the diverse existing cultures and their use and perception of spaces of civic content. The week-long engagement of international participants with local residents and public authorities will delve into the potentials for intercultural exchanges in the hyper-diverse neighbourhood of Fondo. The driving questions of the workshop will be: a) how do multiple diasporas use and transform urban space? b) how can we map out and interpret socio-spatial interactions and conflicts (or lack thereof)? c) What is the agency of design in triggering opportunities for intercultural integration? Building on and corroborating existing design-based research, the results of the workshop will feed the on-going participatory process for the Municipality Action Plan. 

Visit the website to apply and follow DPU’s facebook page for updates.

About DPU summerLab

DPU summerLab was born out of the MSc Building & Urban Design in Development (BUDD) course in 2009 and expanded in 2010 to a wider Bartlett Development Planning Unit initiative. Drawing on the progressive action-research and practice-based ethos of the DPU in collaboration with local partners in various host cities, the workshop series aims to leverage the reality of the city as a laboratory for developing socially responsive design measures. It is intended to provoke, stimulate, and reconsider the role of designers in promoting spatial justice.

Focusing on the changing landscapes, contested processes and interdependencies within cities, the DPU summerLab series asserts that to appropriately engage in this arena, a critical recalibration is required concerning a new paradigmatic shift in the cultures and disciplines of design and urban practice.

DPU summerLab seeks to establish a unique rotating platform for in situ immersion and experimentation where the boundaries of spatial agency and design processes are actively pushed, hinging upon critical analysis and spatial knowledge development. The workshops which are geared toward students and emerging professionals with backgrounds and/or keen interest in the urban environment offer a vital testing ground for the proposing of contextual, hybridized spatial interventions embedded with socio-political agendas.

Dr. Camillo Boano is Senior Lecturer at Development Planning Unit, UCL, where he directs the MSc Building & Urban Design in Development. He has also one of our visiting faculty.

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