ECO-DESIGN BY REMAKING
TOWARDS AN ARCHITECTURE OF ENJOYMENT
“I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.”
Mother Teresa, A Gift for God, 1975
Our planet is a finite living system. Our habitats are being urbanised, furnished and restructured and, in this process, our urban landscape is being radically altered. This change of scale is ecological and social. In order to implement new environmental game plans we have to think, play and make collaborative initiatives towards an architecture of enjoyment.
Radical design -essential, adaptive and transgressive- is related to the establishment of socio-economic dynamics that create the production and occupancy of every-day spaces in our cities. Today the neoliberal model applied in urban economies is promulgating a new geography of centrality and marginality not only between regions or countries but within cities. This phenomenon is characterised by motion, contestation, internal asymmetries, and discontinuous transgressions between territories in friction. What should we play instead?
Social asymmetry is the new urban question, which has been convoyed by the abrupt inequity of income distribution; environmental disasters; demographic shrinkage; inner displacement of urban communities; rising of informal industry and employment; and urban voids. For instance, the proliferation of vacant sites in post-industrial and shrinking cities are the everyday characteristic of our contemporary urban image. This interstitial urbanism is defined by accidental, residual, labelled and polluted spaces. They are places of heterotopia, an ‘instant urbanity’ that constructs transitory, intermittent or spontaneous living conditions away from any conventional planning. Our cities are driven by the-right-to-the-city and the democratic occupancy of public spaces. What can we make?
Temporariness, adaptability and playability are the key play-elements in the dynamic transformation of transitory or “differential spaces” (Lefebvre, 1974), which privileges inclusiveness and use value rather than the exchange value and homogenisation of abstract or regulated spaces. The lecture will reflect on the culture of remaking through a selection of interventions in derelict lands, alternative water technologies to combat desertification and starvation in arid lands and visionary eco-design solutions for living with less.
Cristian is an architect (hons) that holds an European Ph.D. in Architecture (hons) and Master in Urban Design (ETSAB) combined with advanced postdoctoral research experiences on eco-design, experimental housing design and urban regeneration in Sweden, Norway and Spain. His main research-by-design areas are Adaptive Urbanism, Transformative Landscapes and Polyvalent Housing Design.
Cristian was senior lecturer in Architecture at Strathclyde University (2013-2016) as director of the Glasgow Project Office (GPO), design unit lead Radical Architecture, ERASMUS visiting professor and MOBILELAND VIP initiator and co-ordinator; and lecturer in Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA), UK (2007-2013) where he pioneered Vertical Studios (Wales), the ART BOX (China), Nomadic Allotments (LFA, London) and FP7 EMUVE as scientific coordinator.
He founded and co-led RECICLARQ [www.reciclarq.com] in Barcelona (2006). He was urban project leader and senior architect in the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), Rotterdam (2006-2007) developing Almere Homerus master plan, PRADA Seoul pavilion and Fondazione, and other public buildings. Through ECOFABRICA [www.ecofab.org] he is offering expertise in ecological planning: cycling routes along the Slovene Adriatic EUROVELO 9 network; educational consultancy: TEMPUS & ERASMUS+ KLABS educational in the Balkan Region; community garden: COST TU1201 partner; and international awarded projects in housing, urban design and landscape projects: Europan 8 Norway on mobile homes in Hamar, Norway (2006); Bulnes Boulevard renewal in Santiago de Chile (2012) and MOBILELAND, community-led urban regeneration initiative in Glasgow (2014-16).
Laura Petruskevicuite and Cristian are co-leading STUDIO POP [www.studiopop.net], a new social enterprise that pops natural based solutions and eco-design principles of remaking in public spaces and in deprived communities through flexible, experimental and ludic architectures.