At DHUB Session on New Landscapes – Architecture Beyond Leisur

Posted: June 8th, 2009 | No Comments »

Last week, I participated to a Design Hub Barcelona (DHUB) session on “New Landscapes – Architecture Beyond Leisure. In my talk “people + technology + space“, I briefly presented the works, in relation to tourism, developed at UPF and MIT and featured at the Tourism. Spaces of fiction exhibition (i.e. Los Ojos del Mundo, Real-time Rome and WikiCity Rome). This exhibition focuses on tourism from planning, projection and design angles. The presence of an engineer+researcher was rather at odds with a parterre of architects and practitioners of the physical space. I am glad the curators Mario Ballesteros and Irene Hwang took the risk of exposing my different perspective coming from the study of hybrid cities. It got me to further grasp the degree of misunderstandings and differences of practices within the multiple actors that now touch the design of the public space (be it physical, hybrid or digital). The presentation I have seen had a very elaborated discourse on shaping the space for tourists and urban dwellers, but I expressed my doubts on the capacity of the current practitioners to engage in a design process that actually focus on people (for the sake of doing things right and to learn, see The end of temelessness). In contrast, architect Julien de Smedt described the work I presented as merely useless. A judgment I certainly understand coming from a practice that barely integrates the tourist as a human and discards the hybrid as part of the space.

DHUB Sessions
A mix of old bricks and fresh bits announcing the DHUB session.

Thanks to Carlos Ipser, Mario Ballesteros and Irene Hwang for the invitation!