Barcelona Virtual Trip

A week of seminars, lectures and presentations organised and hosted by Projective Cities MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design.

2-6 November 2020.

After 2019 studio trip, this second edition (first virtual) will deepen in the understanding of the city’s current problems and challenges derived from both contextual matters and historic claims. Organized around a number of daily topics (Introduction, models and governance for affordable housing, resilience, urban subjectivities and designing Barcelona), local guests from different profiles and backgrounds will enable a number of discussions for which the understanding of multiple stakeholders approaches becomes fundamental.


Mon   NOV 2: Barcelona, a brief introduction

Tue     NOV 3: Affordable housing: models and governance

Wed  NOV 4. Resilience

Thu     NOV 5. Urban subjectivities

Fri       NOV 6. Designing Barcelona

_3-6pm. NOTE: times are local times in Barcelona (London +1h).

_ 2 sessions per day, 1h total time. 30’ lecture + 30’ conversation led by students.

_ In English, via zoom/teams.


15-16:00h Seminar: “Barcelona, Plans and Challenges”. Barcelona’s urban structure and architecture allows a transparent reading of the urban morphology as a result of different historical society structures, political strategies, power deployment forms and city struggles. From ancient roman times, through medieval city, industrial extension (Eixample) and implementation of modern ideas, each moment spatialized socio-political ideas in specific city patterns, while transforming previous ones at its convenience. Exemplified in Barcelona, this seminar will navigate through the relevant urban episodes that made the city of Barcelona, ending up in the 1992s’ so-called “Barcelona Model”, broadly exported, and as much celebrated as criticized. Lecturer: Raül Avilla.

16:15-16:30 break

16:15-17:30h Seminar: “Community Architecture” (1 session, lecturer: Raül). The 2008 real estate bubble burst caused an unprecedented economic crisis, that soon turned into a social and political one. In 2011, the 15M Indignados (Outraged) movement became a spontaneous social movement that politicised society at all levels, producing significant changes in city governance, particularly after 2015 with the rise of the municipalist movement Barcelona in Common, whose members are former activists. This seminar will analyse how a young generation of architects assumed political commitment and social responsibility as their own agenda, shifting their disciplinary tools and protocols, and becoming mediators between administration, technicians and social movements. Closely linked, it will address the new scenario produced by the emergence of cooperative housing and a number of self-managed community facilities. Lecturer: Raül Avilla.


15-16h Josep Maria Borrell |IMPSOL| “NEW PARADIGM IN SOCIAL HOUSING” | Architect, Technical coordinator, IMPSOL-AMB. IMPSOL is the public metropolitan procurement agency in Barcelona, in charge of defining procurement and tenureship models, organizing competitions and coordinating the whole process, from conversations with different municipalities to dwellers, ensuring economic, technical and social feasibility of housing projects. In 2020, a development in Sant Boi won the prestigious FAD award for design (architects: Herreros & MIM). Ongoing projects: (usually more information in architect’s website).

16:30-17:30h Clara Triviño  | Sostre Civic Housing Cooperative |. Sostre Civic is one of the most active housing cooperatives in Catalonia, pioneer with the model in Barcelona with c/Princesa housing project. Futher projects include Cirerers (arqs: Celobert), La Balma (arqs: Lacol+la Boqueria), or senior housing cooperative (Walden XXI).


15-16:30h Elba Mansilla | “Coòpolis at Can Batlló: a laboratory for public-cooperative-communitarian managment in Barcelona city” |  Elba Mansilla is a graduate Jounalist (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and a founding partner of the cooperative La Ciutat Invisible, where works as a researcher and teacher in Feminist Economy and the Solidarity Economy, is the coordinator of the trainnig area of Coopolis – Barcelona’s Cooperative Center and a regular collaborator of the Feminist Economy Commission of the Solidarity Economy Network of Catalonia (XES). Her work has focused on the power and challenges of the Social Solidarity Economy for the self-organization of women and the feminist social transformation; and in collecting, systematizing and spreading the organizational culture for the formation of no-patriarchal groups and gender mainstreaming in cooperatives.

16:30-17:30h David Bravo Bordas | Architect, activist and educator. Co-author of ATRI strategy (Tactical Accommodations of Inclusive Repopulation, Co-curator of the exhibition “Piso Piloto” in 2015. Former designer of Barcelona City Council’s strategy against gentrification.

Documentaries to watch in preparation for the seminar:

On urban struggle:

“To Green or not to Green: Four stories of urban (in)justice in Barcelona”. BCNUEJ & Alberto Bougleux, 2020.  Available online: 

To Green or Not to Green: Four stories of urban (in)justice in Barcelona
(with English subtitles).

 “Like an invisible giant: Can Batlló and the Imaginary Cities” [Com un Gegant Invisible. Can Batlló i les Ciutats Imaginàries]. Panóptica & Lacol, 2013. Available online: (with English subtitles).

On touristification and gentrification:

“Bye Bye Barcelona”. Eduardo Chibás Fernández, 2014. (with English subtitles).

On the right to housing:

“SI SE PUEDE: Seven Days At PAH Barcelona”. Tony Macías, 2018. Available online: (with English subtitles).


15-16:30h conversation between:

Sara Ortiz Escalante |Col·lectiu Punt 6. | “Feminist Urban Planning: Towards a Radical Transformation of Everyday life Spaces” | Collective of urban designers and activists, with focus on everyday life experiences and a feminist approach to the city. Authors of the book: Urbanismo Feminista [Feminist Urbanism], Virus Editorial, 2019.

Dafne Saldaña |Equal Saree| “Space, Gender, Education” | Equal Saree is a team of architects and researchers who study the impact of spatial configuration on the (re)production of social inequalities. With a feminist approach, our goal is to design inclusive spaces through participation and co-creation with users. We use participatory and innovative methodologies to put people at the center of urban transformations and give a voice to generally neutralized groups. Following these principles, we develop architecture and urban design projects, we design and facilitate community participation processes, and carry out training and awareness-raising actions.

17h Dr. Manuel Bailo Esteve | “Public Catalyst: Against Indiference” | PhD architect and Associate Tenured Professor of Architecture, University of Virginia. Bailo Esteve’s research explores how the public space is activated by Urban Catalysts  – energy and informal agents. Manuel Bailo Esteve has been teaching and lecturing at several different universities  around the world (Harvard, Arizona, Barcelona, etc are the last universities). He founded BAILORULL in Barcelona in 1995 with Rosa Rull; BAILORULL projects crystallize a process of investigation that looks for the balance  between assimilation of new ways of reading landscape taken from extra-architectural  disciplines and focus implementation through a close-to-manufacture technology.


16h H Arquitectes | “The Nature of Building” |HARQUITECTES is an architecture studio established in 2000 and based in Barcelona. It is managed by four partner architects: David Lorente Ibáñez, Josep Ricart Ulldemolins, Xavier Ros Majó and Roger Tudó Galí, who count on an ample team of collaborators, such as architects, interior designers and students. All of them licensed between 1998 and 2000 in ETSAV (UPC), where Josep and Roger teach in the Department of Architectural Projects and Technology. Xavier also teaches Projects in the ETSA Barcelona. Their work has received many awards – for built works and also in architectural ideas competitions – and it has been published in many national and international media. They have also been selected in various exhibitions and invited as teachers and lecturers in Europe and America.

Comments are closed.