Participatory Mood – New Generations: Re-Inventing Madrid

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New Generations: Re-Inventing Madrid Gianpiero Venturini | architect AND CURATOR

Madrid is a city in constant transformation. Spain, like many South European countries, is suffering the consequences of the economic crisis more than others and this is strongly reflected in the work of the younger generation of architects. As in any crisis, the new cultural, political and economic conditions are reflected in society, driving new ideas, methods and innovative processes. The new generation of architects is called to renew itself, to propose alternative solutions capable of advancing discussions and knowledge exchange. Itinerant Office is conducting the “New Generations� investigation, which involves some of the most innovative young

(...) to propose alternative solutions capable of advancing discussions and knowledge exchange. 124

Estudio Sic (source: Gianpiero Venturini).

architects in Spain. This research shows that one of the main topics on which the new generation of Spanish architects is elaborating new theories is public space. Estudio Sic and the collaborative platform Vic (Vivero de iniciativas ciudadanas), for example, are re-interpreting the topic of public space as a container where citizens can and are proposing collaborative initiatives. They are, somehow, positioning themselves between the public and private administrations. Vic is a collaborative platform that collects ideas and suggestions to make changes to the traditional model of the city. Another interesting reflection on public space comes from FRPO (Fernando Rodriguez and Pablo Oriol), a young studio that has always worked in a more traditional way, participating in local or international competitions, with the clear objective of investigating new buildings and infrastructures. Today, they are re-thinking their work: “Madrid, Spain, the whole of Europe are experiencing a period of unprecedented crisis and every architect must be able to interpret a new role. The future of the

FRPO (source: Gianpiero Venturini).

Estudio Pac-man (source: Gianpiero Venturini).

profession must necessarily pass through a series of keywords: rehabilitation, renovation, conversion, extension ...” The countless infrastructures, outcome of the housing bubble, should give us time to reflect on new future scenarios. An innovative approach to the traditional model is presented by Estudio Pac-man which, for a couple of years, has been investigating and innovating, introducing a number of new terms on which the young group is elaborating new theories: “prestige citizens brands” and “city creates city” are two projects that aim to propose the application of alternative public space strategies to other fields of action. The traditional relationship between architects/citizens/companies (public and private) must be reviewed and adapted to these new conditions. Public space is the new trend, and it is moving to the centre of the contemporary debate advanced by the majority of young Spanish architects. The message is clear: this reflection will lead to the renewal of the profession.