The FURNISH-KIDS consortium is delighted to announce that the design teams have successfully developed, fabricated, installed and tested two additional prototypical urban elements in Barcelona and Milan. Representing the third edition of the FURNISH program, these prototypes combine tactical urbanism with local digital manufacturing to make public spaces safer, more comfortable and more engaging for use by urban schoolchildren.
Please find an overview of the results below, and we invite you to download each team’s respective Design Booklet PDF for more information.
The prototypes created are:
Prototype name: El Cargol (The Snail)
City: Barcelona (Spain)
Link to Design Booklet PDF
The FURNISH program aims to improve public urban spaces through tactical design interventions. This year’s edition, FURNISH-KIDS 2022, was hosted in the creative hubs of Barcelona and Milan. In Barcelona, the design teams concentrated on the ever-changing area of Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes. Once the densest car interchange of the city, Glòries is transforming to become a symbol of the Catalan capital’s emergent future: one which is green, diverse, and citizen-centered. The selected site at the intersection of the avenue Gran Via with les Glòries presented a compelling challenge of urban regeneration. Being originally intended for vehicular use, it lacked any amenities for human occupation. Through a series of workshops with young students from a nearby school, it became clear that the hardscape would thus benefit from architectural elements enabling outdoor educational activities and musical performances. The design response put forward by IAAC’s Valldaura Labs was developed to give new life not only to the repurposed place, but also to repurposed scrap materials such as locally-sourced pine logs and offcuts through the application of advanced techniques. These materials were cataloged, measured, 3D-scanned for virtual modeling and arranged by an algorithm. Scaled and life-size models were constructed to test appropriate ergonomic dimensions, methods of connection and aesthetic impressions. Prefabrication of the installed modules was completed at IAAC’s Valldaura Labs using manually and digitally-driven Fab Lab tools. All elements were transported to the implementation site and assembled in one day with the help of a small crane. The same young students who informed the design were invited to participate in the assembly process, during which, inspired by the organic shape, they nicknamed the project ‘El Cargol’ (‘The Snail’ in Catalan). The structure is open to the public, and, as a temporal intervention, is foreseen to be eventually dismantled and disposed of with no harm to the natural environment from which its materials were extracted.
SHARED PLAYSCAPES is a co-designed system of mobile urban elements to promote collective play in public spaces. Involving primary school students, the research team, and the municipalities concerned, the project proposes temporary interventions in pacified spaces adjacent to primary schools in Barcelona and Milan. Its aim is double: on the one hand, it promotes the activation of public spaces contributing to the concept of playable cities through the lens of temporality. On the other hand, it constructs a meaningful relationship between children from different cities using design protocols based on sharing and collaborating at a distance. SHARED PLAYSCAPES explores the values of co-design at both the material level (informing design decisions for a temporary, adaptable and reconfigurable public space) and the relational level (establishing an operative, narrative and experiential link between participants). SHARED PLAYSCAPES represents a commitment to co-designed temporary public spaces and an exploration of medium design, i.e., a design that proposes open and adaptable protocols for interplay in space over time.