Spatial Configuration of Collective Spaces


Spatial Configuration of Collective Spaces within Formal/Informal Dynamics: the Relation between Urban Transformation and Infrastructure in the Case of the Plaza de las Glorias Catalanas, Barcelona.

The PhD-research project will investigate the specific meaning, character, spatial and programmatic qualities and dynamics that collective spaces acquire in settings in which formal and informal logics of producing space come together to generate urban transformations. By researching the interplay of the informal/formal logics, a framework can be defined for understanding nontraditional conjugations of spaces, boundaries and territories. The project will address the case of the transformation of Plaza de las Glorias Catalanas, in Barcelona, namely, the on-going process of turning a car infrastructure-based open space based on formal and informal processes into a new formalized urban centrality; with the main focus on unveiling the complex convergence of streetscapes and urban infrastructures that take place in contemporary urban transformation processes. The initial hypothesis is that understanding the configuration of collective spaces under these circumstances -when taking into account the informal logics of production of space- has intrinsic capacities to upgrade the design of architecture and urban projects to innovative techno-cultural practices, in terms of urban spaces and typologies. The subject of study are spaces and typologies in which quality is boosted, embracing notions of adaptability, uncertainty and resilience, multi-use(r)s, gradients and an upgraded relation between buildings and open spaces as creative adjacencies. The project aims to register, map, develop insights, discuss and push forward a transfer process between actual urban phenomena and potential disciplinary resources from a theoretical, strategic and design point of view.

PhD project, Maria Cecilia Chiappini (prom. prof. Kris Scheerlinck, co-prom. prof. Yves Schoonjans)