El Carrito: Week Six, Thursday, February 24, 2011

El Carrito and the DHUB Display

El Carrito and the DHUB Display

On Thursday afternoon, El Carrito was not the only element vying for people’s attention in Plaza Fort Pienc. In the middle of the space, a three-dimensional display proclaimed the eventual launch of the new DHUB space in Plaza Glories, on the north-eastern limit of the neighborhood. The municipal plans for the reconstruction of Plaza Glories include the new Disseny HUB Barcelona (DHUB) building scheduled to open in 2012. The dialogue between metropolitan (global) and neighborhood (local) concerns  is poignantly evident in the project for Plaza Glories, its relationships to other buildings of national significance within Fort Pienc (especially L’Auditori and the National Theatre of Catalunya), and how these all relate back to the neighborhood.


Once school let out that day, however, the children were mainly concerned with transforming this display element into a place to play:

Claiming Space!

Claiming Space!

The objectives evident in the approved plans for the Glories Plaza are mainly global in nature by aiming to position the area as a new metropolitan center with marginal attention for the adjacent neighborhoods on its peripheries. Conversely, Raons Publiques continues its position of exploration within the neighborhood. I want to note here, that while my observations of the activities of Raons Publiques revolve almost entirely on the ground operations of immediate public participation as manifested around El Carrito, there are many other activities that take place. Raons members continually meet with neighborhood organizations, interested supervisors at libraries, schools and other neighborhood institutions, and individual parties from fields as varied as architecture, education and sustainability who can help with this complex endeavor of exploring the social and spatial aspects of a neighborhood.

Claiming Space

In both the DHUB Display and our own model, the participating children have their own ideas as to how to make use of the present situations. They the DHUB Display into a hide-out fort, while they write their names and stake a claim to a piece of the neighborhood on the Fort Pienc model.


Finding Oscar

Today a little girl came to El Carrito, looked at the model, and proclaimed: “I know Oscar!”

On the Move

In order to diversify participation, we moved El Carrito a couple public spaces away from the main plaza to Antiga D’Horta Street. Like Ribes Street that expands into Plaza Fort Pienc, Antiga D’Horta is a remnant of an old village street that existed before the expansion of Barcelona in the mid-19th century. The old path is now a courtyard with several playground spaces. Unfortunately, and perhaps we came too late, but there were few people to participate. One of the problems now is that, among the demographics that participate, teenagers, young adults and members of the Chinese community, remain at large.


El Carrito traveling to and in Antiga D'Horta Public Space

El Carrito traveling to and in Antiga D'Horta Public Space



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