Team Representative: María Anguita García (ES) – architect
Associates: Antonio Miguel Bonilla Eslava (ES), Pedro Ortiz Soto (ES), Violeta Ramos Expósito (ES), Paula Herrera Fernández (ES) – architects
Contributor: Clara Fischer del Hoyo (ES) - architecture student
P. Herrera Fernández, C. Fischer del Hoyo, V. Ramos Expósito, P. Ortiz Soto, A. Bonilla Eslava & M. Anguita García
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
All the members of the team are somehow linked to the firm of architecture, landscape and gastrosophy LaPlasita. For us, the starting point to work was a shared interest on diverse and complementary disciplines, such as politics, architecture, sociology and the city. Hence, Europan 14 presented the opportunity to build a team and to go deeper into the existing connections between all those subjects, creating a collective discourse.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
Rethinking La Bazana as a Transition City means to establish a process. This is a long-term action with several phases pursuing different goals. Through these goals, the project aims at increasing both the autonomy and the empowerment of the local population. Therefore, it will develop strategies of food sovereignty, minimization of energy dependence and strength of the productive fabric, among others. All of them will be implemented valuing both the landscape and the territory where the project is developed. The productive sphere cannot be considered more relevant than the reproductive one (people and environment). For this reason, those strategies that promote the productive fabric need to be thought from the territory. We consider fundamental both the participation of the community during the process (bottom-up process) and the incorporation of approaches that look at global environmental aspects, landscape and heritage.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
We use Transition City as a holistic concept which allows us to develop those transformation strategies that simultaneously affect several supporting life critical spheres (SOCIAL (+CARE), ECONOMY (+PRODUCTION), ENERGY, TERRITORY). From this perspective, we seek to facilitate a collective process of reinforcement of the material and immaterial networks. This aims at improving life conditions in La Bazana. We also pursue to create a model that could be exported to other territories. La Bazana is a small-scale city with a rural environment. There, those economic activities related to sustainable exploitation of territory resources appear as a chance to diversify its economy. Therefore, we propose to intervene from a strategic and participatory process that focuses on the creation of a model based on self-management and empowerment.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Some of the concepts mentioned above are related from previous and individual research developed by different members of the team (nourished cities, productive landscapes, bioconstruction, self- management, feminism, and so on). We understand our proposal as a sum of worries, philias, phobias and unfinished matters that concern us. Some of the references we have managed during the process are the following: - Walden 7 - UN Commitments 20-30 - Transition cities - Patrimonio cultural en la nueva ruralidad andaluza. - Territorio sin discurso, paisaje sin imaginario. - La economía desde el feminismo: trabajos y cuidados. - Demain - Incredible Edible
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
This is one of the main points in our project, as it is crucial to understand it. We believe in the power of sum. And from that belief the strategies of participation, empowerment workshops and the bonds with some of the agents that orbit around our project emerge. (institutions, universities, researchers). As we see it, the actions are a bottom-up process taking place during a ten-years timeframe, in which the different actors come into play.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
Yes, it is. Receiving this award is very positive for all us. It positions us in the kind of architecture in which we believe. It also defines us as individuals. Hence, this project will mark our way to do architecture in the future.