Find out about the projects selected in the Cities Ahead call, which will be part of Concéntrico in Logroño from 27 April to 2 May 2023.
Concéntrico 09, International Architecture and Design Festival of Logroño, proposes to reflect on the urban environment and the city through architecture and design proposals in different formats. The new edition will be held from 27 April to 2 May 2023.
Cities Ahead is a European programme initiated by the Goethe-Institut that promotes the transformation of creative places. Its aim is to transform the city into an ideal ecosystem for culture and creativity, harnessing its full potential for global dissemination and international cultural cooperation.
The members of the jury met at the Goethe-Institut Madrid on 25 January 2023 to decide on the Cities Ahead calls for proposals:
Antonia Blau, Director of Goethe-Institut Madrid.
Carmen Urquia, councillor of Logroño City Council.
Silvia Lindner, director of Museo Würth La Rioja; Charles Landry, creative urban planner.
Javier Peña, director of Concéntrico.
The jury determined that the three selected practices are:
Cantiere Aperto: a collective urban practice
Hypereden + Frantoio Sociale
The project “Cantiere Aperto: a collective practice” has a simple, ultimate purpose: to build in the public space a specific artifact suggested by the community itself. The way to reach this final goal, however, is as important as the goal itself: the practice, already tried out by Hypereden and Frantoio Sociale through workshops related to different urban environments and actors involved, promotes urban transformation as a collective and collaborative activity. This operation is conducted together with the local organizations and inhabitants, using the tool of self construction and reuse of waste materials as a vehicle for dialogue, relationship and belonging.
A little fountain, a vase, a bench, a flowerbed, a floor: a set of urban furniture is the potential subject of this collective urban practice, which invites the construction of a new form of coexistence, care and conservation, production and making through participation between inhabitants.
Hypereden is a collective of architects and designers and an association that encourages practices aimed at the redevelopment and active transformation of collective spaces, including self-construction as a tool for involving communities. Frantoio Sociale it’s a project which investigates the potential of the demolition and the transformation of materials, as a social and collaborative practice.
The mobile library of women’s local knowledge
We propose a humble process of valuing and putting the local knowledge of the citizens of Logroño in the heart of our project. Starting from site-specific explorations of habits, rituals and rules, we use our diverse cultural as well as professional background to overcome social barriers and disciplines. By collecting and archiving the knowledge of the citizens of Logroño, we aim to combine everyday knowledge with global knowledge. Knowledge in our way of thinking and working can range from small things as for example to know a recipe for pancakes, how to tell a joke, how to plant and grow tomatoes, where to find the most beautiful places in town up to knowing more about the traditional building methods in the region. Bringing together different knowledge we want to support the process of learning, sharing and empowering. Our approach is site-specific and process-oriented.
Women of Logroño
Within our project we would like to focus on the knowledge of the women of Logroño – mothers, workers, singles, migrants, senior citizens, widows, cis-women, lesbians and so on. We are aware that while addressing only this one group, we exclude others from this participative process. Through this approach we want to put women in the focus and give them a platform and a safe space to express themselves, their thoughts and their knowledge about their city. Women in the city of Logroño – how do you perceive urban space? Where are your favorite places in the city? What is needed for a safe environment? Where can we find women’s spaces? In a cooperative working process we reflect on our perception as women in public space, behavioral patterns in public and our needs in the social and spatial context of the district. For the realization of the project we would like to work together with women, passers by who we coincidentally meet on the streets of Logroño.
Mobile library – public space
During the festival-week we want to collect knowledge and create a point of encounter – for this we open a mobile library. A library as a public space enables encounter and space for sharing. In times of shrinking public spaces and when consumption becomes more and more imposed through this action we emphasize the importance of these existing public spaces in the city. The mobile library will be traveling through Logroño and activating different places in the city temporarily. It is an ephemeral action with a sustainable impact. Therefore it would be great to cooperate with the local library and decide together with the local experts and the festival team which spots in the city should be visited by the mobile library.
Catalystas collective (Carla Kienz, Johanna Richter and Maroua Krout) is working in the intersection of architecture, urban studies and artistic strategies. The interest field is the city, it’s dynamics and it’s beauty. In context of today’s transformation processes, they feel the urgency to mediate between people, disciplines, activities, to build up new networks while giving voice to the diversity of ideas from a wide public. From the site-specific research on daily routines, rituals and rules, they seek for a careful and humble practice connecting the physical, mental and emotional body.
Carlos Herraiz and Vanesa Peña Alarcón
* Logomaquias From gr. λογομαχία logomachía ‘altercation’. 1. n. A discussion in which attention is paid to the words and not to the substance of the matter.
If thinking originates in the mouth, then art starts in the street. The traces of time in contemporary cities are the chewing gum stuck and stamped on the public pavement. The old ashlar ruins have become modern plastic deformities that no one pays attention to, but everyone has made their own at some point in a borderline exercise of the palate, drool, and molar. The chewing gum on the roadside acts like the scab that covers a wound: it reveals the passage of time, fossilised in the urban spittle. The gum is the contemporary sediment, the debacle before which we must imagine everything that existed before to understand it. In this sense, dematerialising chewing gum is to discover in its crude and grotesque nakedness our own.
We, as gleaners, continue with that gesture that has not changed in our society of abundance: bending down and gathering. From the bottom, the dialectics of what has always lasted but never preserved is better understood. Something that takes years to degrade can become fragile in just a few days, turning from elastic to static. The flexibility of chewing gum is also its vulnerability, and ours, despite its durability over time. Therefore, it is in the relic of chewing gum where finding the testimony that justifies the existence of something far beyond itself, of ourselves. To collect is, in this sense, to point out an absence.
Motivation and objetives
Based on two antagonist experiences concerning stuttering (“having it” on the part of the artist Carlos Herraiz and “not having it” on the part of the curator Vanesa Peña), the collective created an artistic collaboration employing the chewing gum as an aesthetic beginning. On the basis of this object, they aim to start a reflection on the communicative disfluencies in contemporary societies.
Logomaquias carry out different social actions from the communal and the collective through creating diverse artefacts for exchanging and producing polyphonic knowledge about speech and its possible poetic and symbolic links with chewing gum. These exercises aim to cocreate new vehicles of conversation between audiences, cultural platforms, and collections together with associations and collectives working for the visibility and integration of people with communication and/or speech difficulties. The aim is to examine the degrees of communication difficulties from the perspective of experience rather than pathology, proposing alternatives to the normative forms of verbal communication.