The Barcelona Model
I think that the original Barcelona model is now almost dead yet continues to live in a better form all over the world. In Medellin our model was improved and the transformation has been spectacular. It would be great to form a committee to create a new model overseas; to both reconsider the good ideas used in the past, and encourage new proposals.
In many cities, mainly in South America, the model of transformation they used was based on our model. I think these cities and countries had bigger problems than Barcelona but because of their difficult situation, they took bigger risks and, in the end, they found better solutions. They learned from Barcelona and now it should be our turn to learn from them.
I DON’T THINK THERE IS ANY OTHER CITY IN THE WORLD WITH SUCH A CONCENTRATION OF INSTITUTIONS AIMED AT PROMOTING, EXPOSING AND DEBATING ARCHITECTURE
Every year in Barcelona architects have plenty of occasions to meet their colleagues; these could be real occasions to create complicity but this does not happen.
After the Franco years, the 80s and 90s were a very optimistic time for the city, the Olympic Games being the apotheosis of this exciting period. Things have quietened down since then, though Barcelona’s talent has not. Today we have more talent and better architects and designers than ever before. What is lacking, however, is ability to work together.
WHY CAN’T WE SHARE MORE?
THE GUIDELINES FOR THE FUTURE
The world “share” would be, for me, the basis for sustainability and social issues. Why do we have to have such excessive duplication in our lives and homes? Why can’t we think of different ways to function?
We should consider each element implemented in our house and our city; is it necessary to have it for ourselves or could we perhaps share it with others?
We are able to share a square, a street, a public space like a museum, so why can’t we share more?
What are the limits of what we can share with others? In the past I conducted a social project based on the limit of the number of square meters seen as acceptable for a living space; I would be very interested today to explore the limits of sharing on any scale.
I am convinced that the only way to save the environment is to rethink cities with these possibilities.
Extract:Interview with Josep Bohigas. Josep Bohigas (Barcelona, 1967) writes, thinks and makes architecture buildings, urban spaces, temporary structures, interiors. He founded BOPBAA an architectural studio in 1990 with Francesc Pla Ferrer and Inaki Baquero Riazuelo.
November 16, 2011