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Urban Interventions

2017 — 2018

The urban space contains a lot of mysteries. We use it everyday on our way to work; when we meet friends in the park, or exercising along the river. Many laws control the urban space, but often we are not aware of them.

Logically, we behave differently in public (urban) spaces than in our house, because we don’t have the feeling of that space belonging to us. Urban planning has made cities very generic and the tendency to make the public space ours has been lost.

‘Urban interventions’ is a series of three experiments initiated around the Matadero in Madrid, that explores the possibilities of the public space.

After a workout routine of actions in Usera and a research about conventions towards the use of public space, a new question arises; why is public space not public property?




How does people use the space in the circle?

After a week of observation about how people use the public space, I tried to mimick in a time frame of 1 hour different actions.

The challenge was to recreate and experience a series of actions in the city. Giving myself a one-hour limit, I had to find in this space the surrounding that had the best potential to execute the actions.

Time of the performance: 1 hour



But actually, what is public?
My new definition of a public space is a space which is normal, feels comfortable and is allowed to use.

‘Urban testing’ was initiated in a radius of one kilometer with Matadero as a center. Actions were repeated as much as possible in the public space and pictured.

List of actions:
- Sitting
- Laying
- Standing

The situations were classified according to three parameters: Normal – Abnormal; Comfort – Discomfort; Allowed – Not allowed

These parameters were chosen to define if an action in a space was considered as public or not public.

Time of the performance: 3x 20 minutes

urban testing book magazine version

System/Open-source design

Propriété (FR) - Propiedad (SPA)
Unofficial campaign

After trying to understand how an action can be defined as public considering the space and the behaviour of people, I realised that public space doesn’t inherently suggest any feelings of appropriation. We are limited by what the city hall can offer us, and use the public space in a predefined way.

Therefore, citizens don’t have much control of their surroundings in the public area. Propiedad Pública is an attempt to make the cityscape more human. The idea comes from a public space shaped with private resources offered up for public use. Elements like chairs, stools, tables etc. that we no longer want in our house but can still provide their original function can be turned into public property. Its provider will then define the place and the way it will be used.

The project comes with a website that explain with instructions how to execute the system. It provides also various open-source templates and patterns to be use as stencils and the design of a tape to mark the space.

For a public space less generic and that trusts in the good will of people.