PARLI AMB MES DESCONEGUTS
Glimpses of ancient ruins are visible beneath the streets of Barcelona, bullet-holes from the Civil War scar the buildings, and architectural styles from Gothic to ultramodern can be seen on the same block. But in the current state of the economic and political climate, individual histories are being lost in the struggle. We wanted to find a way to reveal these stories by activating a lost corner of the city with a powerful public outlet. Parli Amb Mes Desconeguts empowers the people of the Raval to express their personal stories through words and images. Created out of readily available standard parts, Parli Amb Mes Desconeguts is a project built to challenge the perception of everyday materials and junk spaces.
By day, the space invites passersby to pause in a peaceful green space, just around the corner from the bustling Via Laietana. They can climb the skeleton of Parli Amb Mes Desconeguts, observing the city from new angles. With walls for writing and lush enclaves for conversation, Parli Amb Mes Desconeguts becomes a place to encourage the open exchange of ideas.
By night, Parli Amb Mes Desconeguts transforms into an interactive public library, where visitors can write or draw expressions of their hopes, dreams, and desires on the structure’s clear plexiglass surface. Through a dynamic lighting program, these messages and sketches will be broadcast to the public as a glowing, changing reminder of each person’s individual story. In addition to drawing out personal thoughts that reflect upon Barcelona’s identity, the installation will bring much needed green space and nighttime activity to a formerly forgotten lot.
Once a permanent use is found for the site and Parli Amb Mes Desconeguts is dismantled, the materials will be funneled back into the community so that project’s life extends beyond an interim use. The scaffolding may be used for further local development, the plants can be distributed to community gardens, and the plexiglass can be donated to artists for use in other public art projects.
Who eme3 Competition
Where Barcelona, Spain
When 2012, unbuilt
How Project Team: Elise DeChard, Rebecca Birmingham