The second Model Barcelona Architectures Festival attracts over 20,000 visitors

The area around the Parc de les Glòries in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain) was transformed into a big area for urban and architectural experimentation for eleven days, offering a chance to reformulate public space under the slogan of Radical Empathy. Under the artistic direction of Eva Franch i Gilabert, the event enjoyed the collaboration of over fifty institutions and organisations and adopted a diverse array of formats such as temporary installations, augmented reality, exhibitions, debates, lectures, festivities, routes, workshops and courses, with over 20,000 visitors attending. For activities with limits on capacity, there were over 5,600 registrations in all.

One of the main goals of Model was to provide citizens with dozens of debates to generate conversation on public breastfeeding, housing, natural spaces, energy resources, education, the avant-garde, anthropocentrism, violence and intellectual property and many more topics.

Highlights from the second edition

The festival began on Thursday 20 April with an inauguration which transformed the Mercat dels Encants into a Nomadic Assembly, conceived by h3o Architects. This was also the scene for the prize-giving ceremony for the Model Awards for Architectural Experimentation.

The second edition of the Protocol Barcelona, in the company of the five featured cities for Model 2023 (Maputo, Mexico City, Montreal, Kyiv and Seoul), also opened up debate at the viewing deck at the Torre Glòries on the city models being developed in various places in the world, sharing different perspectives relating to heritage, sustainability, mobility, housing and innovation.

This year’s event brought a new section in the form of Salons Model, a series of tours at private libraries, opening them up to the public and giving people the chance to discover the private collections at the Biblioteca Miralles-Tagliabue, the Biblioteca Proustiana Ferran Cuito and the Biblioteca Bohigas-Galí.

The Camp Model was another new section in the programme, offering a cross-cutting and nomadic ten-day course in experimental architecture by different schools of architecture, design and creation in the city: Escola Massana, BAU, EINA, IAAC, ETSAB, LCI, ESDi and ELISAVA.

Over the ten days of the festival, the DHUB also hosted the exhibition “73 Barcelonas”, featuring a series of cartographic interpretations created and designed by over 73 local architects with the goal of representing the neighbourhoods that make up the city, using personal perspectives to ultimately achieve a collective construction. Presented together with the La Capell cooperative, the project can still be seen on the website of the cooperative, where users can obtain the drawings with the proceeds going towards the Model Grant for 2024.

With four digital architecture projects, the festival continued to back the most speculative dimension of architectural production. Over the ten days of the festival, the Protest Archive by Farah Michel (winner of the Model Award) at the DHUB produced a collection of stories of people in Barcelona through images, digital maps and sound recordings.

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