Rethinking San Antón

The format to work on this phase is format B. This mean to transform us into “activists” and try to mobilize the neighborhood, wake their possibilities up and make an effort to transform them into reality with collaboration of all parts and agents involved.



The structure of this format fits our project best, because we saw the interest of the people when we had our first talks, and so the role of the “activist” (or the mediator between different actors) was in our minds already from the start. The goal at the end must be from the neighbors to the neighbors, without any intermediary, being a non profit intervention and of course without any privatization of the parts. The main objective will be  :




The key of our project is using and transforming the identity of San Antón by creating something new and interesting, which could serve for different purposes. The goal is to reactivate the neighborhood using the knowledge and capabilities of the people, and preserving their lifestyle – living on the street. In order to achieve that, we combined the main points of our individual projects from phase 3, and implemented them into a single group project, realizing that these keys of the new project will be :

partes proyecto

From those we had to make a reselection again, in order to choose the really ones that the project will have according to the possibilities and having in mind the identity of the neighborhood and neighbors themselves. We summarize all them in four.

The cook identity. A real brand of San Antón. The knowledge of traditional kitchen and recipes are really arranged with its most population, the 3rd age. Besides we consider that it must be mantained and transmitted along time.

The street lifestyle. Another special feature of the neighborhood. This lifestyle is almost unique inside Alicante,  a small village into the city.

Modular system. The design must accept different versions just changing small devices. It must also be adaptable to different situations the neighbors might want.

Urban topography. The neighborhood itself has an special morfology. The design must adapt to this  present form and create urban spaces which make their life easier and more pleasant to the inhabitants.

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.13.13


Calle Paraiso was chosen as a location of our project, because it is situated in the middle of the neighborhood, and is also one of the few (public) places not occupied with cars.

First idea was influenced by Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion from 2013. The organic growth of the boxes follows the concept of hybridization of the living, playing and eating on the street. We made a 40×40 cm grid on Calle Paraiso, and created a modular box with the same size, which could be used for several purposes (chair, table, planter, stove, recycle bin,drawer, sink, etc.).

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.16.48

The second reference, acting more like a performance activity,  involved a wooden mobile kitchen cart  made by Ania Rosinke and Maciej Chmara , but was also set aside because of the problem of constructing this kind of cart, accessibility and also because of the comments about problematic of preparing food on the street, made by experts from city council, when they visited our presentation in class.

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.16.36

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.17.00

But this idea was put aside, because of the problems regarding construction of different types of boxes, and also arranging them into a complex organic structure. We realize besides that the hybridization of our previous phases ( box + chair ) had been really obvious and the result was really poor aswell.

bn1 bn2 bn3

For that, we had to develop different versions that save these problems, and really show the neighbors that with a few resources and collaboration of taking them real, the results can be very promising.



/// Version 1 Dice system

First design is based on building a cube in which we insert a 2d silhouette of a normal chair, in order to simulate the identity of putting a chair on the street of San Antón. Each side of the box represents a part of the chair (seat, backrest, legs), and people can create new shapes of chairs with combining and rotating different sides of the boxes. Problematics of this system could arise in lack of weight support or uncomfortable sitting experience. The main inspiration we took on this version were the modelism plays and the punch-out pieces system they use.

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.38.11

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.38.19

/// Version 2  Old furniture in a box

With this system we bring the domestic feeling into the street. By recycling old pieces of furniture (legs, tables, backrests, lamps, etc.) we create modular system which adapts identity in a new way. Modular units follow the same 40x40x40 cm size, and are prepared for modular (organic) growth.This modules will have different uses, from simples bench to flowerpots or even lamps. The main idea of the design is cutting a leg of a chair or a table in four pieces and attaching those pieces to two surfaces, which could be full (in order to sit on it) or with a hole, so box can be used for storage. All the cutten surfaces will be painted in the same color, to achieve a whole same image. The problem of this design is finding a big amount of suitable old furniture, maybe expensive if it’s bought on second hand, and also with the stability and resistance of the boxes. The reference used is Sauvez les meubles by the design studio 5.5.

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.42.15Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.42.23

/// Version 3 Branching chairs

Chain system also follows a modular structure, but is not based on a grid as previous ones. It follows a fractal growth, which can be easily changed by the users. System is adaptable and uses recycled chairs. It’s idea is to cut the chair’s backrest at 80 cm of height, and adding a trapezoid surface in order to make a surface, which could be used as a table. With this procedure we get chair and a table in the same element. Second object of the chain system is the cooking element, which is made from two back sides of a chair (without the seat) put together, and a trapezoid surface on top of them. This allows people to approach this element from different sides and use it for preparing food. Main problem of this system is unification of chairs, because different chairs require different procedures with transforming them. Problem may also occur with the lack of space on the street, because this system could be space consuming. The inspiration used in this version is the Table Cloth by Ball Nogues Studio.

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.50.36Captura de pantalla 2014-04-04 a la(s) 22.50.43


With these different design proposals we show people what could be done with a few resources and basic materials in order to improve the quality of the public space. Our intent was not to create a final image, but a system which enhances neighbor’s interest and explore their creativity. To achieve that in a visual way  and try to be more close to the neighbors we made a model showing this three versions which we move to the neighborhood to had feedback about our designs.

/// Interactive model

Model was made to show the idea of the project, not the design itself. By building the model we encourage the people to interact with it and build their own combinations of the system, and make a personal touch to the project, by transforming the modules into a system which fulfills their current needs. Because of that, all versions of the model follow the modular system, and to emphasize that, modular grid is engraved in the surface which represents the stairs of Calle Paraiso.


We recommend watch it in high definition.

More pictures of the project here.

/// Dossier for interviews

Apart from that we also create a dossier with all the information about the project, develop in a infographic way to do the communication with neighbors easier.


You can take a look here 



///Attack plan

Having a plan of the whole intervention is essential. Firstly a representative assembly is organized, in our case on the 23rd of March, having in mind previous encounters with the City Council or another agents inside the project. In this assembly several solutions of can be showed, recieving opinions and feedback to go on. On the other hand with an advertisement strategy new fund will be reach that allow us and the neighbors to work together in a co-design and a following co-execution. Reaching this final solution, a specification sheet will be delivered in order to know how to proceed with it, and finally the activation of the whole interventions will have occurred.

esquemas finales


///Social network

This infography shows the complexity of the relationships created and the chronology of the events. Click on the image to see full size.

infografía final wip INGLIS


///Meeting 23 March


Having a previous agreement with Julio Senén for letting have an informative meeting with the neighbors in his empty plots we set all up. We got the microphones and the amplifier from  El Farolito, run by Tito Sayes , who will join the meeting afterwards. The meeting was supposed to start at 18:00 but due to some problems, the main that the plot was not able to be occupied that day, we were forced to do the meeting in the same street, at C/ Nueva Baja. We prepare the projector, the chairs and the microphones and wait for the people to come.

When people started to come (before the official beginning)  they spontaneously started to talk with us (and among each other) about the neighborhood and it’s problems. After about an hour of the conversation and after bigger crowd started to assemble, more than 30 people, we started with our presentation.

After the presentation the neighbors had the possibility to participate in the open microphone, where they could share their thoughts in three minutes. The response of the people was surprisingly good, and the comments they made were most of the time illustrative and useful.



The strategy to let the microphone open 3 minutes for a few words of each neighbor was very correct. In that way we obtain several testimonies from them, things that have to be changed, or can be adapted to the project, keys to the following steps, etc.. Furthermore, we made new contacts inside the neighborhood, people who is very interested in the project and who can take part in the next phases.


The main benefit we mainly got was that the project was finally opened to all the neighborhood. Having a presentation like that gave us the seriousness the project need, and gaining the confidence we need from the neighbors. The community engagement in ther was also reinforced, showing to them how strong a community could be if is unified.


Conclusion is that people really want their neighborhood to change, but they feel that they don’t have enough power to do it, or they just need a leader to tell them what to do. That’s why they benefit a lot from a mediator between them and the city council, so the things could get better for the neighbors of San Antón.

Apart from this, we realize that in that kind of meeting, another action as companion can help a lot. People can get bored of talking and talking, and having breaks with music, poets or other interventions can be productive.

You can take a look to the slideshow of the 23 of March here







Facing the need of advertising the meeting somehow into the neighborhood , we decide first to understand how the communication of events work between the neighbors. Being a really small place and with a high percentage of 3rd age population, the main way of informing is the traditional way , posters and by word of mouth, against the new technologies and social networks. For that the chosen method to work are the informative posters, the personal approach and the interaction with the neighbors. Besides, with this action of placing the posters we realize that the action itself, attract people and curious, getting the possibility to speak and inform them personally.

 For the creation of the posters and its following success a strategy to follow is needed. We can divide it in 4 steps :

Step 1

Detect and show the empty spaces inside the neighborhood, being public , private and temporarily or not.


Pseudopresentación 14 marzo

Step 2

Communicate with the neighbors  this huge amount of unused space they have.

Step 3

To speak ironically that those spaces would be selected for public interventions, but afterwards, that is not going to happen really, because they would require huge investments.

This try to create expectation, interest and excitement between the neighbors , and at last a response when they really realize that this is not going to happen, getting more people to the final meeting who want to discuss about the lack of public space in S.A..

Step 4

Explain and convince that if this is not going to happen there are other ways to create the city, from cooperativism between citizens, City Council and technicians, to collective management or recycling.

/// Design

Our intention at the time of designing the poster was that could be mislead with any infrastructural opening poster placed by governmental technicians such as Plan E billboards on a new construction.

To avoid legislative problems for any lawsuit of identity theft , we chose to use icons and colors normally used on constructions and signs posters.

The objective was to gain attention of the neighbors at first sight, with the  promising news that something was really to be built in S.A. , breaking this expectations and encouraging them to participate to make real this interventions.

Pseudopresentación 14 marzoPseudopresentación 14 marzo

/// Placing

The result were 30 informative posters , printed in collaboration of Senén print shop inside the neighborhood, spread all over the unused plots in San Antón that generated the attention desired and attracting more and more people to the final meeting.


placing posters












Pseudopresentación 14 marzo



About the advertisement of the project itself it was showed clear how this should be after all the meetings with the neighbors . It had to be an advertisement campaign where the client was inside personally. Some conclusion that we got on the meeting on the 23rd was the energy the neighbors showed and how confident they are with the project when they saw themselves appearing on the slides projected and the strength this strategy could give us for our next steps. For that we decide to film a video with the neighborhood and neighbors as the main characters and work as activator of the project.

We recommend watch it in high definition.

You can also watch here the video in full HD with spanish subtitles here


Analyzing the video we clearly found different parts and intentions. Firstly the current environment is described accompanied by background voices. They describe the past situations the neighborhood had in the past years and how the situations has changed nowadays. The double sense strategy is used, facing what the voices say and what the images show, totally in contrast. Meanwhile some voices place some potentialities about S.A. among the bad situations, giving some positivism to the scenes.

After that, the posters advertising campaign are showed partially, giving an advance that something is happening , some activator is going to happen and try to change this situations within the neighbors.

The final scenes that show some well known neighbors reporting their requests on a open mic, are trying to encourage other neighbors with the same feeling to join the project.


The objective of the video was double:

To the Public administration : explaining the real situation, persuading them and try to reach any help or collaboration from them with a very intense emotional video.

To the own neighbors : showing the union between themselves and the common illusion they have to change this  negative situation.

To the rest of the city : showing  what is happening in the neighborhood, trying to gather people interested.


1 – Gathering people interested in the project from the social networks

Lawyer – Rosemary Lorente : lawyer living in the neighborhood is open to help us in the possible legal aspects the project can request.
Alicante Vivo  – Alfredo C. Quereda : he has showed high interest about the project, a new meeting with his team is set on following days.
Desolats – Sento Oncina : apart for being the founder of the Hort Comunitari de Carolines, he is developing the project Desolats.  A new vision of the empty plots around the city and the wide possibilities they can offer.
P.I.C – Pepe López:  he has showed high interest about the project, a new meeting with his team is set on following days.

U.A – Jose Ramón Navarro Vera: he will add the theoretical aspects about the way of urbanism we propose and how enrich our proposals.

On the other hand the response from the citizens ( inside the neighborhood or not ) has been very promising and some of them has ask to involve seriously in the project.

You can take a look to some success cases here

You can visit our facebook group here
2  – Convincing the City Council 

Patronato municipal de la vivienda – The feedback received is very positive. They have proposed us to make interventions on their empty plots in order to organize like a selling fair of the projects and drafts the own plots have from past architecture contest. We have been ask to promote the neighborhood doing different actions in these plots to attract promoters to S.A. and finally give solution to these housing projects that have been stopped for several years.

Concejalía de imagen urbana – They have involved in a high way as well. They opt by shorter interventions and in the public space. Now we both are considering which prototype of our design versions will be the definitive to make a new action in the public space in order to reactivate it. They have an agreement of get the old chairs, or the furniture we might need from the Ecopunto. Besides this constructions will be accompanied by street food events related to the neighborhood and organized by them and the “Comisión de Fiestas de San Antón”. These actions are expected to start in September 2014.





The result of the project is really positive for us, and also for the neighbors. We got a lot of useful information and connections, and neighbors got the feeling that their neighborhood will see better days. People really want and are willing to make some changes in the neighborhood, but they kind of feel that San Antón is left out of the city’s plan regarding Alicante’s image. That’s why our project has a good start, but we have to develop and go on with it seriously to improve our connections with associations, most importantly with city council, which could give us more free hands with planning and developing our project.



/// Stickers


As another way to collect information about the concerns of the neighbors. The stickers will follow the same layout the posters had, to keep an image. This stickers will be share out between the neighbors to be placed in the empty spaces they consider that have to be transformed into new public space. Apart for that, some instructions of how to proceed sticking them will be provided to each neighbor.

Pseudopresentación 14 marzo



/// Social platform


One of the controversies found on S.A. was that the own Neighbors Associations does not work as it should. Instead of being a service for all the community, this associations is politicized and just look for the benefit of the people who carry. In a neighborhood of more than 2000 inhabitants just around 40 take part in this association. Besides they use the local of the association for private uses , inviting friends from other neighborhoods around.

For all that, and encouraged by other neighbors, we are considering ro creat a social platform/ association to face this problematic. This is how it could work :


On the first phase the association Repensando San Antón will be found by ourself, inscribing it on the register. After that, we will gather neighbors around who want to participate and inscribe into the association.  On the second phase all connections will be made. The high charges will be reformulated into the new participants, the real neighbors, and start as well a phase of cooperation with several collectives ( Desolats, Plataforma Iniciativas Ciudadanas, etc ..). Finally on the phase 3 an master plan will be set up solving all the possible interests between the agents and prepare participative tools to reach the final strategies of design that will be introduced on the neighborhood.

/// Debates and seminars

Debates with J. Ramón Navarro Vera and Desolats

Some debates and seminars will be made on the following weeks. J. Ramón Navarro will contact with several collectives who have had worked with simillar cases in a participative way between neighbors and other agents. The aim is to change opinions and advise each other in the different projects.


Urbanism ceclec course about empty plots of S.A. run by J. Ramón Navarro Vera

This possibility is just a maybe, but J. Ramón is considering seriously. Lectures and debates about community consolidation projects will conform the course, and if it happen will be on the next course 2014-15.

 /// Urban breakfasts with neighbors

Some urban breakfast will be made in the following days on the same street using it as public space. These breakfast will serve for gathering information about several themes and will be recorded for the documentary of the project.


/// Documentary

A documentary with all these actions and steps of the project will be made on the following phases. Interviewed with specified neighbors will be recorded and show, separating them into thematics. Encounters with other collectives and with the City Council will be recorded as well.


/// Next meetings

Meeting 8 April – Patronato municipal de la vivienda

Meeting 8 April – Sento Oncina in L’ Hort Comunitari de Carolinas

Meeting 11 April – Concejalía de Imagen Urbana

Meeting ¿? April  – Plataforma de Iniciativas Ciudadanas

Meeting ¿? April  – Alicante Vivo

Meeting ¿? April  – Martin Noguerol & Silvia Valero (Plaza Séneca)

Meeting ¿? April – Comisión de Fiestas de San Antón

Meeting ¿? April – Comisión de Fiestas de San Blas

Meeting ¿? April – Comisión de Fiestas del Raval Roig



For the stage of the project we are in, we established a network of connections with which we could benefit during later stages. We should be aware, that even though some agents seem to be willing to participate, they could later prove as not responding or inactive. We already had this experience with AA.VV San Antón, so we set them aside and found new agents with which we established working connections. Also we have to be prepared for unexpected problems (which happened with the empty plot, we supposed to use for the presentation on the 23rd ), and have some backup plans for every bigger action we do.



///How to operate

Straddle3 (22 December 2012). “Guía para la activación del espacio público”

L’H (13 December 2012). “Cesión de solares privados a la administración como espacio público temporal”

Ajuntament de Lleida (unknown). “Conveni de cessio temporal de l’ús de solar”

Pallardó López, Francisco Javier (unknown). “Cesión gratuita del uso temporal de inmuebles en desuso de las entidades locales”

Straddle3 (15 March 2012). “Guía para la activación de Vacíos Urbanos Autogestionados”

-Vic (18 February 2014). “Infraestructuras de facilitación: un modelo heurístico urbano”

Paisaje transversal (January 2014). “Pensar el común”Ç

Can batlló (April 2014).

Zona quilombo (April 2014).

Veracruz, Sito (20 February 2014). “Majority Report : Siete claves para crear herramientas urbanas interactivas de éxito”



Facebook. Restaurant day Spain page.

Compartoplato (April 2014). “Share your plate with neighbors”

Telemadre (April 2014). “Social model for food exchange”

Facebook. Desayuno con viandantes profile.

Desayunos ciudadanos (22. June 2012). “Desayuno Ciudadano Junio”

Peer-to-peer food lab (April 2014). “P2P Food Lab is about YOU and FOOD”

MMlocalfoods (2014). “Share your harvest”

Uuishare. (March 2013) “Compartir algo más que una comida”

Eatwith (2014). “Dine in homes around the world”

Foodsharing (2014) “Foodsharing – lebensmittel teilen staat wegwerfen (german)

mealshare (2014). “eat with people from around the world”

The shared meals (18 March 2013). “shared meals matter blog”

Passarella, Elizabeth (11 August 2011) “serving others – do you cook for your neighbors?”

 Breene, Sophia (12 August 2013) “would you eat neighbor’s leftovers”

Slobig, Zachary (17 May 2013). “How to Get Your Neighbors to Cook Dinner For You Every Week”.

/// Videos

Restaurantday (2013).

People make parks (2012). “Community Visioning Tools at the Hester Street Playground”


/// Material strategies, mechanisms, furniture

Sauvez les meubles (2003).

Siéntese (4 December 2008).

Ries, Matthias (2005). “public chair”.

Table Cloth by Ball Nogues Studio (2010)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s