On this phase, different actions and events will be explained, all of them with the same premise, taking the chair as identity icon of San Antón neighborhood and as a reclaim of public space. The final objective , then, would be the regeneration of the public spaces of the neighborhood.
CHOOSING OUR DESIGN ELEMENT 01
PREVIOUS NEGOTIATIONS 02
PAINTING THE CHAIRS 03
ART ON A DIVIDING WALL 04
ACTIVATING PLATOS 6 05
VIDEO PROMOTING THE PROJECT ( PHASE 4) 06
VIDEO EXPLAINING THE PROJECT ( PHASE 5A) 07
MEASURING SUCCESS ( PHASE 5B) 08
NEXT STEPS 10
REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY 11
On previous phases we have shown the approach made into the neighborhood. Taking the first steps into the neighbors community and showing to them that the neighborhood is completely open to new possibilities.
We must decide first what will be our main premise for what the project revolve around :
01/CHOOSING OUR DESIGN ELEMENT
As it can be remembered, on previous phases we developed three versions of the
invading urban devices. In this case, we were forced to decide which one of the three could be the most successful for the neighborhood, studying the context, the place we have to proceed and the opportunities we saw in it.
You can remember the three versionshere in this video
Finally we decided to use the second one showed in the video for the following reasons:
– It’s cheaper. Less material and resources are required, besides the modules on top can be optimized to save in material.
– Is the easiest to mount. The others give problems at the time of assembling parts, and on structural issues some parts of the device will not resist high weighs.
– We found 50 equal chairs in a local company, where they have +600 chairs which were abandoned and they want to get rid of. Also , having all the equal chairs, makes a lot easier to proceed and to make the device real.
– More recognizable by the neighbors because of its aspect. Full wooden chair like old ones.
– Relationship with the Alicante’s identity chair : the chair from Explanada has already a very high identity, this can be pretty useful for the project to get known by outside people.
– The device can create more complex spatial configurations and because of that more hybridation of uses.
This phase has been characteristic because of the negotiations with external agents. This can be seen in a negative way, if the final goal of the project, is to improve the public spaces of the neighborhood based in just citizen participation. However, we have been realized that treating with these public entities , we can achieve resources that will be unattainable without them. Basically we have collaborate with two public entities, Concejalía de Imagen Urbana and Patronato Municipal de la Vivienda. With the help of these two, we have been in contact with other external agents to reach new resources.
– Concejalía de Imagen Urbana ( Adrián Santos and Antonio Escobedo ).
Working with this part of City Council gave us access to develope our events more quickly . Apart for this advantages of timing procedures, we also got new resources for the devices such sponsorship for external agents. With the agreement they have with Leroy Merlín, we achieved them to pay for all the 1st event cost, including paintings and materials such brushes, rollers or wooden panels used in this intervention.
Besides they, in collaboration with Centro Cultural Las Cigarreras, gave us space in Secadero to work on previous days of the event where we sand the old chairs and the permission to get other space ( middle street in front of Fábrica de Tabaco ) to make the painting event itself.
On the other hand the City Council gave us the contact of a carpentry to work in collaboration. Ebanistería Mayor offers to cut and assemble every modification the chairs will need. Furthermore the wooden panels for the top of the chairs will be cutted in the same place for free.
– Patronato Municipal de la Vivienda ( Gaspar Mayor ).
This agent has its own interest in our project. They count with different empty plots in San Antón, and this plots have already a draft construction project on them that were stopped when the economical crisis occurred. For that reason, they have thought developing a new project called “Living San Antón” to promote this old projects in order to catch new investor for outside who can be interested in buying this plots + housing project, all in a package.
For achieve its purpose, they saw in us an agent that could help us to promote its project, and of course, we saw in them, new resources for our project. Because of that, we were offered with one empty plot, and they offered as well to clean and put in good conditions for one of our events. The plot said is place on C/ Platos nº 6.
In addition, the future art installation ( explained on point 04) on the dividing wall on C/Trafalgar 30, is faced as well to an empty plot whose owner is the Patronato too. Seeing this installation as a perfect advertisement for the neighborhood, they accept to help us with everything possible, such putting a fence on this plot for avoiding possible risk the installation may cause.
Because all of that, we plan split the intervention and make three events in time :
1st) Painting chairs : build and paint the furniture with the community of neighbors to implicate them emotionally and make aware them, that the project is really from them and to them.
2nd) The art installation : the dividing wall is placed on an strategical location. This would be seen from the avenue Jaume II and from the stairs of C/ Empecinado, so it will work as a perfect reclaim for the neighborhood.
3rd) Open the empty plot in C/Platos 6. The opening will be accompanied by a “traditional food” workshop where the neighbors can cook and teach to others. After this opening a new platform will be settled in order to organize the activities, uses and times that the plot will be opened.
03/PAINTING THE CHAIRS
Description – First event
The reason to organize an event to paint the chairs was to involve the neighbors in the construction process of the future urban furniture and make them to see this furniture as their own.
Also, the event was intended to let the people realise that constructing things together can be fun, it’s not about what are you doing but it’s about how you do it and with who.
We made this poster to advertise the event through the neighborhood :
In this case, gathering the resources like the paints, the brushes, the place, the audio system… was a good example about how good is work with the city council.
Adrián Santos from Concejalía de Imagen Urbana arranged a sponsorship from Leroy Merlin for a value of 397,92€, taking profit from a previous agreement between the City Council and Leroy Merlín.
We also take profit to obtain the things needed to following events, like the MD boards and the squadrons.
About the colors, we tried to three basic colors, easily recognizable and unique, so in that way we looked for the combination CMYK : Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White.
As same as previous, from Concejalía de Imagen Urbana achieved an agreement with Cigarreras to open the space between the Fábrica de Tabacos and Plaza de la Misericordia but also they make available to us a professional sound system to make the event fun and capable to attract young people who want to socialize and enjoy music.
Event happened outside the San Anton, and that resulted in a smaller attendance by the people from this neighborhood, even though we made a strong advertising campaign with posters throughout the neighborhood. On the other hand that meant that people from outside came to the event and painted the chairs for San Anton. A lot of younger people found out about the project on social networks, and they came to the event, even though they don’t live in San Anton. Conclusion is that events, which concern the place have to happen in the same place, in order to get the maximum out of it.
04/ART ON A DIVIDING WALL
Description – Second Event
The goal of this event is to create an iconic piece in San Anton, which would represent the identity and give an added value to the neighborhood. By putting chairs on the blind wall in San Anton we want to create an ironic statement about the situation in the neighborhood, where they have a lot of empty spaces, but none of them are suitable for people to use them as a public space, where they could sit, talk, eat, play etc.
The installation will be in the empty plot of Trafalgar 28, owned by Patronato Municipal de la vivienda and it will look like this:
Installation called Artificial growth was made by mexican artist Ivan Puig in 2008. Author took old chairs and used them to make a composition with artistic and as well with social meaning, where cutted chairs represent degradation of the society.
For this project we needed to get a lot of old chairs, preferably all different, to create a diversity on the wall. With the permission of the city council we went to Ecoparque and searched for any old chair we could find. Because the number we got was too small, we decided to involve the neighbors by creating a poster, inviting people of the neighborhood to bring us their old chairs and with that actively participate in our event.
1) The neighbors community from Trafalgar 30 are willing to give their dividing wall if the Patronato Municipal de la Vivienda clean and close the plot.
2) The Patronato Municipal de la Vivienda answered that they have no funds to do that.
3) Who will be the main responsible and assume any risk the installation may have? Who will be responsible for maintenance of the installation or will pay for any imperfection that may cause?
4) For solving all those issues, a lawyer of the own neighborhood contacted us, and offer to make an contract with the agents involved, the neighbors community and the Patronato Municipal de la Vivienda.
This draft can be seen here :
5) Installation – The technicians from the city council are going to install the chairs and certificate the installation. It could be a solution to the previous problems + acuerdo
6) The neighbors community had made a complaint-denunciation about the plot’s state, addressed to the Patronato Municipal de Vecinos. They proposed to going on with the denunciation if they don’t agree to close it.
05/ACTIVATING PLATOS 6
Description – Third Event
This event is focused to work as an experience of installation in an empty plot. It will work as an example of the process how to operate on the empty plots which are designed to be constructed in a near future.
But, as everybody knows, example has a meaning about being the first action of a succession of events, and we want to make Platos 6 as the first intervention of a series of interventions in the neighborhood of San Antón.
In that way, we thought about creating a furniture capable to hold different recreational uses, like eating, performing, sitting, etc… also to hold a neighbors assembly to organize the following steps inside the neighborhood networks and decide what they want to make in the next empty plots.
At the beginning, the negotiations with the Patronato Municipal de la vivienda lead the process to make the event in the empty plots located in C/ Olvido, because it looked like an intimate place to operate but also because they were two plots together and it looked as a good chance to organize together the chairs and also the “Living San Antón” installation from Patronato.
But finally the state of the plots moved us to change the location to Platos 6, which is in better state and it’s more accessible.
Building the furniture
As we have explained in previous phases, here the process of construction of the furniture is shown here.
Thanks to Adrián Santos and Concejalía de Imagen Urbana, we’re working with a local carpenter, “Ebanistería Mayor”, who is creating the trapezoids and the parts needed to transform the chairs into a continuous furniture.
To guarantee that the use of the furniture will succeed in a near future, we plan an event for activate the plot, attract neighbors and make them realize that with low resources new things can be done.
The event will focus on one of the most cultural values the neighborhood has, and what we realized at the first moment we approached S.A. in last September: the traditional food and their neighbors knowledge.
For that, we will make different workshops in one weekend with the collaboration of the own neighbors and owners of bars / restaurants in S.A such as Empecinado.
They will cook low cost recipes, traditional in Alicante and easy to do. In this way we will try to attract, not only the neighbors from the neighborhood, but youth population like students who have moved to S.A. in the past few years, who don’t have enough time to cook and also the foreigners in S.A, who moved for the local culture of the neighborhood. This is also a way to connect these three groups of population that are nowadays very distant in a social way.
06/VIDEO PROMOTING THE PROJECT (PHASE4)
The main goal of the video is to promote the project, to put San Antón in place, and make aware the neighbors that the public space can be reclaimed and created by themselves.
About the references used we will focus on two:
1. The Arch by 42 below.
The video basically shows an art installation. Different people, dressed in a particullary way are shown carrying chairs to the summit of a mountain. The final aim is different but the creation of the art piece and the steps to get there, can be used in our video.
Can be outlined :
-Extreme wide shots.
-Slow timing generating expectation.
-Conquest of impossible places and feeling of self-improvement.
2. Empieza algo nuevo by Ikea.
The video shows the main idea we want to transmit. Wherever the chair is carried, its own place is created. The main character travels around the world with his chair, that can be seen in a symbolic way , that he travels with his own house with him.
Can be outlined :
-Chair as icon of placement.
-Scenes following paths / roads.
-Unique and very specific character.
-The idea that the public space is where the chair is.
With these two references we recorded our spot that will be seen as an advertisement of the project.
The main concepts that can be outlined in our video are :
1) A singular location. The city is something conventional but reaching the summit of a mountain metaphorically means the right that the place can be reclaimed ANYWHERE.
2) Eccentric character. Caricature and exaggeration of the character’s features, means ANYONE can do it.
3) The unique chair. The object has been produced in the painting event. Means the tool of conquering the public space ( like the neighbors do in S.A). “Wherever you can take it, you can create public space”
About the resources and techniques used in the video :
1) Low timing . Generate expectation and curiosity.
2) Surrealism for getting attention and impact.
3) Scenes following paths/ roads crossing the screen. Is a far away place.
4) Post processing. Is a very warm place.
5) Unforgettable character.
07/VIDEO EXPLAINING THE PROJECT (PHASE5A)
The main goal of the video is to explain the project, to reach outside people and explain what we are doing in collaboration with the neighborhood. It is also used to explain in a more comprehensive way, and from the own neighbors who talk about their neighborhood which makes it more easy to understand.
About the references used we will focus on two:
1. Como un gegant invisible by Can Batlló.
The video is a documentary of the process developed in the regeneration of the forgotten space the fabric Can Batlló occupy ( Barcelona ). They made interviews of professionals involving architects, and people and neighbors who also participated in the recovering process.
2. Desayuno con viandantes by el Casc.
The video is also shown as a documentary of the project developed by el Casc in Villena. They interviewed the participants in the same public space, having breakfast with them. It is a great idea to reclaim public space by doing this kind of talks on the same public space.
With these two references we recorded our video which tries to explain the project.
The technique of the video we follow is documentary-interview, where the project is explained by the own neighbors, to make it closer to the viewers.
In the first part of the video we try to show the controversies and opportunities the neighborhood has, always spoken by the own neighbors. Historical issues, social and economic problems are showed in this introduction part, placing S.A. into a context.
In the second part of the video, we explain the project ourselves, with the chairs painted on the 1st event as background and talking about the events we have carried out and those which are following. We wanted make people aware that we are just intermediates between the public entities and them, that we have studied the context to proceed and the best choices the neighborhood has, concluding the project is from the neighbors to the neighborhood as beneficiary.
Measuring the impact of collaboration
1) The intervention capabilities to involve the neighborhood.
Total amount of chairs / neighbors involved in the event : 50 chairs / 16 neighbors = 32 % success
2) The intervention capabilities to attract people from outside the neighborhood.
Total amount of chairs / outside people : 50 chairs / 22 outside neighbors = 44 % success
3) How able is the neighborhood to gather resources from themselves
Bought chairs / donated chairs : 50 chairs / 16 chairs donated = 32 % success
Besides, we make an photo album of every chair which was painted, in where every participant has to write his / her name, so we can make a recount of the participants on the future.
From the start of the project Facebook page Repensando San Anton has 207 members and encountered 7300 visits. There is lot of activity, and people from the neighborhood post their proposals on daily basis.
We generated a collective concern/consciousness about the revitalization of the neighborhood. People talk more about the neighborhood than before the project.
Create a collective will to intervene in the neighborhood, even there are people agreeing to give us their empty plots. A lot of people talk about proposals and a few are starting to self organize and also to make the initial steps, like putting a cactus in an empty plot.
People saw the effort which was put into this project and it encouraged them to involve themselves and participate in an active way. They saw that if we (or they) work together we can create great things. People are talking about seeing us working when we were sanding and painting the chairs, and they highly appreciate our effort we have put into their neighborhood.
We achieved that the neighbors started to think about working and negotiating with local authorities, which did not exist before that. They realised that this is the best way to get things done in their neighborhood.
The project attracted attention from local newspapers and also from an agency to make a reportage about the project.
Programme of debates at University
Different debates have occurred with us as guests, in collaboration with the Urbanism Department organized by Jose Ramón Navarro. To this events, other collectives with experience in citizen partnership have participated, like Ábrete Séneca, Hort Comunitari de Carolinas, Asociación de Vecinos del Plá…etc., in order to get conclusions and hear different opinions for these kind of process which we are operating.
– Video report in InfoAlacantí at AlacantíTV
In this moment, we don’t find the creation of a neighbors platform useful, in order to not take part aggressively inside the social process that are already developed in the neighborhood, according to the sociologist we worked with.
However the success the project has been taking, is mobilising all the neighborhood and new energies are appearing, and new ideas they are proposing for the empty plots and obviously have to be discussed in assembly. In fact, the same neighbors had suggested us to create this platform. Some of the agents we have to start these neighbors reunions are :
Juan Carlos (Sociocultural Agent of the neighborhood)
Carmen Pérez (Sociocultural Agent of the neighborhood
Estela Baidez Simón (Vicepresident of the residents Trafalgar 30)
Teresa Morales (President of the residents Trafalgar 30)
Didac Albors (Neighbor interested in building an urban orchard)
Ana Ferrando (Neighbor interested in building an urban orchard)
Elem Marq (Neighbor interested in building an urban orchard)
Luisa Gómez Pablos (Neighbor interested in building an urban orchard)
Raul Chicano (Neighbor interested in building an urban orchard)
Maria Magdalena Marcu (Owner local trade)
Miguel (Owner local trade)
Sento Oncina (Agronomist Engineer and expert in participatory processes)
Juanma (Sociologist expert in participatory processes)
Miguel (Peña Lírica San Antón)
Tito Sayes (El Farolito)
Héctor (Ocho y medio)
Berta (Neighbor and Architect)
Reverse the beginning of the process of citizen participation
One of the actions that defined the project, has been that from its beginning it was a project promoted by University and the City Council, not from the citizenship and neighbors.
Because of that, us as mediators, we had to negotiate unilaterally with the public administration without a real back up from the citizenship. Anyway this collaboration in order to achieve a quick intervention (searching for immediate results for the local politicians), has been very usefull for us in order to get resources we didn’t count on, and which have to mobilize the citizens (community engagement) and inspire hope between them.
This process can be the trigger of a bilateral negotiation between the neighbors and the local administrations, who can be pressured to respond to a collective necessity.
Involve the public administration into the neighbors process
As said, two different choices to proceed were made. The first, a completely opposition for the public administration, or a collaborative way with them. Finally we chose the second one, because we understand that the administration should not fear this citizen process and, on the other hand, they should not fear the administration as well, and collaborate together if the strategies are properly settled and both sides can benefit from it.
We consider that the City Council must understand what is happening in the neighborhoods and this neighbors process who must detect, reclaim and negotiate with the public administrations about the solutions of the local controversials which were detected.
Because of that, we understand that the public administration has to adapt and evolve into new and more complex situations, and grow with these processes and as well, improve their normative systems and laws to make them more flexible to face at last this new citizen processes.
– Going on with the negotiations with Patronato de la Vivienda, to achieve the cleaning and fencing the plots ( C/ Platos 6 and C/ Trafalgar 28 for the art installation).
– Publishing the whole interviews recorded for the video, in which the people from San Anton explain the project and their thoughts.
– Creating a manual for the different configuration of the chairs and how to create spaces in the plot of C/Platos 6.
– Creation of an assembly platform run by the neighbors to manage the plot of C/ Platos 6 as well as the activities that can be done there.
– Short documentary about the project in collaboration with Información TV.