Rotterdam / Supersudaca

Turns out my neighbour is a fantastic architect! He has engaged in several great community and public space projects with his agency Supersudaca.

I’d like to introduce in particular the project Direct Architecture in which they developed a series of proposals for the recovering of a neighbourhood parc in Las Casitas, in collaboration with inhabitants of the neighbourhood. The quality of project lies in the fact that participants didn’t only develop concepts, but were also in charge of presentation in the form of sketches and scale models. It transfers the authorship of the creative process entirely to the users of the parc (power to the people, again!), and it results into unexpected, unconventional ideas and images.

I know this kind of dialogical practice (the term was coined by Grant Kester, for defining an art practice in which dialogue and collaboration with communities is central) from artists groups such as Superflex and Wochenklausur, but had never heard of (nor actively looked for) it in architecture. Since artists who use these methods often work with urbanisation it makes sense to look at such architectural practices (which I should be doing more in the future…).

Besides touching on political subjects like democratisation and empowerment in urbanisation, Supersudaca manages to put this critical practice into the creation of direct solutions. It emphasises the sense of urgency and the need to act which is again more common in architecture than in arts.

Want to know more? Felix Madrazo will be giving a lecture next Tuesday evening at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam.

4 Responses to “Rotterdam / Supersudaca”

  1. 1 Antonio Scarponi April 22, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    there is a loooooong tradition is architectural practice. More precisely in urban design and town-planning. It is normally called “participation”.

    I am not an expert, but i believe it started actively in the 50′. The modern movement was very criticized… I believe the first practice in this direction has been taken by the so called Team X (ten).
    this is the wikipedia link:

  2. 2 Martijn van Berkum April 23, 2007 at 8:42 am

    thanks for the wikipedia link antonio! i’ll check it out!

  3. 3 Martijn van Berkum April 23, 2007 at 8:45 am

    haha and by the way, i don’t think it’s the right link. this one deals with the properties of Tea, very interesting, but no so very related to participation in urban design.
    i’ll look it up!

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