RS.V – Research Studio
Senior Faculty: Javier Peña, Rodrigo Rubio
Faculty Assistant: Oriol Carrasco

Cities are enormous metabolic sinks: dependent consumers of water, energy and matter further-more active producers of waste and pollutants… We can learn from nature to revert this tendency.

This DWN 15-16 Design Studio will explore the naturalization of Barcelona infrastructures in order to address the main ecological conflicts of its urban metabolism. Synthetic landscapes embedded in the city fabric, able to reconnect Barcelona’s urban and non-urban forces. “Naturalized enjoyable infrastructures”. Students will focus in understanding the main metabolic cycles of Barcelona’s ecology. Cycles of water and energy, food and waste, pollution and mobility, nature and biodiversity, will be our targets. Their metabolic unbalances and ecological conflicts will be addressed through the means of de-sign tools, framing our role as architects amid the necessary urgency of these global issues. Students will work in specialized teams of expertise, each one of them working on a specific urban cycle or resource, exploring possible related natural forces and processes, the necessary technologies and techniques to activate them, also entering in an actual dialogue with the related social agents and urban institutions.

Our research will be driven by three simultaneous operative tools:
A. Urban metabolism (scalar approach). Mainly explored through additive complex diagram-ming _ (hyperdrawing)
B. Natural processes (non-scalar approach). Mainly explored through the production of performative prototypes _ (natural machi-nes)
C. Social dynamics (multi-scalar approacMainly explored through subjective rrative techni-ques _ ( iterative tales )

Machines of tomorrow will be natural machines, materials will be biomaterials, engineering will be ecological engineering. Nature works in a hybrid holistic way, no dichotomies between natural and artificial, and twenty-first century will need a radical redefinition of the relations between the urban and the non-urban forces.