Barcelona's city planning is known to be one of the most successful modules with its green spaces, walk-able streets and outdoor public places, yet, today we challenge circumstances that exhibit Barcelona as a spatial urban form that is not necessarily sustainable in its environmental, economical and social capital.
As you all know by now, the economic downfall of Spain largely influence its inhabitants and the increase of homelessness rates. Our initiative is to empower homeless individuals that have been defeated by their environment – in other words, people willing not to remain 'invisible' and to overcome their financial setback.
Thanks to all our generous donors, we are able to conduct multi-disciplinary workshops that vary from planning, architecture, sociology and economic backgrounds to examine the different views on our cause: homelessness.
We successfully conducted local and international seminars, competition and workshops by becoming academically involved. This collaborative platform aims to bring us together with enthusiastic students, design activists and affiliated scholars to set further awareness campaigns and workshops.
I would like to present one of our participants' proposals. Karim Sawalha, a Jordanian British architecture student, has proposed a new thinking method for vending stalls of the Ramblas Streets. His one week stay in La Ramblas allowed him to stroll the streets to make his observations on how venders install their own booths, in some areas they have to dismantle to clear the streets but in many other areas they just close for the night. Karim redesigned the stall to serve as rehabilitation centers to homeless individuals in the city where he has come to realize that actually do have a purpose but circumstances left them on the streets.
Under constant watch by a supervisor, homeless people may sign up for the stall to gain work experience and a place to sleep until they are qualified enough to go back into the working world. Whether the kiosk is a souvenir shop or serving snacks ranging from ice-cream to sandwiches, the homeless worker will work in it where in the back of the stall will be a night area to sleep in- composed of four beds, personal storage space and a bathroom to share.
The Design: As the attached pictures depict the use of certain elements that are inspired by Barcelona's Famous Antonio Gaudi for his designs for the city and applying them to stalls to make a statement! Featuring each stall are two large white cones with the words “hacer cambios” highlighted along the sides, meaning “Making changes”. The design was abstracted from Gaudi’s sculptures on top of his renowned La Pedrera building, and the skins of the stalls have the same texture as one of the sculptures. In Karim's opinion: "this creates a unity, not only with historic architecture of the city but also unity between the poor and wealthy."
Finally, I would like to share that my regrets are that our website in not yet ready to present all the proposals for our dear friends, supporters and generous donors for their incredibly valued opinions and comments. So, I hereby invite you all to leave your comments on our reports wall or maybe via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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