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Project II: Atelier Prats


Prats E.

Course director

Romani M. A.



Second Hand 

A used suit carries the memory of its previous user; to start wearing it is an exercise that requires confidence and time until you begin to feel it is your own. Dressing “second hand” means introducing yourself into a discipline of adaptation, and as architects, when we work with existing buildings to adapt them to a new use, there is something similar to the process of adapting a garment that has been used previously by others: you have to unstitch and recognize the pattern used before, cut on one side to extend on another; maybe a new piece of fabric is needed, we may even have to add some pockets… and so on until it identifies with and responds to the new user.


The Atelier proposes to work in urban contexts in transformation, observing and identifying the valuable social and physical qualities embedded in the area, with the intention of discovering the physical and emotional reality contained in existing buildings and to test their ability to adapt to new conditions of occupation. This spring semester we will work in four different sites in the neighbourhood of Poblenou, in the city of Barcelona. 


A programme related with food and its social and cultural dimension will be the activity that will bring new life in the existing buildings. We will count with the collaboration of the Catalan artist Antoni Miralda, who has been working with food since the 1960es. We will meet him at his workplace, the FoodCultura Archive, during the study trip to Barcelona, which will take place from 2 to 5 March 2023.

The project will be developed entirely by hand drawing. It is not a question of drawing skills or previous experience, but its use in the Atelier aims to make us think and develop design ideas in a more intuitive way, as well as to build an atmosphere in which the work evolves in view of all the participants. 


Physical and emotional re-use

The value given to a building at each moment in history reflects the society that is watching it. Buildings contain a physical and social, emotional reality. Not only do people contain the memory of a neighbourhood; but buildings are also loaded with memories of the uses and lives that occupy them: the built fabric is the reflection of social behaviour, it speaks of a way of using the land, the sky, of a way of inhabiting... To value the memory contained in buildings and people is to think of a future that relies on that past. 

Sustainable development goals

  • Good health and well-being
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action

Learning methods

The studio requires the project to be entirely hand-drawn. It is not a question of drawing skills or previous experience in hand drawing. Its use aims for people to think about design ideas in a more intuitive way, as well as to build an atmosphere in the studio in which the work evolves under the eyes of all participants.

We will work in an area of the city of Barcelona, where each student will be able to choose his or her own site from a number of proposed sites. The program to be developed will be common to all the exercises.

Examination information

Course evaluation will take place on an ongoing basis, assessing each of the different documents presented during the Design studio. Each student will be asked to present the required documents from week to week for mid-term and final critiques, and to be present during group critiques.



Study trips

  • Barcelona, 02.03.23 - 05.03.23 (Compulsory)
  • Barcelona, 02.03.23 - 05.03.23 (Compulsory)