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Project I: Atelier Prats


Prats E.

Course director

Romanò M.



The Studio proposes to work with the urban heritage, to discover the physical and emotional reality contained within existing buildings and to test their capacity to adapt to new conditions of occupation. The city will be Barcelona, and the area will be the historic city centre.


Our Studio is called 'Second Hand', a name which embodies the purpose of combining two parallel themes and proposes to research on their relationship: the capacity of existing buildings to adapt and accommodate new programs, and the role of food in our daily lives, exploring with its social and cultural potential. 
Our places of work are the urban contexts in transformation, and this semester we will be working in the historic city centre of Barcelona, a dense part of the city that is still capable of accepting new readings and uses. 
We will travel to the site to get to know and draw the contexts of this semester study.

The new program that will be introduced in this context, with the aim of reactivating it, has at its centre the design of a new refectory, a space where body and spirit are fed. Other ‘’satellite’’ functions that complete it will be added to this program, to ensure that this urban area functions as a pole of social solidarity that makes healthy food accessible to economically disadvantaged people. 

To get to know this program up close, we will visit the Refettorio Ambrosiano in the city of Milan, created by chef Massimo Bottura in 2015 to take action against the production of food ‘’’waste’’, with the aim of combining the act of offering food to those in need, in a context enriched with the values of art and culture.

Sustainable development goals

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well-being
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action

Teaching mode

In presence

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. We will use hand drawing to observe the reality, and also to develop the project ideas in a more intuitive way, as well as to build an atmosphere in the Atelier in which the work evolves under the eyes of all participants.

At the beginning of the Studio there will be a travel to Milan for one day, to know about the program and to visit the Refettorio Ambrosiano. Afterwards, we will go on a 4-days trip to Barcelona to know the site, context of the exercise. There, each student will be able to choose his or her own site from a number of proposed ones. The program to be developed will be in 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 Atelier. 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

  • Milan, 22.09.23 - 22.09.23 (Compulsory)
  • Barcelona, 28.09.23 - 01.10.23 (Compulsory)
  • Venice Biennale, 20.10.23 - 20.10.23 (Optional)