Overview

The sight of people utilizing food kitchens in the United States especially in cities such as San Francisco and Portland is a welcome occurance.  In Europe and particularly Barcelona, a city focused on public services and city branding, the sight is unimaginable.   The 22@ information activities district in Barcelona, despite meeting expectations to attract businesses since 2000, remains challenged to develop its own community identity amidst gentrification and competing with the traditional identity of the adjacent area of Poblenou.  What development growth is so accelerated to override emergent culture or too slow to stagnate participation? Real estate values grew 20% annually for over a decade and have yet to see a significant correction.  Unemployment has reached 25% and continues to climb.  The likelihood of a Catalan referendum for national sovereignty grows with each day.  All of these trends occur while the national government postpones an inevitable request for EU assistance and the austerity measures that will follow.  What if the crisis has only begun?

“Id like to think that we are now entering a third, more mature phase in our relationship to digital technology.  Thanks in part to a new generation of architects who have been educated entirely within the digital regime, and on the other hand to the first generation of digitally trained architects who have continued to evolve their thinking, the computer is beginning to have a practical impact, beyond the formal or the metaphorical.” 

 –  Stan Allen,  If…then… Architectural Speculations

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