Design for City Making


What can design do to trigger and support social innovation for promoting a collaborative, resilient and sustainable city?

Design for City Making, in Barcelona (DxCM), is a programme of design initiatives driven by Elisava, in collaboration with different partners. Each project is an autonomous contribution to the city making process. As a whole, these projects are a broad exploration of the Collaborative City scenario, its meaning and enforceability in Barcelona and the possibilities for design, as well as design schools, to become agents of its implementation.

DxCM is an Elisava wide 3-year programme, started in October 2017. It coordinates and creates synergies between different teams of professors, researchers and students, working on specific city-making topics which emerged from conversations with different stakeholders in Barcelona. Its first phase, which we refer to hereby as DxCM/1, lasted six months, from December 2017 to June 2018. During this period, a group of 8 projects undertaken at Elisava and already moving in the direction of DxCM have been identified, discussed and developed.

Four lines of research

1. Design for social cohesion. Connecting people and generating public spaces 
Projects capable to reweave the social fabric. They build social links between different citizens, migrants and tourists included. In this way, they interlink social differences and break both preconceptions and communication bubbles. Taking place in public spaces, they collaborate to their vitalization.

2. Design for commons regeneration. Building place-related and place-caring communities 
Projects linking physical spaces to networks of people willing and capable to take care of them. Doing so, they collaborate in generating, or regenerating, urban commons (intended as the relational goods improving the quality of life, being produced and enjoyed in common). 

3. Design for urban production. Enhancing distributed manufacturing and circular economy 
Projects that support and connect a variety of production activities. They enrich the urban ecosystems bringing production (and therefore jobs and the related social capital) in the city.

4 Design for urban infrastructure. Improving the enabling ecosystem with a hybrid collaborative platform 
Projects creating conditions thanks to which different collaborative initiatives can emerge and thrive. Their results (such as knowledge, products, places, and digital platforms) are to be considered as components of a new material and immaterial infrastructure.

DxCM is launching a series of public events and talks this month in May under the title 'The city of inter-actions. Connecting people and spaces'. More information here