Slow Down, Stop, and Stay: A Public Space Intervention


Slow Down, Stop, and Stay: A Public Space Intervention.


Master’s Degree in Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Spaces (MEATS), 2017-18.


Toni Montes + Roger Paez (coords.), Jordi Queralt and MEATS students.


MACBA, Ajuntament de Barcelona.

The massive success of skate-related activities in Plaça del Àngels has pushed out other public uses, thus impoverishing the public space through monoculture. The project deals with the complexity of the urban setting and its multiple and diverse appropriations, positing public space as the arena that has the potential to articulate and manage dissent without forcing (overly simplistic) consensus. Public space should become a gameboard of sorts that fosters mediation and embraces otherness.

Besides skate-related activities, most people use the square as a short-cut, crossing it quickly and seldom staying for longer than is strictly necessary. This continuous flow of people turns the square into an urban thoroughfare. A proposal prompting people to slow down, stop, and stay would be a first necessary step toward turning Plaça dels Àngels into a richly activated social space. SDSS is a temporary infrastructure to prompt naturally occurring public space appropriation activities for all users of the square.

Using Mapping tools, we reveal urban dynamics that help ground the design proposal. Using Direct Action, Triggering and Facilitating tools, we propose a temporary transformation of a square through Ephemeral Architecture formats.

How can we design for social cohesion? How can we connect people and generate public spaces? How can we use ephemeral architecture formats to trigger a sense of collective ownership of public space?