Cultures of Assembly

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Avinguda Meridiana, 65 08018 Barcelona 


Sun 23 Apr · 10:30 - 11:30
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“Cultures of Assembly” is a crossover project to critically discuss and mobilise collective imaginary, citizen assemblies and spatial practices to inform future processes of urban regeneration in post-industrial sites in Europe. During the +MODEL festival we will record a series of podcast episodes for, reflecting on Barcelona as a paradigmatic case for deliberative democracy, civic initiatives and critical spatial practices.

In the transformation from heavy to service industry, the renewal of many European cities has been accompanied by the rapid growth of the tertiary sector and the knowledge economy. This process – taking place under the premise of a neoliberal economy – has been characterised by an increase in social and spatial inequality, as well as the weakening of a public sphere and the loss of political agency. In this context, it is crucial to deliberately maintain spaces of collective memory and gathering, including the maintenance of seemingly residual places, which may be associated with marginalised groups. In this sense, critical spatial practices should be seen as a method for activating processes of public negotiation and everyday urbanism in conversation with their surroundings, rather than understanding spatial production as an autonomous object with singular authorship. As such, conversation and deliberation constitute an alternative model for the formulation of contemporary critical spatial practices and as distinctive elements of new models of democratic participation.

“Cultures of Assembly”, a project of the Chair of the City of Esch at the University of Luxembourg, is committed to the study and promotion of para-institutional civic assemblies, experiences of decentralised power and decision-making structures that seek spatial justice in cities. The project develops a transversal format consisting of a digital platform alongside an open neighbourhood agency in the centre of Esch-sur-Alzette, a city in the south of Luxembourg, at the heart of the former European steel industry.

Our methods include situated-context explorations, on-site evidence immersive research and oral histories to learn from local citizens and their heterogeneous experiences. Our strategy is to investigate at street level, in close interdependence with the city’s diverse social actors and their spontaneous use of non-regulated spaces.

During the +MODEL festival we will record a series of podcast episodes for with conversations with key agents from different professions and social contexts, reflecting on Barcelona as a paradigmatic case for deliberative democracy local initiatives, and critical spatial practices that understand that the construction of inclusive cities is an everyday reality.

We will discuss the production and use of urban space, para-institutional approaches to urban design, the role and value of low threshold design discourses, models of immersive learning, spaces for experimentation in cities that support the agency of native knowledges, the care of urban commons and citizen advocacy, and the need for the small granularity of democratic units.



Collective recording open to the public:

April 23rd, Serving the Public, with Zaida Muxí, Josep Maria Montaner and Equal Saree

Place: Mercat dels Encants

Time: 10.30am - 11.30am

Individual Recordings: April 24th - 26th

Deliberative Democracies with De Vei a Vei, Las Kellys, Col·lectiu Punt 6 and Miriam Hatibi (TBC)

Reading the City with Amica Dall, Top Manta, Clara Nubiola, 300.000 kms and Pau Faus (TBC)


PHASE 2. Editing and broadcasting podcast episodes. April 2023 - Oct 2023

Our podcast recording is posed as a nomadic activity that will move around different neighbourhoods in Barcelona, to dialogue with the agents, spatial practitioners, professionals and public servers on the sites of their daily activity, to witness, within their context, the different challenges, conflicts and consensus of inclusive and diverse city-making. In the podcast recording, English, Spanish and Catalan will be used indistinctly.

Discussions and talks
On-site without registration
Organized by

Master in Architecture. University of Luxembourg.


University of Luxembourg: Markus Miessen, César Reyes Nájera | Key agents in Barcelona: De Vei a Vei, Las Kellys, Col·lectiu Punt 6, Miriam Hatibi, Zaida Muxí, Josep Maria Montaner, Equal Saree, Amica Dall, Top Manta, Clara Nubiola, 300000kms, Pau Faus.

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