The square is an urban space that represents the public at its most ceremonial and ritualistic. As a space for meetings, speeches, exchanges and discussions, the square – royal or citizen – is defined by a concentrated and yet vague, intentional and voyeuristic flow. Plaça Reial de Barcelona has been the centre of important social conflicts between tourists and local residents, between a space for leisure and escapism, and a space for community life and debate in the city.
As a result of this wealthy multiplicity of conflicts and energies, Plaça Reial plays host to people of every age, origin and class in its arcades and bar terraces and around its street lamps, constituting one of the most compact and diverse forums in the city.
Work on this space from throughout the festival period is aimed at inviting reflection and questions on how we can produce more knowledge-transfer spaces, with new formats and urban types that promote connections between people unknown to one another, inter-generational discussions and inter-cultural exchanges.
The facility that people will be able to meet up in during the festival’s days will be playing host to several events linked to the Model Debates. It will be developed in an experimental device in the form of a table where numerous conversations will be held at the same time. We will use this device to explore the square’s capacity as a space for producing connections between people who are unknown to one another, shared times of reflection and contexts for unexpected inspiration.