Exercise 3. Habitats for longevity

01_BK_Hipotecas_Ene'17_Cara_68x88cm_cs copia

In the third exercise of the studio we will elaborate a program and design a domestic space for an active elderly or young-old. We will design a speculative habitat that will fit someone’s particular lifestyle.

General description

Let’s forget our clichés regarding dwelling projects, and the automatic responses on how a home must be: the typical  repetitive set of rooms containing specific functions such as kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. Let’s challenge our preconceptions by studying first a specific person, then designing a  habitat that fits that subject.

Each student will select a person that will be his or her client. Therefore it will be necessary to study the needs, everyday life and habits and what could be the present and future needs and lifestyles for such client.

The research done so far, a collective logbook on longevity, will be also present in this exercise (and the rest of the studio!), so diverse concepts, experiences or technologies mentioned in this research shall be integrated in the project.

Then it will be the time to turn that study into a set of spatial needs. Only then we will start formalizing, giving specific shape to our habitat project. We will try not to start by a preconceived architectural form but some unexpected form that comes out of a process.



  1. Choose your ‘client’
  2. Study in depth his lifestyle by defining the following:
  • Networks and relationships. Links and bonds with other individuals that might or might not live with our client.
  • Objects and Technologies. Belongings, tools, objects of affection and techniques necessary for the client’s activity.
  • Cycles and times. Timelines linked to the client’s activity, rhythms, and durations.
  1. Select a minimum of 3 items (concepts, technologies, experiences) contained in the longevity logbook.
  1. Based on the former, build a program for the client: a set of necessities, experiences and related spaces.
  1. Project design




This semester we will research, think innovative ideas and propose specific architectural projects around the concept of longevity within contemporary life.

Current scientific advances foresee that the vast majority of humans born today will come to live a hundred years. According to the the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE), life expectancy of the Spaniards, for a time one of the longest in the world, will continue to expand to the extent that in 2022 it will be 87 years old for women and 81.8 years for males; 2.5 and 1.9 years longer than current life expectancy. In 2022 will be 9.7 million people above 64 years, 1.5 more than now.


On the other hand, in large areas of the world, especially in Europe and Japan, aged groups, with growing vitality, are becoming predominant demographic groups. Given the new longevity, their needs and demands, in a way unknown, are a priority and an essential field of research for society in general.


It’s a huge challenge, because in the near future we will have to respond to a prolonged existence. This means that we have to reconsider the value of time, experience and memory, the accessibility, functionality and adaptation, diversity, integration and coexistence, and many other essential aspects of our current life forms.


This design studio seeks to anticipate the immediate future, thinking and projecting from the present, with a framework of reflection in contemporary reality.


To advance in this direction implies a certain optimism, since the challenge is to find exciting ways to bring the general attention and attraction of the youngest generations, in creating a social and cultural enthusiasm on how the recovery the interaction with the elder people which can improve both sides of the society. Longevity is ageless: it does not encompass a specific age but a whole life span.

We will also consider the discussion on how social interactions happen widely through virtual social networks where interactions are informal and nonphysical, where age is almost irrelevant. It is interesting to acknowledge this new reality that opens the possibility of a near future society that is structured by individual common interests and not so much by age sectors.

Productive Landscapes. Next assignment: Organizational diagrams.

The aim of next week’s assignment is to elaborate a document that will be the base for the development of each specific project in architectural terms. You will bring a kind of pre-programmatic definition of what happens in your project, who are users and agents, what actions take place and what processes are involved in it.


Two Organizational diagrams in both plan and section showing:

– Agents/users involved
– Their actions
– The spaces involved in those actions
– Relationships among agents
– Processeses involved
– Spaces related to those actions and processes

1A3 for ‘plan’ and 1A3 for ‘section’. The actual location of the project should also be incorporated, in the diagrams themselves or in a separate A3 (in this case the assignment would consist of 3A3).

Next monday you will bring in your assignments. We will dedicate (professors only) tuesday to go through your work in order to give each of you a midterm grade. Therefore there won’t be formal class and you will have the two hour’s class to work individually in your project. Then we will meet on wednesday as usual, take back the workshop and read the midterm grades at the end of the class.

PAISAJES PRODUCTIVOS. Ejercicio 2: Mapas biorregionales

Captura de pantalla 2016-02-24 a las 15.52.07

Para comenzar el segundo ejercicio de curso elaboraremos tres mapas del paisaje productivo asignado.

Los mapas incorporarán dos tipos de información:

Relativa a rasgos geográficos (visibles o invisibles).

Desde ríos o carreteras hasta fronteras o áreas de interés, áreas prohibidas, flujos, climatología, nodos…Puede relacionarse con el área de estudio directamente o con otras localizaciones que estén relacionadas fuera del área pero que tienen vínculos relevantes con él.

Información relacionada con rasgos y estructuras no geográficos.

Hechos, Acontecimientos, Procesos, Agentes, Fuerzas, Presiones, Vectores… Condiciones económicas, ecológicas, sostenibles, sociales y políticas. Del mismo modo, relacionadas directamente o no con el lugar y fuera del lugar.


– Comenzamos con esta investigación pero nos acompañará durante todo el proceso.

– Seleccionar tres recursos fundamentales del lugar y desarrollar un mapa para cada uno de ellos. Por ejemplo, para un arrozal en el Delta del Ebro, tres recursos podrían ser: Arroz, Turismo, Avifauna. Empezar por el recurso principal.

– Cada mapa mostrará rasgos geográficos y no geográficos: topográficos económicos, tecnológicos, sociales, ecológicos y políticos.

– Se emplearán las herramientas gráficas como Iconos, textos, gráficas, diagramas o infografías que, junto con los mapas geográficos convencionales, deberán proporcionar una visión eficaz de cada recurso elegido.

¿Qué cartografiar?

Recursos: Animales, Energéticos, Turísticos, Agua, Productos, etc.

Procesos: Tecnológicos, Históricos, Sociales, Económicos, Globales/Locales, etc.

Tiempo: Ciclos (cosechas, festividades, económicos, eventos, etc.), Líneas temporales (procesos históricos)

Flujos: Naturaleza, Bienes, Gente, Energía, etc.

Agentes: Grupos de interés sociales de todo tipo, tecnológicos, históricos, sociales, económios, globales/locales, organizaciones, compañías, eventos, etc.

Cantidades: Geográficas, localizaciones, estructuras, áreas de interés, patrones, líneas y vectores, activación de nodos, etc.

4276906397_ce664e52a1_bFrancesco Franchi. "Accendi l'oceano".