Living in Motion_P5-6 Fall 2017

ETSAM Design Studio 5 & 6 Fall 2017 Blanca Lleó Unit

Bilingual Course: English & Spanish

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Spanish below

For hundreds of thousands of years humans were nomads. Since then, the unstoppable need to go back and forth is associated with our survival and our evolution. The agricultural revolution -some 12,000 years ago- enabling settlements and trade. And with it, the movement took on a new dimension: not only were bodies moving, but also goods and ideas.
Cities have been the most radical materialization of the primordial perpetual motion. And today, cities as complex systems of invaluable centripetal force, are the most human expression of exchange, conflict and accelerated transformation.

The city is being deeply transformed by the new ways of mobility, and it is also changing in its speed, decreasing its rhythm in specific places and relocating the areas of high intensity and activity. The core of the city is exploding in multiepicenters, multiplying also the offer of possible new programs directly connected with the infrastructural elements. New territories around these infrastructures of connection are appearing as a pretty important opportunity to invent programs and to adapt the city and the architecture to the new necessities.

The driverless cars, the electronic development of micro vehicles like the monowheels or the electric bicycles, will change dramatically the way to understand the circuits of movement and their way to intertwine with the Architecture.
We propose a course focused on investigating – with ambition and without prejudice – the progress of a growing mobility inextricably linked to the lives of people in the city.It is designing living spaces present and future dynamism capable of melting in a continuous infrastructure, public places, buildings and technological systems.

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Durante cientos de miles de años los humanos fueron nómadas. Desde entonces, la imparable necesidad de ir de acá para allá está asociada a nuestra supervivencia y a 
nuestra evolución. La revolución agrícola -hace unos 12.000 años- propicio los asentamientos y el comercio. Y con ello el movimiento adquirió una nueva dimensión: 
ya no sólo se desplazaban los cuerpos sino también las mercancías y las ideas.
Las ciudades han sido la materialización más radical del movimiento perpetuo primigenio. Y hoy, las urbes como sistemas motores complejos de incalculable fuerza centrípeta, son la expresión más humana del intercambio, el conflicto y la transformación acelerada.

La ciudad está siendo profundamente transformada por las nuevas formas de movilidad, y también está cambiando en su velocidad, disminuyendo su ritmo en lugares específicos y reubicando las áreas de alta intensidad y actividad. El corazón
de la ciudad está explotando en multi-epicentros, multiplicando también la oferta de
posibles nuevos programas directamente relacionados con los elementos infraestructurales. Nuevos territorios alrededor de estas infraestructuras de conexión
se presentan como una oportunidad muy importante para inventar programas y adaptar la ciudad y la arquitectura a las nuevas necesidades.

Los coches sin conductor, el desarrollo electrónico de micro vehículos como las monoruedas o las bicicletas eléctricas, cambiarán dramáticamente la forma de entender los circuitos de movimiento y su forma de entrelazarse con la Arquitectura.
Proponemos un curso centrado en indagar -con ambición y sin prejuicios- los avances
de una movilidad creciente indisolublemente unida a la vida de las personas en la ciudad. Se trata de proyectar espacios para vivir un dinamismo presente y futuro capaz de fundir en un continuo las infraestructuras, los lugares públicos, los edificios y los sistemas tecnológicos.

Unit 18. Blanca Lleó. Fernando Pino. Juan Elvira. Otoño / Fall 2017



Exercise 4. Domestic + Teaching + Production

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In our fourth and last studio exercise, we will explore further expanded kinds of domesticity. The new project will be a transformation and development of the existing one. Do not start from scratch. Follow the logics and ideas contained in your project, using them as the seed for the next exercise.

Taking the habitat developed in exercise 3 as a starting point, each student’s program will be hybridized and transformed according to the next kinds of activities:

– Domestic space. The core of the project is the same, a living space for an elderly (or future elderly) client. Such domestic space will be transformed during the elaboration of this exercise.

Intergenerational teaching. One of the additional cores of the project will be the transmission of certain knowledges (proper to the client’s profession or activities) towards new generations. New spaces for guests will be needed, maybe for short visits (from two days to one week), also new spaces for this special kind of teaching.

Production. Our client’s current or past activity will find new spaces. This is a space for the present and future profit of the client’s heirs. Shops, orchards, art spaces, etc. will be not only a source of healthy activity for our client but also a means for a living.

Domestic, Teaching and Production spaces will form a kind of hybrid building that should occupy a minimum 500sqm of surface program. It is recommended to keep the existing location.


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.