MACIA ESTUDIO, Leticia Lozano Bobadilla y Mariana Ríos Robles, CDMX (2020) - Auscultaciones urbanas was born from the identification of counter-cultural places in the Mexican context, spaces that challenge the traditional configurations of public space that have been perpetuated in our adult-centric cities. These spaces propose a child-friendly architecture and urbanism through a transversal approach, which imagines cities where justice is imparted through the fair redistribution of urban space and the imagination of a democratic space, which progressively builds community through play. The project, is articulated from a research where the parameters identified in the case studies, are filtered, analyzed and studied through a strict methodology composed of seven perspectives and thirty-six categories, in order to create a useful tool to identify and intervene effectively on the space, as well as a digital catalog updateable, in order to promote the professionalization and recognition of these spaces oriented to children, whose effect is the construction of cities and societies more just in the future.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AUSCULTACIONES URBANAS
We asked MACIA Estudio on Auscultaciones urbanas and the importance of designing inclusive public spaces in cities.
LETICIA GABRIELA LOZANO BOBADILLA
MARIANA RÍOS ROBLES
MACIA Estudio is an architectural studio that explores the limits between experience design, collaborative processes and applied research. We believe that the contemporary city has failed to be a place of meaning, identity and play for girls and boys, materializing a hostile urban environment where socio-spatial injustice dominates the streets, negatively impacting the interactions of several generations with public space and the urban environment. In this sense, we recognize the city as a fabric of complex systems -in constant transformation-, in which we can add value through the creation of places, tools and narratives that propose a more dynamic relationship between human beings and their environment.
We design public spaces, placemaking strategies, participatory methodologies, temporary interventions, immersive experiences, recommendations to public policy and processes that aim to respond to the real needs of the urban commons. We explore open and flexible creative exercises and implement collaborative action-research methodologies that respond to the temporality and context of each project. We create common spaces to imagine, inspire and provoke a progressive construction of community, sense of belonging and citizenship.
It is through our practice that we expose our commitment to the normalization of urban commons, the integration of voices and perspectives and the work from the multidisciplinary.
What is the origin of the project?
Auscultaciones Urbanas was born out of a concern to identify and carry out an exhaustive cure of case studies of urbanism and architecture in the Mexican context, which propose spaces centered on urban childhoods, challenging the traditional configurations that have perpetuated adult-centered cities.
Why talk about rights and equity in public space?
We know beforehand the benefits of living close to an open and green place, so why don't all citizens enjoy the same benefits? The guarantee of our rights should not vary according to where we live, socioeconomic level, etc.
The golden rule is that all people should have access to an open and green space within a 10 minute walk from our homes. We know that this is not fulfilled and in the case of urban children, the situation is even more complex. We adults fall into an adult centered guardianship paradigm, from which children are not recognized as full human beings, but as property of their families, judged from a perspective of control: restricting the exercise of their rights and freedoms in the name of their own safety. In other words, they experience the city, public space and play with limitations, restrictions, conditions, directions and surveillance.
What is Auscultaciones Urbanas?
It is a digital catalog -in constant evolution- that intends to inspire and promote the professionalization of the design of spaces aimed at children and towards the construction of cities and societies for the future. Materialized in a web page, in which, as an archive, case studies are presented and analyzed from seven perspectives (space, accessibility, infrastructure, security, gender perspective, play, community participation and public life) and thirty-six categories. Each space, through its categories, creates a visual footprint that helps to identify areas of opportunity and improvement.
How did you choose the categories presented?
The categories arise from combining theoretical research with field research, from playing with children in different contexts, from actively listening to their voices and what they desire for their surrounding environments. In reality, children want what everyone wants: safe and clean streets, easy access to quality green spaces, clean air, things to do, to visit friends and family, and a place to call home. But all these spaces and activities we need to think about from an 85cm perspective, the experience of the city changes when we change scale.
How does your practice relate to architecture, and where do you see its impact on the future of the discipline?
The impact that we want to achieve from our work is that girls and boys are recognized as citizens with rights, who have a voice and opinion about what happens in their spaces and how cities should be planned and designed from this approach. The cross-cutting nature of the approach to urban child-friendly cities has the potential to unite different agendas and promote new paradigms in education, planning, spatial justice and urban innovation. And in a city that has systematically erased its child population, running an architectural firm dedicated to creating environments for play becomes a political statement and building public space, through co-design processes with girls and boys, becomes a protest in itself.