This material is the result of 3 editions of a a month-long course, held at ELISAVA and directed by Professors Toni Montes and Roger Paez. The course was developed in the framework of the postgraduate program in Exterior Design, Events and Ephemeral Spaces, Started in 2006, this course established partnership with public or private cultural projects and it operates a design research department for them.
Our partner for the course was the Barcelona International Poetry Festival (hereafter, BIPF). The BIPF is a prestigious international festival that celebrated its 28th year in 2012. The BIPF has a long history. It is a festival with international projection and is one of the oldest in Europe. It goes beyond the idea of creating a storefront for poets and attempts to influence how we think about poetry in order to spark new research and reflection. It is also a festival for the city, supported by a large number of associations, institutions and organizations that keep the city’s poetic fabric alive. All of this goes to show that Barcelona holds a prominent position in the global poetic panorama and that, after more than 25 years, the Barcelona International Poetry Festival is an event that should not be missed.
The co-director of the festival in 2011 and 2012, Eduard Escoffet, worked with Professors Toni Montes and Roger Paez in planning and developing the course.
In the preliminary working sessions, the festival directors presented a series of questions to use as the framework for designing temporary interventions in public space, with the 2012 BIPF in mind. The interests can be summed up into three central questions:
1) Visualizing BIPF itineraries and venues in public space.
2) Scouting out new itineraries and areas of opportunity.
3) Promoting social interaction in the framework of the festival by generating new event formats and scheduling arrangements.
The main objective of the course involved the design of temporary interventions in public space to provide innovative solutions to respond to the festival’s needs while, at the same time, enriching the perception and the use of public space in the city of Barcelona. The work presented focuses on learning to interpret public space as a setting for negotiation between different activities and on design to generate symbiotic relationships between the festival and the city.