The book “FURNISH: New Methodologies to Intervene in Public Space” was unveiled at the headquarters of the Urban Ecology Department of the Barcelona City Council on 22 May.
The event brought together a diverse audience, including public administration authorities, industry leaders, and academic stakeholders to explore fresh perspectives on collaborative public space design and promote innovative proposals for new urban landscapes.
Drawing from over three years of immersive work within city communities, the book captures the experiences and ideas that have emerged from the FURNISH project, which was co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility. This ground-breaking publication aims to redefine how public spaces are conceptualised, encouraging vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive urban environments that are developed with the collaboration of citizens.
One of FURNISH’s more remarkable achievements is the development of 12 prototypes of urban elements, each contributing to a unique aspect of public space design. These prototypes (all open-source) can be replicated and adapted worldwide, allowing cities and communities around the globe to benefit from the project’s collective knowledge and insights.
The FURNISH project aims to design, digitally fabricate, deploy, test, and monitor urban elements to adapt temporary public spaces to meet the new challenges and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 crisis. FURNISH tries to merge tactical urbanism (which can reconfigure a street to expand the area for pedestrians and leisure) with local digital manufacturing to make urban spaces more liveable.
Collaboration with schools proved particularly fruitful and showed that communities have a remarkable inclination for co-creation. Working closely with children and teachers, the project not only produced impressive design prototypes but also amplified voices that are often overlooked in the decision-making process and included them for the final 2022 edition of the project.
By involving various stakeholders and users in the design process, FURNISH has fostered a sense of ownership and inclusivity, ensuring that public spaces truly meet the needs and aspirations of the communities they serve. The resulting designs reflect a harmonious blend of creativity, functionality, and sustainability, setting new benchmarks for urban landscapes, all of which can be found in the new book!
Partners involved in the project: Milan City Council, AMAT – Milan’s Agency for Mobility, Environment and Territory, CARNET, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, IAAC – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia