30 September, 2007

I've lost another appendage, and it housed my third brain

If I could describe myself in three words or less, it would be hunched, squinty-eyed, and at any given time 3 inches (at most away) from my computer screen. Because, as all architects know, the closer you are to photoshop, the more accurate everything is. Zoom is just a pain in the tush. I've become so connected with my programs that the old nakedness addage doesn't even begin to describe how I feel without my computer. Amputation could be slightly more accurate term to describe how I felt as I watched my computer eaten alive by a terrible virus. I felt physical pain as I stared at the appropriately themed wall paper (desolate, and sepia-toned) and clicked away to know avail. I knew my third brain was gone, and even my wrongly named international coverage couldn't help.

28 September, 2007

...and then we saw the police. illegally.

so right after our return to BCN we remembered that the police were playing at 10 on thursday night at the olympic stadium. no time was wasted that night. we ate, dressed ourselves (some better than others) and made the treck up Montjuic in record time. i seriously think we made it to the top faster than kelly and i on one of our runs. anyway, on the way up we heard sting's voice singing "don't stand so close to me"....so i think that was the fuel.
at the top we peeked and assessed the situation of how to infiltrate the stadium. eventually, we made our way to the back of the stadium which was virtually unpopulated. so we (thanks to danni) scaled the gate using a makeshift metal boost. on the other side, the sketchiness ensued, as painfully apparent in the video. security guards, scaffolding and charlies' angels-esque evasion moves were involved.

moral of the adventure - we snuck into the olympic stadium to see the police. a story for the grandchildren.

23 September, 2007

Frank Matt Sara Hali Andrew Lost Their Chance

Tonight we decided to finish the evening sitting in Plaza Mayor with the locals, and discuss the events throughout the day. We were one group out of many, just watching the people interact throughout the space throughout the carnival of entertainers

While photographing people in Plaza Mayor, an old man noticed us and proceeded over to introduce himself to us, assuming we were tourists of some sort. Being the nice human being I am, I of course said "hello."

He didn't respond.

"Habla Ingles?"

No response, just a wave.

"Habla Aleman?" (Please don't tell the Spanish teacher.)

Still no response. He instead started to gesture to us. As we all looked in confusion, he proceeded to sit down, take out a pen, and use a tourist guide as makeshift stationary.

On it he wrote "Come up to the highest level."

"Shrink your presumption."

By this time, we were not sure quite what to think. We had assumed he was trying to sell us Hashish, or beg for change. He proceeded to write down "To understand the idea of God..." and pulled out a grape. Sara remarked "that's the biggest grape I've ever seen."

He then proceeded to split the grape... perfectly... and offered it to us. Of course, being from Clemson and not Texas A&M, we all politely declined. Although disappointed, he was not surprised.

Have lost their chance.

But this does not exonerate any of these persons from their duty to stop doing harm to the common interests of humans.

The refusal to share this fruit is the result of fear, educated and grown by motherhood and apple pie. From now on, Sept. 23. 07. All of you have to offer and share your privileges before being asked, of course, if you don't, you will lose them, so this is a friendly warning to all those who this word [of] God without having understood."

With that he handed us the card, and left the plaza. By then all of the other people sitting around us had vanished- an entirely new crowd of people were in the space, and we were the only ones left sitting.

Material Transition and Thresholds

Barceloneta offers an array of materials for beach-goers to use in different ways. This video examines how the different materials and their transitions can both create and erase barriers between different types of users.


After going through two years at Clemson, in a sorority, I have never been hazed like I was at the RESA Party. I think what the Spanish students did to us is illegal in the US. like writing on our faces, herding us around like branded cattle, taping us together and making us try to run across a finish line, and taking us to a party that we couldn't leave until 5 o'clock. I'm surprised one of us didn't get lost in the cracks and crannies of the metro. None the less, I had the time of my life pretending to know the words/moves to Spanish dance music and watching Spanish students try to figure out why the hell Americans love the YMCA so much.

20 September, 2007


Our initiation into the Spanish youth culture -- a group of RESA kids sent out a list for a party...so I signed up, thinking I'd just see what they had in mind. Little did I know that they had studied our names, put us into groups with Spanish "leaders" and color coded us. They wrote our names on our foreheads in our assigned colors. I was in the "blue group." The tiny girl who was my assigned leader saw how few of us there were with her and said with a thick accent, "I need more blue." They took us to the Forum, yelling on the metro the entire way (pissing off the old sleepy guys) and taped us together, and made us run to a finish line. I really had no idea what the point of anything was, but I had a fantastic time nonetheless. The club was pretty snazzy, too.


MACBA is the only building I've seen so far in Barcelona that I can say I love. I'm not a big fan of the exterior...gotta be honest. It was a little stark, and I'm not sure why the front is so linear while the back is and the addition on the front are so curvilinear. The interior, however, made so much sense and was so light and spacious. The high ceilings, and the skylights. and the view down all the levels to the very bottom made the building seem weightless. The galleries were well-planned too -- very accessible.

19 September, 2007

something a little special...

yeah, i know. i'm the last one to post their second entry. i promise it's with good reason. here's a little justification for those of you who we woke up/disturbed from whatever you were doing without warning. kudos to hali, whit, and danni for helping make this happen! we just hope this makes everyone feel good in general--but mostly two certain people.

Lessons learned

This is the bunny that Hali and I decided to buy on Las Ramblas the first week we were here. We named her Caféla because her color is café con leche. She was a lot of fun to have around... at first. Then she learned how to get out of the make-shift cage we made her and liked to disappear behind the fridge. She also liked to pee and poop all over our desks, it was like she saved it until we took her out of her cage.
As adorable as she was, we decided to give her back. That is what happens when you compulsively buy pets. But now she is back with all her bunny little friends...

so for all you animal lovers.... as much as you may think a pet is cute... make sure you have the endurance to keep up with it.

Santa Catarina y MACBA

Look how many letters I crammed into the upper right hand corner!

But fragmentation is what makes Santa Catarina so interesting. When sketching it I continuously got the impression Enrique Moralles just couldn't take his pencil off the damn paper when designing this thing. 5 shots of Spanish coffee and architect's block, perhaps. Nothing in it is simple and clearly defined, and even to this day I still don't have a grasp on the extent of the canopy structure.

MACBA is minimalist.

18 September, 2007

light and shadow

Richard Meier is renowned for the magnificent chiaroscuro in his building projects. I found the interior architecture of the MACBA to be quite fascinating and incredibly well thought out. Each walk way, wall, and column is positioned in a way that creates beautiful shadows and streams of light as the sun shines through the huge glass facade of the building. The everchanging visual interest of the interior makes it a pleasure to walk through and serves as a complimentary backdrop to the avant guard artwork displayed at the museum.

barcelona's waterfront

For my film, I wanted to take a broad look at Barcelona's coast as a whole. This of course includes the beach, the yacht ports, the industrial port, and various tourist locations situated on the water's edge. I tried to differentiate between the diverse uses of the waterfront through my use of audio. I overlaid sections of sound for a given location (ie. trucks, workers, and beeping for the port), and faded my sound in and out to show transitions between places.
I tried a few times, but was unfortunately unable to post the actual video. However, this is my sketch sheet explaining my thoughts as I was making the video.

Barcelona Beach: Day vs. Night

Since I have been in Barcelona, I haven't had a chance to go to the beach and just look around. This project gave me the opportunity to explore the beach and look closer and find whatyou cannot see with a human eye. I started my journey of the beach on the south side in the afternoon. I explored the way people acted, the direction in which they were traveling, the water, the sand, and even the noise. After actually sitting down with the crowd on the south end, my video camera and I made our way to the north side of the beach. I concentrated on the same characteristics. After my journey was complete in the afternoon, I came back to the beach later in the day. I came back arounddusk, where you could still see through the video camera lens.

Once again, I started on the south side and made my way to the north end of the beach. I concentrated on some of the same characteristics as earlier in the day. I began to realize some drastic differences. One major difference was the atmosphere of the beach. With less people, the beach seems more calm. I also realized more people being physical during dusk/night than during the day. Another major difference was the amount of litter on the sand. Earlier in the day, all you saw were cigarettes or can tabs in the sand. During the night, there were full two liter coke bottles, big plastic bags blowing in the wind, and beer cans. As it got darker and darker, the artificial lights came on around the beach. These artificial lights gave the beach a different, almost fake feeling. A beach is known for its sun and natural light. Adding artificial light to a beach takes away from one of its many unique characteristics. Another major difference was the noise. During the day, you would hear a lot of screaming, laughing, and people talking. During the night, all you would hear would be the waves from the water. So I found enjoyable characteristics in both my day and night visit. Maybe I will have to make a couple more trips to the beach to find out what part of the day I like more!!


This past weekend, a few of the Spanish RESA veterans planned a welcome event for all the residents. It certainly turned out to be a crazy time, but one particular moment pushed my night into the realm of ‘truly meaningful’. Upon entering the FORUM, I found myself walking with one of the Spanish students I had become acquainted with the night before. After a few minutes, he turned and began a conversation with a group of local students, from which I felt extremely isolated. But after a while, he opted to introduce me to the students. “This is Will, an American.” I’ve learned that description doesn’t always rub people the right way, and he clearly knew that, because he proceeded, “He is really good guy, a lot like us.” I was touched, and immediately accepted by the group. I will always remember that.

Social Mapping :-D

I know everyone should have already seen these pictures on facebook but I thought since I was the only one with a camera the other night, that I'd post a social mapping of RESA's shall we say, bondage night? On the architectural side of things, this took place at the Forum. I walked to those porta-potties (wow that word is awkward to type) with a girl (Marianne?) who is also a third year architectural student at UPC about the Forum. She told me that it is an unusual and empty space most of the time, only being used for conferences and big concerts. It was the best place for a lot of people to go out the other night just because there was a lot of space, but personally, I found the space to be a little uncomfortable. I think it goes back to my video focus of scale and speed. The Herzog building was one I wanted to walk by quickly. It was interesting, foreign (aliens anyone?), and created sheltered space, but it just wasn't at a comfortable scale with the size group we were with. I'm sure that would all change when the crowd size, like for a concert, would balance the massing of the building.
Anyway, great night! When/where else could you get THISCLOSE to being trampled while taped up?

17 September, 2007

Scale vs. Speed

I don't believe I've ever filmed anything before, but I hope from watching this, you can gather that I was trying to compare the scale of the surroundings with the speed, specifically urgency and pace, of people and their modes of transport. The buildings along Carrer del Doctor Aiguader were smooth, grand, and dwarfing. While the sidewalks were plenty wide enough and there was plenty of public space, few pedestrians seemed to be walking there for leisure (and why would they with the noise of traffic right there?). Trucks, cars, mopeds, bicycles, and people moved quickly by with a generally agressive stance. As soon as I turned right onto the smaller Caller de Ramon Trias, more pedestrians and leisure walking appeared. Still, the pace of vehicles and people was relatively fast. The scale of the buildings remained large until just reaching the boardwalk.
On the boardwalk, the scale was brought down by the size of the people, umbrellas, coverings, stands, barrels, and vegetation. Because people played the role of living architecture by the beach, the pace was at a human scale: some people shuffled, others rode bikes, others sauntered about. The pace slowed even further under the intimate canopies beneath Gehry's Fish and the trees surrounding. The quickest motion there was that of the escalator. My favorite part of this video shows the platform in the water beneath the Fish. In one clip, you see a bum deem it a perfect spot to pass out. In another clip, you see the same platform chosen by a photographer to capture pictures of newlyweds. While in completely different situations, the idea that the area is peaceful and beautiful is shared. The newlyweds and the bum have the same pace. Architecture certainly shapes how we feel in an area, but also how fast we experience it. Speed and scale correlate.


Richard Meier, designer of the Museu d’art de Barcelona, was an influential architect known for his use of the color white. White heightens visual form to create intense contrasts of shadow
and light; it is the combination of all the colors of the visible light spectrum. As a tint, white
has the highest possible brightness, one hundred percent, and has no hue. The impression
of white light can be created by mixing appropriate intensities of the primary colors of
light: red, yellow and blue.
Although Richard Meier’s building is all white, it allows color to reflect off it when natural light is eliminated and chemical light is reflected on it, as
shown in the series of photos on the bottom left.
This is the process I took when analyzing this building. Instead of viewing the building in its natural color state of white, I used the three primary colors and sketched the building. This created a completely different perspective which allowed the different geometric shapes to converge and become more dynamic. Interestingly, when the colors were mixed they created black, which is also an achromatic color, but highly different then white. This project allowed me to physically see the difference between colors of light and colors on paper and also allowed me to experiment with a different medium.

The bottom building is the Igualada Cemetery built buy Enric Miralles and his first wife Carme Pinos. Like the Mercat de Santa Caterina, this Cemetery was designed to replace and existing place, the Cemetery Vell.
This building had many contingencies, mostly becasue it would be such a sacred place. The couple wanted the represent the cycle of life, linking the past, present and future. This picee transformed its surrounding aread, bringing new life.
Although they were bult at different times and with different wived,The Igualada Cemetery has many simialarities to the Mercat de Santa Caterina.

The Mercat de Santa Caterina was also built buy Miralles, but in conjunction with his second wife, Benedetta Tagliabue.
This site was not originally a market, it was a garden. The two quickly started working the the reconstruction of this building, when they ran into a little problem. In the building process, the construction worker dug up son old ruins which halted building until preservation codes could be discussed.
Like respecting the dead in the Igualada Cemetery, they had to respect the ruins found. Both structures contain floors below, this is where you can see some of the ruins in the Mercat.

These sketches represent the path I took to the site where Gehry’s fish was. The lower sketch it the walkway to the North end of the beach. The following sketches, reading from left to right, area basic chronology of the sketches I did while filming the site. They are quick details of the full picture on the top right.

Well this is an interesting story; I filmed this video with an actual video camera, however, the file that it holds is not compatible with any form of video editing software. So, what i did was play it on my computer and then film it on my camera. This will explain the poor quality of the video.

Anyway, the point of this video was to capture the surroundings of the north end of the beach in a panoramic system at different times of the day. The video progresses through and past sunset. As the video plays, I zoomed in on different aspects to see how they were changing as the light changed. My favorite part was when the sky got darker and the beach was illuminated by lights that made the buildings and street glow.

a hazing experience

So, on Friday night (9/14), we were all invited to welcome RESA party. Little did we know that gathering outside meant that we would we herded into groups, then have our name written on our foreheads in different colors. What I had believed to be a night to get to meet other students in our building turned into a strange journey. We were all herded again into the subway, with the RESA leaders yelling at everyone to get onto the metro train faster. When we finally got to our destination, we realized we were back in the Forum, a place we had gotten lost a week before. From here, they stopped us in the type of plaza and taped us in groups of those standing closest. Much to my dismay, we were then told to run a relay. I suppose this was a way to gain team working skills, however I would have much rather meeting my foreign partners another way. Instead I got to be the girl who lost her shoe and made the team lose. Ooops. On the way back from our adventure some of us got to explore the playground near by and the Forum Building. We agreed this was the highlight of the night.

these aren't my photos, but i thought they accurately show the unique aspects of this building.

i like public spaces

Our site visits consisted of the MACBA and the Mercat Santa Caterina, as well as an exploration of Barceloneta through film. I discovered in my exploration of the coast, the lack of real beach front business as usual in the US. I found not far from the beach, were some well designed public spaces that were practically completely empty apart from those passing on the way to the beach. I journeyed through these public spaces to experience what most people seemed take for granted. As I moved from these city like area around these public spaces and crossed the street, I discovered the slowed pace of the beach. It seemed strange to me that so many people would rather slow down and experience the beach with had little depth for exploration. In my view, even though the beach was relaxing in a sense, I would have much rather contemplated at the public spaces I had visited.

In the boards for the video and case studies, I tried to demonstrate the experience of the places. For example, at the MACBA, I observed the many layers of shapes that created the facade of the building. The part I felt most interesting about the building was the voids that created form. Not only did these voids in the building allow for new shapes, but also created new areas of hang outs for homeless and skateboarders. The Mercat was also a very interesting space. The roof that covers the market is extremely breathe taking. I discovered that there had been a market in that same place since the 1840s, and before that vegetable pots had been planted there. The colors in the roof and the structure of the building reminded me of colorful plants springing up from the ground .


in my video, i used different textures that where both found in nature and created by man to convey a sense of energy throughout the area of study. i entitled it transitions as a way to make the viewer attentive to the changes in texture as one moves from the more urban spaces of the villa olympica to the sands of the beach. certain clips are sped to stress movement and the business of urban transport. longer shots are saved for the beach, as this more patient method reflects our tendency to seek the beach for relaxation. i wanted the video to be fairly abstract, so that the viewer could deduct on his/her own what the path from villa olympica to barceloneta would be like.


The assignment this week was a challenge for me in a couple of different way. One, it forced me to go to the beach and work, when normally I would just go with Rosalyn with our books and IPods and sleep. Two, I've never worked with video much, and it terrified me until I realized I could have a lot of fun with it, manipulating colors and lights and music.
I concentrated my study of the beach through peeling back its layers, which, to me, came in three parts--the commercial, the social, and the natural. Starting at the beach (the natural, of course) one can lay on the beach and soak up the sun, or continue up to the sidewalk. This is the social area. It provides an open transportation space for bikers and pedestrians, connecting the various part of Barceloneta, and acting as a barrier between the shops and restaurants and the beachfront.
Barceloneta is special because of this confluence of traffic.

16 September, 2007

Barceloneta-Villa Olympica

This project was interesting because we had to use a new type of media (to me at least) to capture our observations. It was different, but enjoyable at the same time, especially since it was at the beach. On my walk I observed many interesting things about the beach front. After just learning in Arch 412 about how new the whole beach front area was, it amazed me at how integral it seemed to the Barcelona community. The beach was packed and there were many people doing numerous activities. Most of the beach activity was near the barceloneta area, and then as I walked further down the coast, it got scattered more and more. I am used to a small beach in South Carolina, that even in peak season is not as crowded as any day here. The fact that the beach so close to a major city and can still be an enjoyable and nice place is amazing.

Dia Nacional/Best Day Ever

Ok, so this past Tuesday, as other people have blogged about already, was the National Day of Catalonia a.k.a. Dia Nacional De Catalunya. This day being a holiday and all, we did not have class, even though noone informed us of that at the time. We waited on the professor for an hour! anyways. Wanting to see the festivities a couple of people and I went around noon to the Arc del Triumf area near Parc Ciutadella. There was a lot happening already. Everyone had Catalan flags and were showing their pride by wearing them. Dylan and I both purchased flags and wore them that entire afternoon. We stayed in that area listening to local music and talking until the Big event of the night happened. There was a huge, free, concert that we could not miss. The concert was incredible. Dannielle and I made it to the front row by going with the mosh that was pushing us up front. The front row was the place to be, besides for the thousands of people pushing against your back constantly. My favorite part of the concert was when two of the band members had a duet solo on a gigantic xylophone thing. It was awesome!! After the concert a bunch of us headed down to the waterfront. On our way there we found a park type thing with playground equipment. We played around on it for a while then continued to the Olympic port area. After chilling on the beach for awhile we decided it was time to come back to RESA. The day was very eventful and one of the funnest I have had in Barcelona yet.

The video comes from the park with the playground that we went to. Casey, Kelly, and I revisited it while walking this weekend.

barceloneta: a different speed of life

for the movie i walked along the sidewalk located on the outskirts of the beach. this walkway was the dividing line between the beach and the urban context that has developed just beyond the sand. the people on the sand, had a much slower pace. most people were laying out, a few people casually strolling along the sand, or swimming in the mediterranean. on the walkway, there was much more activity. people were moving at different speeds. there were a lot of bikers, runners, rollerbladers, walkers, and people just sitting. there was also a lot of street activity such as buses and cars. the street sounds created quite a contrast from the quiet beach. this contrast reflects the movement of people in relation to the setting. these contrasts demonstrate the urban layer that has developed just beyond the sand. these different patterns of movement and speeds of life occur in such a small area with a great deal of activity on a temporal level.

The Beach and I

My journey began, like most of them, near the start of Barceloneta...making my way toward the Olympic Port. I noticed that, as you look north, the beach side is teaming with activity on the water and small restaurants. The street side was lacking in that intense energy, with most of its restaurants serving only a lone couple. I found this dynamic interesting, especially how it changed as you make your way to the Olympic Port. As I made my way to that area, I took the higher path so as to get fair views of both sides for documentation. As I reached the Port area, the former two deuling intensities fused into one, one large teeming mass of energy and people. This area cannot help but to promote tourism and activity, bringing the sense of the Barceloneta beach vibrancy and merging it with the element of the street and shops. These aspects mesh well and provide a great ending point for the journey.

Sun, Sand, and Cinematography

Saturday Madison and I spent the day juggling a bike and a camera, and let me tell you it was quite the juggling act. Our tour of the coastline of Barcelona however was enjoyable and informative. The notion of an "urban beach" is very interesting to me as well as the way in which Barcelona so aggressively tackled the coastline in hopes of a successful renewal by hauling in tons of sand, sculpting swimming and leisure areas, and carving out a marina. The beach is very different from the ones I know back in the Southeastern US. It is just as I would imagine an "urban beach" to be - loud, vibrant, and full of life. There are so many activities going on at once. The beaches are packed and full of people laying out, swimming, selling beer or massages. The boardwalks are packed, full of people eating, biking, blading, or strolling. The sidewalks beyond the boardwalks are packed and beyond that the streets are busy, and even further beyond that buildings are bursting with activity from the older architecture of Barceloneta to the high rises that mark the Olympic Port and Forum area. The beaches of Barcelona are very fast paced there is movement everywhere. A different, but new and exciting scene from the leisurely beaches back home.

another week has passed...

everything exciting i have done this week everyone else has posted about, but i guess i will sum up the odds and ends of these activities. like a lot of people, i went to the concert on the 11th. we were pretty much front and center. it was crazy to be in the middle of a spanish mosh. the music was fun, even though i didn't understand any of it. afterwards we walked down past the zoo towards the ocean. we found a sweet children's park, even though i think most of the park is probably not best for children. the seesaw-esque swings were a lot of fun. we even ended up revisiting the park after our video mapping. since we were already in born, we had to go to the amazing pizza place en route to the museu de la xocolata. we found the museum while wandering around aimlessly at the festival and decided to go back for a visit. the chocolate sculptures were very impressive and consisted of gaudi's most famous buildings here in barcelona, willy wonka's chocolate factory, and other various random things. the chocolate drink from the cafe there was to die for. however, i would recommend bringing a glass of milk with you. oh also this week, we had access to an oven since danni and hali were apartment-sitting. the other night we made pizzas and cookies. the pizzas were delicious. we discovered that american cookie recipes just don't convert well with the different spanish ingredients. nonetheless it was nice to have a home cooked meal that wasn't cooked on a burner.

(yes everything in the picture is chocolate)

MACBA: Meier and Movies

Last Tuesday we went to tour the MACBA. The exhibits were interesting, most of them audiovisual installations exploring society's view of art and theater in coexistence. There were a wide range of topics some dark, some lighter. It was interesting to see the usually lit exhibit spaces darkened for the video projections. The building itself was interesting to walk through. Meier's organization of space was admirable, at no point was I lost in the gallery. The ramps made circulation throughout the galleries and exhibit rooms easier, and I was able to orient myself on every floor because of the open space and glass wall offering views of the city plaza. I have heard mixed emotions on Meier's MACBA from others I've talked to, but in comparison to some of his other works and noting the transformation it has caused in El Raval I think the building is a success. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and admire the museum's dedication to contemporary art and its ever changing mediums.

Graffiti Bombing in Barcelona

For those who have heard of it, the Graffiti Research Lab is a group that creates temporal "graffiti bombs" through a combination of a projector, laser pointer, and generator. The entire city then becomes a surface to project their work, which lasts only until it is completed before it vanishes for good.

About 2 months ago they did so at Barcelona. and actually ran into trouble with the local law enforcement (at Starbucks, nonetheless.)

I'm sure all of you have been to every site shown in the video, so it's pretty neat to watch. WARNING: explicit language.


After video mapping on Saturday, two friends and I decided (since we were already in the Born) to go to the famed Museu de Xocolate since we are such dedicated chocolate fans. The entrance fee was only 3.20 with our UPC ids. The museum itself is not very large, but has interactive displays, amazingly elaborate chocolate sculptures and structures and a lot of historical information. However, the element that will make me visit the museum again was strategically placed at the exit of the museum. After walking through the museum, we obviously wanted our share of chocolate...and that is exactly what we received. I ordered a small drink of chocolate for 1.40. Literally molten chocolate. That was my heaven. We also received a plate of 90% cocoa. Again, heaven. Needless to say, after this experience our chocolate quotas were filled for the week. I strongly recommend this museum if not only for the amazing drink menu at the bar. Seriously, if you like chocolate -- go.

The National Day of Catalonia

September 11 was the National Day of Catalonia. About ten of us decided to venture over to the Parc de la Ciutadella to see some of the festivities, but we all got lost in a sea of people. One of the most surprising things I noticed was the strong nationalism that was displayed in the various signs and posters. Many of them read "Catalonia is not Spain," "We are not a Spanish state," and even some references to a revolution of some sort. As someone who is interested in the local culture here, and also as a political science minor, I was surprised to see all of this powerful regional pride. I had already known that the Catalan people thought of their region as its own country with its own history and culture, but I didn't know that there were groups out there that want Catalonia to be its own national entity. This is why I am excited about our upcoming trip. We are going to Madrid, an area that is most likely proud to call itself Spain, and the Basque Country, which, just like Catalonia, sees itself as its own country. We will be mostly visiting to see Architecture, but I also want to get a glimpse of what the people that live in these areas think.

a thin line

In my opinion, one of the most interesting things about the Barceloneta is how close the beach is to the city. Usually when I think of beach settings I think of that long walk from the beach house through the sand all the way to the shoreline. In Barcelona, however, the water is literally meters away. I think that the reason for this is because of both permanent and temporary conditions. A high volume of people on a hot sunny day may contribute to a thinner line between beachgoers and the city, depending on what time of year it is and the weather. But I think that permament conditoins are set so that the distance from the streets and buildings to the water and swimmers is short. Barceloneta's sand is swept away by the water after each winter, and the city council replaces the artificial sand. It makes me think of trying to install a beach at New York City. Also, the boardwalk is set up near the shore along with many restaurants. I noticed that the south side of the beach is more crowded than the north, just as Prof. Hecker said in class. The south beach feels much closer to the city than the north side, because of the many restaurants, plazas and buildings pressed right up against the beach. On the north side, it expands considerably as it becomes less crowded and the distance from the boarwalk to the water grows.

In my video I decided to walk along this imaginary border back and forth to investigate the details. I walked from the plaza and street on the south beach that leads to the metro stop, up to the Gehry Fish, which marks the end of the Barceloneta. I walked back along the top boardwalk instead of the bottom.


When we visited the MACBA this past week, I got the opportunity to explore the audiovisual installation entitled "Theatre Without Theatre." The artists and recorded performers used the museum space to take their craft of theatre outside of the box of the stage and show how an average room or wall could become a performance area. In particular, I was struck by a series of photographs taken of simple, everyday objects like a garden statue of a kneeling boy or a shelf of well-worn books. The objects were photographed inside their natural habitat (so to speak), and then put on stage between a set of curtains. The effect, though simple, was drastic--the objects were no longer only objects. They were Objects. They had something to say, an agenda perhaps. Though overshadowed by more of the larger and more flashy installations, this small set of images was quite powerful on their own.

15 September, 2007


For the Catalan holiday, there was concert in a square near Parc de la Ciutadella, and it was FULL of energy. Tons of people were sitting on the grass, talking, eating, drinking. Then the concert started, complete with mosh pits and performers...I'm still trying to figure out the Spanish culture. The style of the people our age is a lot rougher -- a lot of abrupt haircuts and jagged clothing, rockish type music...All in all the concert was a lot of fun, because it was the largest crowd of Spanish people that I'd yet seen. Most of the crowds on Las Ramblas are all tourists...


I felt like a bit of a stalker doing the video mapping project, but nonetheless I enjoyed it. It was not only the first time I'd watched Barcelona from above, but really the first time I'd watched any steady stream of people from above.

14 September, 2007

The National Day of Catalonia

We came to find out that September 11 is a holiday here in Barcelona. It is called the National Day of Catalonia. Since it was a holiday, we didn't have class. We took advantage of the time off and explored the city during this holiday. It was a great experience to see the people of Barcelona celebrate this holiday to the extent that they do. We heard about a concert that was occurring later in the day, so we all stepped out to see what it was all about. The concert was absolutely amazing. The music was so different but so enjoyable. During the entire concert, the people of Barcelona held their flags in the air with pride, danced, and sang. A couple of us were able to climb up on a column and look over everyone else. We got a great view of the stage and we could really see how many people were present at the concert. It was amazing to see how the band, along with the crowd, really felt the music. It was an experience I will never forget.

11 September, 2007


From a distance, cranes, huge cruise ships, seemingly endless cargo boxes and the bridge dominate the built landscape of the Barcelona Port. However, from a closer perspective, human (vs. machine) activities are much more apparent. These aspects (namely sailing, fishing, strolling, shopping, and dining) and their development will greatly enhance the value of the housing project.

Transportation congestions

This is a sketch based off my observations of the port, and research gathered afterward. It tracks the different movements in and around Port Nou. The red shows the paths of cargo ships, the orange of automobiles and pedestrian, and the purple of the train systems. Problems with connection and congestion can be seen even with a simple observation.

Density surveillance

I captured these images from the Las Golindrinas ride this past weekend. I took a shot every 5 seconds, in a perpendicular view from the boat. The images above are placed in close proximity (in reference to the ground plane map) to where they were taken. This serves to map out the path and view of the port from not only the tourist ride, but also from the frame of large quantity passenger and cargo cruisers. Specific areas are highlighted and labeled according to their purpose in the port proper. The light green section (under the photos) is Port Nou, the smallest extent of our site.

Site Sketch

It is quite a contrast between the natural form of Montjuic and the industrial forms below. The site location loses sunlight before anywhere else in Barcelona, and the entire form of the area is visible only in silhouette.

Surface Movement

Investigating the different forms of movement throughout the site. Travel by automobile through the nearby highway is contrasted with the varying speed of nearby aquacraft (a cruise ship, tugboat, and party boat are examined)

The method was 10 second exposure shots in burst mode staggered at 30 second intervals.


last friday, a group of us "scaled the mountain" up to tibidabo. it was quite exciting, even while we were in transit on the finicular, just because the site is so easily seen from the city, yet seems so far away and inaccessible. it was interesting to finally be somewhere we had been seeing constantly in our peripheries. the amusement park, though infinitely tacky, and at times even more lame (ask rosalyn about the big red plane that just circles around and around and..yeah), was still quite entertaining.

we had a great view of the city (many of the rides were better than they normally would be at any lame state fair, as each one offered some new view down to barcelona. we were also quite close to Norman Foster's Torre de Telecomunicaciones. even if you don't like the work, it is quite impressive in its scale and, as we all know by now, stakes its claim on tibidabo. it was refreshing to see a really different area, and while it was steeping with tourists, i would suggest venturing up and being goofy for a day. you will get some amazing pictures, and a really great perspective of the city.


In a city this size, it's the little things that make you feel at home. A few days ago, I was walking from RESA to the Ramblas, and I noticed a Chocolataria that had just opened. Being the chocolate fanatic that I am, I had to go in immediately and inspect. When I walked in, the smell of baked goods and just general sweetness greeted me. All I could see in the store were rows and rows of beautiful treats. After I delighted in them for a moment, I looked over to the left and saw an older man, the owner of the coffee shop. He had a huge, joyful grin on his face and a twinkle that any person associated with chocolate has in his eyes. We didn't say anything to each other, but still we had a connection that didn't require words. It made me realize that although I may do things in a slightly different way, I'm not that different from the people here.

10 September, 2007

A Closer Look

On Thursday of last week, we visited the Port of Barcelona by bike. We got as close as we could to the site with permission. After visiting the site on bicycle, I biked up to Montjuic to get an aerial view of the Port of Barcelona. I realized, while looking down upon the port, how disorganized everything looked. All the cargo, ships, and other components in the port looked all scattered as if they had no order. Personally, I'm a very organized person and when I'm not organized, I tend to stress out. While looking down upon the disorder of the port, a slight feeling of stress came over me. Then next day, I took the boat ride that allowed us to ride through the port. While both riding the bicycle to the site and riding the boat, it technically did not feel like we entered the site until we crossed over or under the large, white bridge. As soon as I crossed under the bridge by boat, I was able to see the site up close. It was not till I was so close to the site that I realized how organized the site really it. The cargo containers were stacked neatly, as well as about 150 cars in rows. Not only was the cargo and forms of transportation organized, but even the large cranes and other pieces of large equipment were set in rows where they lined up with one another. Such organized characteristics of the site cannot be seen unless you are close and inside the site. The organization is something not seen with the human eye from a distance.

The week thats past

Lets see, what did I do this past week...I ventured on Monday to Parc Guell with some of the others, and I went clubbin' at Kubik just like other posts have described. Parc Guell was pretty amazing, it was the first piece of Gaudi's work that I have seen up close. I really enjoyed seeing the things that I have read about online and in magazines. I thought it was amazing that he designed the entire parc and you can tell that, because the whole thing flows together so well. It was also nice that they spoil you with escalators on the walk up the big hill to the parc (its always nice when a machine can do your walking for you). Kubik was also pretty sweet. After looking at the website and hearing about it from Andrew, I just knew it was something that I needed to experience. And it was worth it! I stayed all night and watched the sunrise before coming back to bed at around 8a.m. The only part I regret was loosing everyone when we got kicked out. Yes I was wondering around the forum area by myself with no clue how to get to the metro. But I survived and now it is just something to look back and laugh at.

Parc Guell, Gaudi, Gracia

Last Tuesday, on a break from studio, a group of us boarded the metro, trekked up a few hills, and rode the escalator to Park Guell where we enjoyed beautiful Gaudi architecture and mosaic sculptures. We hiked the trails, took a picture by the famous and incredibly small mosaic dragon, and stopped to enjoy the views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean. On a more superficial note, we strutted through the stone colonnades made famous by America's Top Model...so of course Kelly and I had our own fashion show commentated and filmed by Andrew who called it "the worst fashion show ever." What can we say?! :) The Park Guell gardens and Gaudi's interesting work made it a trip well worth it.


Montserrat was the site of a Benadictine abbey back in the day. It is both a religious pilgrimage site and a popular destination among tourists, but offers an escape from the city itself for locals. Residents of Barcelona or nearby Catalunya find it a relaxing and religious getaway. Rumor has it it's even acceptable as an excuse for not going to church.

Montserrat is accessable through the R5 line picked up in Plaza España, and is roughly 40km outside of the city of Barcelona itself. This was also my first time on Barcelona's mass transit system. R5 also connects to the outer "suburbs" of Barcelona, which is interesting to see in its own right.

The Monument Rock of Beth Chedruharizzeb

Once you get to the trails, go to the top- you're not limited to the marked trail and the view from up top is spectacular.


Our studio site situates itself in the midst of contrasting surroundings. To one side, the historic and iconic Montjuic provides an amazing aerial view of its layout. From the bridge, an up close and personal look at the portion below. From the cruise line docks, a vivid perspective on the entire panorama. In the transition between these views, individual sections of the site come into primary focus, while shear distance and sight obstructions force other pieces into the periphery. This ephemerality in the visual realm will play a large part in the potential impact our projects can have on the surroundings in addition to Barcelona as a whole.

Barca by Bike

I never fully grasped how much a change in transportation could affect your perceptions of a city. Last week, our bike excursion through Barcelona really opened my eyes. I have never been a hard-core cyclist, but here, as I coasted over congested sidewalks and busy streets, the city unfolded in a unique way. I felt truly attached. Barcelona’s size was quickly revealed in a way that had never occurred to me in my trips up and down La Rambla. I passed by seas, mountains, and buildings in a matter of minutes, a task that would have taken me days by foot. Bicing card, here I come.

site fusion

our site visit on bikes gave a better understanding of the area our project actually deals with. the area does not have any real foot traffic or visitors beyond runners, bikers, and a few fishers. the port serves thousands of people each week for cruises and shipping. it was interesting to see this area up close, and the different areas that surround it. montjuic directly overlooks the site. the airport and a large portion of the shipping are to the right side. the well-developed maremagnum and port vell attract personal boats and more pedestrians. from montjuic, it was interesting to see how the site compares to these three very different areas of the port, surrounding land and water and how our project needs to unite the areas.

Site Study: Port de Barcelona

- A compilation of data collected from Thursday's site visit- photos, statistical graphics, maps

We biked to the port as a class and later a group climbed Montjuic/rode the funicular and then the cable car to reach the fortress on top. The views were spectacular and very informative as far as site study is concerned. After Thursday's visit I researched the port more indepth and was amazed at the large scale of trade and transport. Barcelona's port is a hub for over 400 ports internationally and brings in an immense amount of goods and passengers from all over the world. I also looked at Montjuic's relationship to the port and its influences. Much more than just a pretty view, Montjuic is an important historical backdrop to the industrial port.
The port of Barcelona is a place of constant change and fluxuation. People are always coming and going in small crowds and massive crowds. Goods are exchanged.
The port is a gateway to the city, the place where many for the first time discover Barcelona. With such important roles in the city of Barcelona the port area has an obligation to deliver not only its cargo, but hospitality and a glimpse at the city itself.

enjoyable jogs

kelly and i jogged a new and (for us) adventurous route last Sunday. we started running towards the statue of columbus, then took a left onto the paisseg to colom. here, we ran straight until we hit the parc de la ciutadella. let me just say that running through that specific park was truly an experience. there is plenty of room to feel somewhat isolated, especially earlier in the morning. the sun through the trees, perfectly manicured gardens and multiple paths make for an entertaining run. after the park, we ran north toward the arc de triomf the hung a left, running along ronda de sant pere.
this run basically takes you AROUND the gothic quarter, sparing you the small sidestreets and throngs of people. i recommend it for earlier morning and if you're feeling like experiencing great views of both nature and the busier streets.

a view from the other side

this week i ventured to many different areas of the city that i had not yet been to, including parc guell, tibidabo, and kubik. of all of these tibidabo was probably my favorite. parc guell was amazing, but there were too many people. kubik was a bit too built up and far away for a night at the club. the trip up to tibidabo turned out to be more complicated than we expected. we had to navigate through the metro. once we got off we couldn't find the funicular. we had to hike what felt like the top of the mountain in the heat to find it. once we got up there, the views were breathtaking. it was nice to have a panoramic view of the city that wasn't from montjuic, since i have visited there multiple times. the whole area was interesting with a church and a theme park in such a small area. the church at the top had some amazing views. the theme park turned out to be a lot of fun too. most of the rides were small and pretty lame, but turned out to be a lot of fun. besides, they all had unbeatable views.

a pixelated port

as a more intense look at the port, i zoomed in on the many crates and containers found there. these containers are the manner by which goods pass through the port. i manipulated images and sketches of them in order to bring them closer to what appear to be pixelated images. these images strip away certain unnecessary visual data and stress the effects of both alternating colors and densities. i chose to view the port in this manner because of the problem our site faces. we can view the port as an image that is not yet clear, as there are many possible future plans, some more certain than others. we can contrastingly view barcelona's more developed city core as a clear image, representing carefully executed plans over the past years. i also view the port as a collaboration between many different forces. these forces are not only the different types of services available in the port area, but are also broken down into subcategories within their own groups. it only seems appropriate that it could be compared to the same way in which many different pixels create an image our eyes recognize. while some parts of the image the port creates are more clear to our eyes, other parts could be seen as blurry, or even invisible. it's our job the develop those ideas into a successful, crisp plan for the area.