The intention of the project is to point out a social dilemma that is manifested in our cities and that transcends the disciplinary boundaries of architecture. The problem is the lack of interest in the space in which we live in, that involves fundamental values such as respect for others, self-worth, quality of life and community awareness. This is reflected in the disuse of urban space of public interest from the different actors of society; community and both public and private sectors. Temporary use and it´s ability to involve and gather a community turned to be a tool to test possible public equipment and activities that are scarce in a locality towards urban regeneration. This new equipment should turn to be an image in people's mind to encourage a definite construction or consolidation of space. By “image” we do not mean only through sight (one sense of perception), but a “image” that is charged with personal experience and with all 5 senses involved; the object has direct relation with it's inhabitants and offers a concrete alternative to the site. This last aspect is fundamental, because it transforms the experimental initiative into a wake up call.
Traditional instruments of urban planning have altered the dynamics of transformation and growth of cities. They have proven to have difficulties to implement projects in short and medium range of time mainly because they depend of economic circumstances, long periods and political aspects. The project proposes a way of thinking the metropolis in which small changes with rudimentary media can create a better future.The subject of this investigation is the process of urban regeneration through a tactic possible to be addressed in early years of career or even within architecture school. The proposed tactic of intervention uses micro-operations that work with available resources depending of the context as a way to support temporal cultural activities. End of career projects should be a propositive way to address contemporary issues and turn new professionals into active agents for social transformation. The project assesses this idea by proposing a role for young architects in urban problems.
The result of the enterprise was a serialized but handmade temporary intervention in Villa Lo Campo, in the 5th Region of Valparaiso, Chile: a cylinder of 9mt of diameter and 7mt tall, structured through tensegrity principle, made of local bamboo “colihue” and rope. It consisted of a temporary platform with cultural agenda that worked during 5 weeks with different events and was financed by local businesses at US $10 /m2. It also included the construction of some permanent elements –pavements mainly- together with the community, which announce the regeneration of the abandoned terrain. The in situ construction made possible to empirically verify the pertinence and impact of the intervention in a short period of time. It has been a year and a half since the construction and we have been witnesses of the impact it has made in the community. The site has never turned again into a rubbish yard, nor a dangerous spot. Instead, it became a symbol of hope for the area. The neighborhood council president gathered signatures and with our help they are currently applying to regional and private funds to consolidate the site as a meeting point. The project accomplished its objective in two instances (1) it motivated the main actor -the community- to be active part of the regeneration of their own environment and (2) the end of career project managed to have an impact that goes beyond academic boundaries. It proved possible to successfully operate with small scale interventions over available terrains in the city in order to encourage community appropriation and regeneration.