Interview with David Martínez
As we gear up for the launch of our masters program this fall, in the following weeks we’ll be introducing some of our stellar faculty members in a series of exclusive short and sweet interviews that tell us a bit more about these seasoned urban practicioners; from personal favorites to snippets of advice to young urbanism students.
Today we introduce David Martínez, architect, urban designer and urban planner who currently works for the City Council of Barcelona as urban advisor. His work is focused on the relationship between architecture and urbanism through the study of large-scale social housing projects and the analysis of their structural and visual relationships.
Before we begin…
Your specialty: Social housing and urban structuring
What will you bring to the course Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes? Structural thinking as a valid method for understanding urban complexity and as a tool to focus the urban project.
What do you think differentiates this masters course from other lines of urban study/practice? It focuses on a specific scale between regional and town planning that incorporates a new perpective of our society (sustainability, landscape…) and a new representative physical reality, without forgetting classical and still useful methodology.
1. A model city, or one you would choose to live in: Amsterdam and Barcelona
2. Favorite urbanism books: Aldo Rossi’s L’Archittetura della Città, which explains the fundamental architectural dimension of urbanism, and vice versa.
3. Something you like and dislike about [city you live in]: Barcelona. I like the general mixticity of the city, in a physical and a social way; its urbanity. I don’t like the progressive elitization and gentrification of some of its most symbolic areas.
4. When you aren’t working, you most enjoy: My family.
5. The biggest challenge architects and urban planners face today: Ethics and memory
6. One of your projects that you are most proud of: Sant Roc, an urban project in Badalona –yet unrealized–where a social housing problem is taken further to face the demolition of a motorway that breaks up the urban tissue.
7. A recent example of successful urban regeneration: The environmental restoration of the Besòs river in Barcelona.
8. An example of failed urban regeneration: Diagonal Mar neighbourhood in Barcelona. The relations between dwellings and public space are opposite to what Barcelona is known for all over the world.
9. An urban planner or other professional whose work you admire, and why: Manuel Solà-Morales, for his capacity of generating knowledge through his projects.
10. A piece of advice for the future generation of urban planners: Urban planning requires patience: Take your time to listen, to draw, to ask, to redraw, to listen again… and do not rush to publish.