Futuro House is Public Space

Tapiola is a relevant example in the history of nordic garden cities which is having a deep renovation nowadays, with heavy works taking place all around. The core ideas which inspired this urbanism trend are nowadays in the point of view.

In this context, Architecture Information Center Finland chose not distant EMMA, Espoo Museum of Moder Art to host a seminar about ‘Architecture in education for Children’ and invited basurama to host a workshop with local students, using architecture as a tool to experience the city and its functioning.

As an inspiration we used ‘Futuro House’, an experimental architecture icon designed in the 60´s by Matti Suuronen which is also present in EMMA. Futuro House and Tapiola are strongly connected with the utopian trend and we consider that they can really inspire young people learning. Our idea is to use this architectural icons, make them interact with contemporary ingredients and let the students be part of this experience.

Waste is more than the surplus of city functioning, it is present in the all the production processes -tangible or intangible- operating in the city. Waste is also one of the ‘dark sides’ of many of the utopic ideas. Most of these dreams were made obsolescent, mass productive and were made of plastic.
Using waste we advocate for transforming this discarded material into a powerful source of raw material and show the participants experience efficient ways of designing and building.
We also aimed considering ‘wasted’ spaces’, so common in sprawl cities as Tapiola. Inflating the House in this spaces can show the participants how to occupy them and give them life.
The plastic bags used in the workshop were collected by Archinfo and the students themselves some days prior the workshop. During two days they were classified, opened and then taped with scissors and regular tape to make the inflatable architecture surfaces. As a way to experience the scale and the impact of the plastic bags altogether, we took the bubble to different locations.
Basurama has created inflatables in cities as Taipei, Casablanca, Sao Paulo or Bangkok and everywhere we have found abundant discarded material to make them.
With this Manual, you can also make your own Plastic Futuro House.

Agostamiento (Withered). Abierto x Obras.

Basurama proposes an interior landscape for Abierto por Obras. It has been extracted from the plantation of 7000 sunflowers it has cultivated on Gran Vía del Sureste Avenue during the summer of 2016 with the community of the Ensanche de Vallecas area on the very southeasternmost edge of Madrid. An impossible public space welcoming everyone for a chat and a few sunflower seeds. (Sunflower seeds are one of the most popular snacks in Spain and have served as the cheapest form of entertainment for decades).

What was to be the main boulevard of the 60 meter- wide avenue is actually a secluded terrain vague of 350 mts long and 30 mts wide that has been standing there for years, waiting for a plan that is not to be completed. It is one of the many leftovers that the 2002- 2007 housing bubble left in Madrid when it bursted. A bleakly heartbreaking and unsettling urban landscape, set out to be and reinvented as an agricultural landscape, becomes a meeting place, producing both crops and relations.

Among the leftovers of the new city, there are people living, who have decided to take their lives and their communities in their own hands, taking care of them and its public spaces. When in August is time to plough, the cycle of life and inflorescence gives way to an space for life to be built and shared.

Photos of the process

Some more info:


Caixa de Som (Music Box)

São Paulo 2013

Mexico D.F. 2014

Madrid 2014


More images

Caixa de Som is a public interactive installation for playing with the city street sounds.

Caixa de Som is a musical instrument for children under 99 years old, created to ease people interaction and interaction with the public space.

With Caixa de Som you can make music with street vendor chants and other sounds of the urban imaginary.

You don´t need previous music knowledge. Just select a base and play with the infinite possibilities!

Caixa de Som is also a project for documenting urban sound landscapes with -at the moment- sounds from Brasil, Mexico, Spain and Italy.


Sao Paolo


Mexico D.F.


Madrid, Spain


Feira MADE Pop Up. Shopping Cidade Jardim. Sao Paolo

The City is For Playing

The City is For Playing ephemerally hacked two of Sao Paulo´s most central highlines for the Virada Cultural festival. Viaduto do Chá and ‘Minhocão’ (elevado Costa e Silva) under spaces remain abbandoned decades after their construction and are the perfect examples of wasted spaces of the modernist metropolis.

Just with some swings made of ropes, reused advertisement outdoors and discarded tires, we transformed the use of this wasted spaces into vibrant, playful and diverse Places.
Workers and commuters, who normally avoid the areas, feel atracted by the balance of the giant swings.
Homeless people living under the Viaduto do Chá, started pushing the lonely visitors, receiving some money as gratitude.

‘Use’ is the soul of spaces. As Jane Jacobs announced, places full of people, are safer and happier.


(RE)_Create Taipei

more photos

One of the main problem that Taipei city is facing today in relation with city development and urban planning is that common infrastructures such as playgrounds and other public spaces are been replaced by new ones made by plastic and with same pattern and same style.

We have identified several citizen movements against the standardization of this public spaces, that reclaim playgrounds more textures and designes, places that allow to imagine ways of playing rather than forcing you to play in an specific way.

(RE)Create Taipei is project that takes place in the Taipei World Design Capital 2016 framework. The project will focus on working in public space,urban waste and local communities.

The project take its shape through research, analysis, meetings, actions, events and installations conceived by Basurama and City Yeast together with other cultural agents and citizens.

The work schedule is designed with the following phases:









Meeting with target groups







Pr-design and prototype






Website dissemination



1st Travel:

>> Meet our with our counterpart, City Yeast, to establish the objectives of our work, our priorities an a timetable for action
>> Participate in the seminar (RE) Create_Taipei: challenges for design and use of public space and public parks.

>> Identify potential intervention sites
>> Identify collaborators, from project partners to citizen groups
>> Study flows of trash materials and identify potential waste for the construction of new spaces

>> Carried out a workshop for the construction of a Bubble station, or portable office, that let us to make interventions in different spaces of the city to establish dialogues with neighbors and citizens about what is public space for them,how do they imagine public space, which colors they would like to prevail in these spaces,what kind of uses they would like to develop in public space…etc.




During this period, we have been working online, managing and coordinating the whole process, advising and sharing information using email and IP calls.

>> City Yeast kept stimulating the debate about Public Space through the Bubble Station built in the previous trip. We also kept on moving forward on the Communication between us and the citizens and neighbours, and we worked on the permissions so the interventions could remain until late October.
>> Together with the local agents, we have been doing an exhaustive search of the waste material to be used, either comming from industries or Taipei´s gardens and parks itselfs.
>> Basurama focused on the design and the creative process, digging deep in the possibilities of materials and spaces.

2nd TrIp (July 8-24th)

We arrived in Taipei with the places to be intervened, target users already chosen and with a whole imaginary for both spaces.

The  Kid Ambition Park or Watertank Playground is located in southeast Jhongxiao Rd. and Jinhua Rd, close to a kindergarden.
The intervention consits in one huge water tank formerly used for industrial refrigeration and five other tanks of different dimensions used for home refrigeration systems.

Our working process with the material used for this intervention started by taking care of the material, fixing it, and adapting it to its new purpose. Every tank was cleaned and protected with the proper varnish before combined them together to create a new an unique park in Taipei. This is, probably, the first park ever created only with reused water tanks.

The main objetive of the park is exploration and discovery. We pretend to encourage free play, no indications, let the kids become explorers searching for new paths in the same park, able to create their own itineraries.

We designed a place where kids can feel free while playing, with places to hide and secret corners but allowing the grown-ups to watch them. We achieve this by using holes or by playing with the dimensions and the points of view, so the adults can watch them without being seen.

> The largest tank works as a big fishbowl with hanging elements. The inner space is cozy and encourage a new way of looking, since the open end frames the sky and the buildings, creating new perspectives. Furthermore, the open end that acts as an entrance also has an slide and a sort of climbing device .


> The spyhole room works as a ball pit, but also as a poetic space, a place with infinite illumination posibilities thanks to the hundred holes that filter the light through the interior, projecting shadows that change during the day.

> Tanks of different sizes form the labyrinth. The maze interior is covered with different textures: mirrors, bubbles, tree bark, soft walls and grasslike patched seats, a pletora of outside-school learning tools.


> The tunnel is a passing place, also a den, a cave to protect oneself from the rain or the sun, to relax in the softness of the pompoms that cover ir.


The second intervention Civic Swing Space or LampPost Open Space  can be found under the Bridge of Shimin boulevar in the union between Civic Boulevard, section 3 and Andong street. The space aim is going beyond a play yard or a park. It meant to be a new multipurpose space in the city, a gathering place with swings, chilling areas and even a stage for several prouposes.



3rd TrIp (october 8-20th)

On October the 13rd  the Exhibition of the  World Design Capital Taipei 2016 was inaugurated in Sonshang Creative Park. Our project, (Re)_Create Taipei,  was included in the pavillion of Taipei Issuuuue.

You can check the summary vídeo 🙂

Work space & Playground in the CCE in Malabo

More pictures


The Cultural Center of Spain (CCE) in Malabo is one of the reference places of the capital of Equatorial Guinea. In addition to the programmed activities, the CCE has an outdoor space where everyday theater companies, choirs, dance groups and students conduct their own activities. The use of this space is really intensive, and each one tries to adapt their necessities to the furniture, lighting and shade available. With a remarkable sensitivity, the CCE is gradually improving its space to promote this kind of uses in the center, increasing the number of blackboards or improving the lighting conditions.


Usuarios del CCE en el patio


A few days before finishing the project Self-made playground in Malabo, a peculiar situation arised in the CCE: the Spanish Embassy (right next to the CCE) was dismantling some old pavilions and there was the possibility of using the materials. The CCE saw this situation as an unique opportunity to use those materials to improve the conditions of its outer space and invited us to stay a few days more in the city to design and build two elements, one for studing and one for the children.

Estructura original


The CCE had clearly identified needs: a work space that ideally would allow other uses, a playground for the children (since there was nothing in the center for children) and a set of chairs and tables that, being movable, didn’t wander too much around the extension of the center.

We had mainly the metal structure from the Spanish Embassy, a precast system patented by the company Dragados called Caracola system. Courously, the name of this patent had named the entire neighborhood, Caracola neighborhood. In addition we had leftover materials from the playground project, mainly leftover and pallets that we hadn’t used in the previous project.Proceso constructivo

Barely in one day and a half, while workmen were dismantling the structure, we designed the interventions from the possibilities offered by the three elements that made up the patent: 100x100mm supports, trusses made of square tube and 80x40mm straps.

The studio space was solved with a simple rectangular surface in which the only modification of the structure was to shorten the trusses to reduce its length, too long for the place where the object should go. On that space we generate a roof, designed and made with the steel belts that subsequently was covered with nipa (a kind of local vegetable roof system). The most interesting element of this intervention are the blackboards, designed to be able folded and stored in the ceiling, freeing up the space for other uses. Finally it was installed a lighting system made with jerrycans, an object widely used throughout Africa.

Espacio de estudio

The playground area was simpler even: three parallel trusses previously shortened and raised by six bases, and between the trusses, different elements for playing, includin a goal.

Espacio de juego

The structure, originally red colored, was painted in two tone of green: a darker one for the original structure, similar to the tones of the surrounding vegetation and a brighter green for the elements that we added. The idea was to mimic the interventions with their surroundings, but giving proof of the intervention on materials that already had 30 years of memory.

For the furniture we used the wasted teak wood and the pallets as surface while fot the structure we chose to build a thin metal structure. The natural density of the teak in the case of banks, and the weight of the surfaces designed with the pallets in the case of the tables, fullfilled the premise that the furniture was only averagely mobile.


Mesas y bancos de la intervención

Self-made playground in Addis Ababa: the house of the Lost Children

More photos of the project
Pictures made by the orphanage’s children


In the gubernamental orphanage of Kibebe Tsehay, in Sidist Kilo, live children from 0 to 8 years old. There, these children study, sleep, eat, tidy up and play together.

The place has a large outdoor space with hardly any trees and wherein at some point there was some swings, practically unusable nowadays. Piled in a corner of the institution there are old cribs and beds, some parts of rusty swings and numerous shoes and clothes that no longer belong to anybody.

The metaphor of the Lost Children from the tale of James Matthew Barrie and the intention of creating a space for a minimal privacy that could enable the yard to perform recreational activities protected from the equatorial sun inspired this project.



The project was completed in a record time of ten days including all stages, production, design and execution, thanks to the collaboration of a group of over 30 volunteers consisting in students of the Cervantes Institute, the University of Addis Ababa, Spanish aid workers and people who came through the call of a local radio.

After an exhaustive search of possible local resources to use in the project, it was decided to use some simple wooden pallets on which it was almost possible to recognize the tree branches with which they were made, scrap metal of the preexisting swings, and of beds and cribs that were stored in the space.

All these elements were implemented in a metal frame built with metal tube, a decision that guaranteed a minimum durability of the intervention in a place that rarely have the possibility to improve its space.

The intervention was completed with the installation of a deck built with advertising canvas donated by a local company, designed to extend or not according to the needs of each moment.

Some personal items left by former residents of the orphanage were painted in red and placed in the space in their memory.

The use of these low cost materials and the synchronization of all available resources, allowed to finish the intervention in the time and budget available.

The project culminated with the official opening of the intervention and a lecture at the School of Architecture in Addis Ababa.

Self-made playground in Maputo

More pictures


Mafalala is one of the most populars neighborhoods of Maputo, Moçambique. Celebrities as the footbal player Eusebio (a.k.a. the Black Panter), Samora Machel (first president of the independent Moçambique) or the poes Noémia de Sousa and José Craveirinha grew up in this neighborhood.

During the foundation of Maputo (eighteenth century) native Mozambicans were forced to live beyond the city planned by the Portuguese settlers, giving to Mafalala an other outers neighborhood that very recognizable and informal aspect of one floor dwellings made from wood and iron sheet.

Nowadays the Iverca Association tries to spreed the history and values of Mafalala by promoting tourism and cultural activities, mainly the Mafalala Festival.



Invited by the Spanish Embassy in Mozambique, Basurama participated in the Mafalala Festival of 2013, carrying out an open workshop for volunteers from diverse associations with the objective of building a playground in one of the schools of Mafalala, the Escola Unidade 23.

The school lacked any type of furniture that would allow to enjoy an outer space full of potentials, mainly a big tree in its courtyard.

Together with the participants, Basurama designed and built small elements made by cardtyres recovered around the neighborhood that were used to activate the smallets spaces. The perimetral wall was converted in a vertical garden made with plastic bottles and plants harvested in the streets close to the school. Finally, the courtyard was transformed in a big playground made with pallets donated by a local enterprise.

We think that this process of training of a community through the co-designing and co-building with local resources is a way is a way to generate autonomous processes and lasting transformation in time.


Interview made the day of the project’s openning. Video made by Maria Rusca.


Self-made playground in Malabo

More pictures


A brief passage in the town of Malabo (capital of Guinea Equatorial) is enough to realize that its public is almost non-existent. Beyond the numerous bars of the city and their terraces token over the side walk, the street is a space of transition. Only a few places are used as public space even though they’ve bot been conceived such as.

Therefore and differently from other African towns, formal and informal usages of the public space are rare. As much the usages linked to private economic exploitation than the ones linked to rest, discussion, games and recreation.

It can’t be said about Malabo that exist there a culture of utilisation of public space (neither generically or as a characteristic of the city). This could be read and used as a generator of an intervention project in a vacant space of the town.

On the occasion of the IIIrd edition of the Eco Carnaval, an event organized by the ICEF (Institut Culturel d’Expression Francaise, Cultural Institute of French Expression), the CCE (Cultural Center of Spain in Malabo) invited us to participate at the event. They proposed us to perform an intervention in the Chinese Neighborhood (Barrio Chino), a central part of the city near by the central market.

The first site visit wasn’t really encouraging: diverse cars parked across the central reservation of the place of intervention (some of them clearly abandoned), garbage covering the floor, lack of public lightning (lamp posts removed by invasive cars) and washing lines stretched between the trees ans the last lamp posts. This is compounded by uneven terrain and the impossibility for political reasons and absence of authorization to build in situ.

However some characteristics of the site appeared to be susceptible to generate an intervention which would give qualities of usage to the place. Those clothes we have seen hanging across the central reservation and the long of the walls actually indicated us that existed there somehow an utilisation of the space by the community. This was interesting to promote. Furthermore at the centre of the central reservation lies a big mango tree, providing shade to a large part of the site. The mango characterises the space and invited us to articulate our project around it.

Considering this informations we decided to carry out a project that would promote the uses identified locally and develop them around a new function: a children’s playground.

About the materials available, the CCE of Malabo had conducted a preliminary quest, collecting transport pallets of different sizes and plastic crates from a well known drinks brand. We had enough material, the problem was then assembling objects of such a variety of sizes.

The main problem we were faced to, in addition of the patchwork of materials, was being unable to work on the site except during the specific date of the Eco Carnaval. Confronted to this restrictions our strategy was generating quickly a system which could match itself to the materials available through forming an assorted ensemble. This way focusing our efforts on the durability of the project and an easy-adaptation to the uneven terrain.

We decided then to develop the project around regular hexagon (form already experimented during pasts Autoparque projects). Transforming slightly this figure generated the system adapting itself to materials. Thereby we had been able to produce independent modules (easier to transport from the construction site until the place of intervention) capable both to combined with each other and adapt the ground.

During the days following the design we built and transported the modules composing the project, using the pallets as resisting element where could children climb and adults sit, simultaneously providing shade and supports for small suspended garden in the plastic crates.

The second part of the invitation was the participation to the Eco Carnaval parade on the 15th of november 2014. We proposed to make a party from the transport of the ultimate module. Gathering all the families of CCE workers and spontaneously other persons (mostly children), we paraded carying our structure through Malabo streets. Finally we made out of the final montage a public event.



“El Pati -Obert-”. Creative space for coexistence.

Process’s pictures here.

What’s about pedagogy in a process of urban’s transformation?

The great amount of empty and unused urban sites in the historic city centre of Lleida entails not only a urban and socioeconomic conflict but environmental, social and esthetic. Taking this situation as starting point, El Pati Obert’s will is to become an independent and transformative project beginning from the communitarian action, experimenting, correcting and coming up with a dialogue all along with local community.

University, City hall, neighbors and Basurama team built up a network of both, relationships and negotiations that spread into everyone implied. These relationships will make research possible through pedagogic tools that are developed and activated in a communitarian process as El Pati Obert.

Project’s driving force:
Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación de la Universidad de Lleida
Centre dArt la Panera
Solars Vius

Basurama made a number of trips to Lleida in 2004 to bring this action network:

First trip: March 4th to 6th.
Network creation. Establishing contact with different members of the neighborhood: citizens, collectives, institutions (formal and non formal education) and social agents. Once the contact has been settled a relational network will be launched to plan jointly site’s transformation. We will always keep in mind real, felt and expressed needs of the community as the basic objective of the project.

Second trip: May 5th to 9th.
Working with university students and neighbors.
A creative workshop in the urban site.
Compilation of intervention’s materials.

Third trip: June 17th to 29th.
Construction of urban site’s intervention.
Preproduction and open construction Workshops.

Forth trip: 16th to 21st.
Funding of the construction phase.
Dinamization phase.
Beginning of research’s drafting.

5th Trip. September
Dinamization phase.
Research for the essay.