We have written before about our concerns related with the housing crisis in Spain, about some proposals to reuse the abandoned skeletons and the related legal issues which emerge when talking about mortgages, evictions and the economic framework that people has to face when they want to redeem their mortgage.
To research deeper on all this facts, we had recently the opportunity to interview Ada Colau. She’s not an architect, sheʼs an activist trained in philosophy at the Barcelona University, but she has done for architecture more than what is thinkable for some practitioners in our ﬁeld. Founder of Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca [La PAH], a Spanish grassroots organization that campaigns for the right to a home, they have succeeded to process what we know as an ILP [a citizen initiative] to propose that government develop a new mortgage legislation. This ILP, backed with 1,402,845 signatures from citizens, proposes the regulation of three key aspects to guarantee housing rights. Due to all this work, in January 2013, the PAH was awarded the European Citizens’ Prize.
Part of this interview with Ada Colau, has been published in the most recent issue of Volume #38 “The Shape of Law“, where we talk about how to confront the law in order to find feasible solutions and legal ways to improve our current housing situation.
When we asked what might the role of architects be in the redefinition of new housing models and how can we participate in the construction of new models of access to housing, Ada Colau answered:
“The most important thing is not to think separately from society. In this sense, universities are making a mistake by individualizing professions following a very aggressive neoliberal model. This ends up converting everything into an individualist professional career, when in fact we are talking about disciplines with an obvious social function. Perhaps the most important thing for architects, as citizens, is to get closer to society, to mingle with people and contribute wherever they can be most useful. They will easily find ways of putting their special knowledge and skills at the service of all that needs to be done.”
Here you can read the interview in Volume #38:
/// Thanks to Brendan Cormier for the synergy between Volume and Quaderns.
/// From Quaderns we want to thank Simona Rota for her wonderful pics, very useful to understand the real state bubble in Spain.
/// Header image from republica.com