Critical Concrete is an emerging educational and social initiative that stands out of the regular dynamisms of real estate development and promotes new mechanisms to rehabilitate social housing, and improve public and cultural spaces shared by low-income communities. It advocates a fundamental right to adequate housing, that is often disregarded due to lack of public resources or political regulation.
It reflects on increasing popularisation and influx of global capital that causes social polarization, rising rents and cost of living in the city of Porto and beyond. Instead of building for, we build with. An impactful format that Critical Concrete has run from 2016-2019 was the annual international practical and theoretical Summer School. Families-in-need, students and an interdisciplinary group of mentors, researchers and practitioners teamed-up to demonstrate the collective power capable of changing people’s housing habits. In 2020 this format will be enlarged into a one-year course Sustainable-Sustainable Architecture, which will be structured into online and presential lectures, seminars and practical workshops.
The initiative emerged from a dissensus with prevailing building industry practice, which is one of the most damaging industries on the planet. That is also one of our motivations to collect, invent and promote alternative building solutions. It questions the political meaning of sustainability in architecture, which has ambiguous connotations. Critical Concrete follows its own understanding of sustainable architecture: long lasting and easily repairable structures, made of locally sourced materials and upcycled trash.
Critical Concrete aims to be accessible to a broad audience of DIY builders in the future. See more about our research on sustainable techniques on our research lab’s blog.
In parallel, Critical Concrete hosts open cultural events such as winter screenings, markets, workshops, twisted with the social sciences and architectural experimentation.
We see the need for radical changes in our world, which is plagued by poverty, rising inequality and waste of natural resources. We want to contribute in reshaping our society into one that is more egalitarian, empowering and responsible with its social, environmental and economic context.
OUR MISSION – STRATEGIC GOALS
VALUES – CODE OF ETHICS
For that, we live and convey our values as organization:
TRANSFEMINIST, ANTI-RACIST, VEGAN and ECOLOGIST in our daily life, making our way to consume and live a conscious choice.
One doesn’t start such a project without the kind collaboration of many people. We are surely forgetting some, and apologise for it. Thank you all people who are making this possible (and sorry for being so cheesy). Among others, thank you Daniel Barbosa, Guillaume Besson (Presence Pro), Mafalda Correa Nunes, Matthias Einhoff, Francisco Adão da Fonseca, Giacomo Gallo, April Gertler, Patrick Hubmann, Miodrag Kuc, Pedro Leite, Claire Meguerditchian, Renato Mendes, José Paixão, João Pedro Rosa, Anke Strauss, Tomas Valle, Elisabete Valério, Aitor Varea, Julia Widdig.
Rita Almeida, we’ll remember you, beautiful soul.