All the urban prescriptions shown below are for public use, and may be used in their entire strategic and juridical development by anyone who feels like it.
We would recommend an exhaustive study of the different urban locations and situations on which people wish to act.
Any physical or intellectual risk caused by the use thereof shall be borne by the person in question.
– Santiago Cirugeda
These construction data sheets constitute an integral part of Recetas Urbanas’s living archive in the current exhibition Affection As Subversive Architecture. We welcome you to virtually explore the various ways in which group of professional builders and volunteers alike have participated in the processes of designing, self-building, and active citizenry. The Recetas Urbanas construction data sheets, and their corresponding case studies of previous projects, show how self-construction can build both physical and communal infrastructures, allowing architecture to be more than just an aesthetic or formal experience.
Here we see how architecture can facilitate mutual assistance networks, circuits for reusing materials, and self-built community spaces. Recetas Urbanas's methodologies of self-construction, collective learning and sustainable building encourage new forms of self-governance and active participation - enjoy some of the ingredients behind the recipes!
One of the best things about working on our projects is that you have the chance to get in touch with active and proactive people; people of all ages, some even very young, who want to get involved and make a contribution. Respecting this creativity and spirit of contribution is one of the keys to the work we do. This in itself is a form of activism against the social trend that strives to drown people’s concerns with the ‘go and do your homework!’ discourse. This is what happens when you are still a child or teenager and already feel the need to propose, to act, to change the world around you.
The answer is always the same: ‘Go and do your homework! It’ll be time for you to do things when you've finished school'. But it's just a trap, because when you finish school and you feel free to start building a path, it’s the same old story with university; ‘Go and do your homework! Choose a degree and when you finish it, you'll have the chance to do whatever you want’. Then comes the day when you finish your degree, and then society continues to dictate at the same pace: ‘Go and do your homework! Find a job and get some work experience, because until you have it, none of your proposals will be worth anything’. And so the time comes when the child has been tamed, is tied to a job he hates and a life that does not satisfy him and the desire to change the world around him has died like a bud that was never allowed to blossom.
– Santiago Cirugeda
Images: Construction Data Sheets, 2005-present. Courtesy of Recetas Urbanas
Recetas Urbanas is a design and advocacy collective of architects, lawyers and social workers led by Spanish architect Santiago Cirugeda and Alice Attout, who joined in 2008. The collective is based in Seville, Spain and brings to life self-built projects that rely on local participation to realise mobile structures using locally sourced, second and third-hand materials. Their work activates different areas of urban reality globally, from creating temporary sites for community discussion with shipping containers and architectural prostheses, to implementing new social housing models in collaboration with local governments. These projects are highly functional yet legally provocative, often challenging the lawfulness surrounding the occupation of public space.
Since its founding in 2003, Recetas Urbanas has worked internationally with over 2,500 individuals, hailing from different social backgrounds, abilities and ages. They have undertaken collaborative projects around the world including Usted está aquí, Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña and MUSAC, León (2018); Basilea, Art Basel with Creative Time (2018); Montaña Verde, Antwerp Baroque Festival (2018); The Right to Illegality, Venice Biennale of Architecture (2016); and HoW – House of Words, Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Arts (2015), amongst others.