GRIGRI pixel

GRIGRI pixel, Madrid and Barcelona (Spain) 2016-

Technical University of Madrid

BAU Design College of Barcelona

Grigri Pixel is a lab devoted to innovation in international cooperation between Africa and Europe. It is an initiative that operates by generating alliances with local spaces and communities in participating cities for the purpose of organising experimental workshops for collaborative construction of public copyright street furniture elements designed and manufactured in a collaborative effort between Madrid, Barcelona and the African cities signed up to the project.

These street furniture elements, in the form of collectively created amulets or gris-gris, will not only serve a useful or functional purpose for the community of users, but they will also serve as protectors of the common space where they are located, thanks to the narrative surrounding their manufacturing and the affective network they are rooted in. The process of mediation and research that will precede and accompany the workshops will serve precisely to discover and to map out – in a diagnostic fashion – any threatening or debilitating elements from which protection is required via the manufacturing of these urban amulets. Furthermore, they will serve to make visible, to recognise and to pool together other protective forces, know-how and peripheral, unconventional knowledge that can invoke the shared luck brought by collectively constructed urban gris-gris.

This project took place across Africa in Dakar, Casablanca, Bamoko and Lome.

Tutors and Makers: Susana Moliner Delgado (curator and cultural producer), Yago Torroja (electronics engineer and professor at Technical University of Madrid), Blanca Callén (researcher and professor at BAU Barcelona), Enorme Studio (team of architects specialising in tactical urbanism), Modou Ngom (self-taught in electronics, coordinates Defko Ak Ñep Fablab in Dakar), Zineb El Fasiki (Superior Technician in Mechanics), Koukou Elolo Amegayibo (Student in Economics, passionate about computing), Mamadou Colibaly (Passionate about computing and free software)

Students (Barcelona): Luís Elorriaga Planes, María Tomé Nuez, Adrián de Miguel Simón, Paul Appert, Nicolas Bersihand, Rocío Rosado Moreno, Luís Santos Ildefonso, Irene Ayala Castro, Suraia Abud Coaik, María Alberich Ruiz-Salinas, Blanca Aragonés Delgado, Judith Burgos Burgos, Ángel Campos Palacios, Sara Casado Jiménez, Yiju Chen, Juan José Estrada Vargas, María Jesús Ferreira Trujillo, Elena Gallego de Velasco, Alba Gil Lobo, Beatriz Moreno Iñigo, Juan Carlos Martínez Medina, Duván Meneses, Alejandro Montes Gavilán, Mónica Perona Cáliz, Inés Perretta Montes, Alfonso Portabales González and Nerea Sanz Ferrer.

Students (Dakar): Hamidou Ba, Mamadou Dian Barry, Moustapha Coly, Moddio Daff, Jeremie Roland Diatta, Awa Diouf, Mame Mor Faye, Issa Guéye, Fatime Mbengue, Pape Assane Ndao, Daouda Ngom, Mohamadou Ngom, Joséphine S. Séne, Cyrille Essoh, Abdoulaye Bouaré, Stiven Briand Gos Massala M, Afate Gnikou and Jacob Sawadogo.

Other Facilitators: Medialab Prado (Madrid), MAIF Social Club (Paris), HANGAR (Barcelona), Taula Eix Pere IV (Barcelona), Kër Thiossane (Dakar), OpenTaqafa (Casablanca) , OpenStreetMap (Lome), Minodoo (Lome), Collectif Yeta (Bamako), Esta es una plaza (Madrid),  Atelier Badialan (Bamako)

Research Question: The aim of the Grigri Pixel Lab is to reconnect experiences with the manufacturing of objects and city-building to formulate questions common to all of these experiences, ultimately showcasing synergies, points of intersection and differences in regard to practices and processes of care and maintenance in urban spaces in Africa and Europe. Some of the common questions which the project aims to explore, map out and reconnect are:

* What spaces, property, bodies or urban communities are to be protected by the gris-gris that will

be built?

* What threats and weaknesses endanger our communities and common urban spaces?

* What features should a gris-gris that will care for and protect cohabitation in our cities have?

* By constructing these objects, can we create other narratives for our urban spaces? Is it possible to

do so with peripheral social imaginaries? Could this be a way to reflect and showcase our

pluricultural cities?

* Could the relationship with the magical and the invisible be an opportunity to recover other

learning experiences and subaltern knowledge?

* What know-how, practices, tools, narratives, perspectives and peripheral and unconventional

social imaginaries could redefine and transform our cities – those we come from or those we make

our home in – into more caring, inclusive and liveable spaces?




+, 11-50, Architecture, BAU Design, Client-funded, Construction, Design, Extra-curricular, Madrid Technical Univ., Months, Permanent, Planning, Semi-permanent, Spain, Sponsorship, Urban Design