Once more, we open the period for the submission of projects to take part in the 7th edition of eme3 Festival that will be held in Barcelona from June 28th to July 1st 2012 in COAC (Official Catalan Chamber of Architects).

Thematic of 2012 : introducing the concept of Bottom-up

The topic of the 7th edition of the International Festival of Architecture EME3 starts from an exploratory analysis of the application of the concept “BOTTOM-UP” in architecture and its relationship with society. When we talk about a bottom-up approach, counterposing it to the top-down, as the name suggests, it means starting with the detailed design of the individual parts, to afterwards link them to form larger components who will end up conforming a complete system. Strategies based on bottom-up information flows are potentially necessary as they are based on the extensive knowledge of all variables that may affect the elements of the system.

In a changing environment like the current, where the foundations of our system are constantly questioned and challenged, a series of actions, which to date had a fairly minor implementation in developed societies, emerge now strongly, relying on creativity and innovation to fight this moment of crisis and uncertainty.
Eme3 wants to give support to these initiatives originated through and with the civil society, and has decided therefore to enhance and promote bottom-up approaches in the two modalities of the call for projects.

What is the objective of the call for projects:

Following the philosophy of eme3 to give visibility to emergent creatives and innovative proposals, we are launching a call for already built, in process or to-be-built projects that go in the line with the theme of 2012 BOTTOM-UP, and that might be presented under two modalities and in different formats:

It aims to show both realized and to-be-realized projects, in the format of a panel, a small scale prototype, a video, web and interactive application or any other volumetric format that may fit in 3x3x3m and will be produced and installed by the participant. The originality of the proposals and the presentation will be an added value for the selection criteria, therefore we make a call to the creativity and inventiveness of the participants.
Eme3 will be in charge of producing the material in the format of a panel according to the measures that’ll be communicated by the organization, whereas all the other materials will be produced by the participating team.
Those proposals in a volumetric format will be exposed in the exterior space, in the open, which shall be taken into account by the participating teams while designing it.


We are opening a call for ideas where participants can submit proposals for the use of abandoned or degraded sites in the District of Ciutat Vella in Barcelona. The purpose of the call for ideas is to encourage the creation of spaces that give character and singularity to the neighborhood and facilitate the appropriation by the neighbors of the vacant lots in a participative bottom-up process, in order to allow the spaces recover their utility and maintain a certain dynamism and evolution over time. We have located several sites and/or corners in the District of Ciutat Vella in which it would be possible to work (see some examples of the sites in the ANNEX (pdf)). Projects can be either focused like a direct intervention in any of the detected spaces or be presented through the realization of methodological proposals: workshops or construction of participatory processes.
Projects may have a middle or long term duration, following the ultimate goal of providing solutions to the degradation of unused or underused spaces in the District of Ciutat Vella in Barcelona. The Jury will choose a maximum of three ideas to be constructed or implemented during the Festival. The sites that are listed in the annex are a selection of the detected spaces in Ciutat Vella, whereas the winning proposals may end up being implemented in different spaces to those they were designed for.
Eme3 will support the realization of each of the proposals with a quantity up to 2.000 euro per project, understanding that any cost surpassing this budget shall be on the participants account.

Applicants: who can participate

To the call for projects eme3 invites to participate architects, designers, multidisciplinary groups, artists and other professionals or citizen from any country who have a proactive attitude when approaching inherent problems to contemporary cities and architecture, understanding that the necessities of the actual metropolis go beyond a merely buildable approach.

What type of projects can participate:

We are searching for projects that are product of a critical reflection to reality, with an eye on the political, economic and social context. These projects may address issues that revolve around society, ecology, politics, the transmission of knowledge or even the own architectural and urbanistic discipline. There is no specific format that defines the type of proposals, therefore publications, strategies and systems of work, prototypes of building materials, artifacts, mappings and/or architectural and urban projects are accepted.

Registration process:

Registration is free of cost.
Proposals whose presentation is incomplete won’t be taken into account in the selection process.
The projects will be received only by email to the following address: mercado@eme3.org. Any presentation of the project has to be accompanied by the registration form (to be downloaded on the web). The files shouldn’t exceed the 15Mb, while those over 6Mb have to be send through a web for big files transfer (wetransfer.com, yousendit.com, dropbox.com, etc). The subject of the message has to be “call for projects Eme3_2012”.
For any questions or further information please get in touch via mail to: mercado@eme3.org before the 12th April.

Presentation of the projects:

Projects have to be presented in English or Spanish.
All projects, either from SHARE-IT or BUILD-IT will be accompanied with a presentation or brief biography referring to the person or team in a maximum of 200 words in a Word document, together with the completed registration form (doc).

SHARE-IT: the projects will be presented in a maximum of 3 dinA3, with images and texts using a typography not smaller than 8. They’ll have to include the description of the concept and the intention of the project without surpassing the 500 words. Images, renders, photographs or plans that help explaining the project can sum up to 8 images. The names of the team and the project should appear on all sheets.

BUILD-IT: projects will be presented in a maximum of 3dinA3, with images and texts using a typography not smaller than 8. They’ll have to include the description of the concept and the intention of the project without surpassing the 500 words. Images, renders, photographs or plans (at scale) that help explaining the project can sum up to 8 images. An accompanying document shall contain an explanation of the assemblage of the proposal, the estimed time of montage, and a detailed budget. The names of the team and the project should appear on all sheets.

Deadline for submissions:

The last day to send the proposals is 15th April 2012

Process of selection:

The teams and/or pre-selected people will be contacted by the organization to clarify any doubts before the confirmation of their selection.
The projects will be selected according to the following criteria:
•Quality and creativity of the proposal
•Discursive coherence with the thematic of 2012
•Capacity of transforming the reality
•Economic and logistic viability of the proposal


The Jury will be composed by:
Members of the Scientific Committee of eme3 and the Board of Directors from the Jesús Serra Foundation and the COAC.


Monday 19th March: opening of the call for projects
Thursday 12th April: closing of the period for questions & answers
Sunday 15th April: submission deadline of the call for projects
Monday 23rd April: confirmation of the selected participants
Wednesday 23rd May: closing of the reception of the material for the catalog, web page and panels according to the specified features by the organization on 23rd April.
Thursday 28th June: inauguration of the Festival
Any change in the calendar will be announced on the web of www.eme3.org


SHARE-IT: During the Festival eme3, the Foundation Jesús Serra will reward three projects selected by the Jury. All the participants of the modality SHARE-IT, regardless the format of their participation, will be eligible for the Award.
First prize: 3.000 euro
Second prize: 2.000 euro
Third prize: 1.000 euro

BUILD-IT: the prize consists in the financing of a maximum of 2.000 euro (VAT included) to carry out the chosen proposal. From the listed 6 spots, three proposals will be selected to be implemented. If the chosen proposals excede the budget of 2.000 euro, the additional costs will be provided by the participants, either through sponsorship, materials transfer or through own funding.
If the participants in the Build-it have to commute over 100 km2 to reach Barcelona, accommodation will be covered for one person of the winning team for a maximum of 7 nights, as well as the meals for those days.
*The Jury reserves the right to leave the Awards vacant if none of the proposals accomplishes satisfactorily the objectives (valid for both modalities of participation).

Property rights:
The selected projects might be subject to publications or promotional material, and may be used in the communications done by eme3 as long as there is a reference made to their authorship.

download the conditions (pdf)