Can Batlló

Since 2011, community activists in the Sants neighborhood in Barcelona have been creating and managing their own community space at the former textile factory of Can Batlló. I wrote about this experience in my dissertation in 2013, and also in “Participation and Activism: The Case of Can Batlló,” which appeared in the book Critical Files: The Barcelona Model 1973-2004.


This experience provides a useful study of how designers and community members can work together to create alternative spaces, economies, and organizational structures that result in inclusive, open and dynamic environments. Since 2011, the Can Batlló project has continued to expand, becoming a model for communities elsewhere in Barcelona, in Spain, and beyond.