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A project-based methodology for socially committed architecture

Raül Avilla-Royo

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Our understanding of architecture and its practice is changing.

It does so to respond to a changing reality affected by multiple crises (financial, social, political, sanitary) that have questioned the conventional understanding of architectural production.

We find ourselves in the need to act locally to respond to complex urban situations. For that, it is crucial to address the social reality as much as the built environment. This brings the need to question project methods and to develop new disciplinary tools.

This book proposes a practical methodology of architects as proximity professionals who tackle everyday needs and incorporate users in one or more project stages. An architecture based on the collaboration of social stakeholders, institutions, technical staff, and users.

The first part of the book, toolkit, presents an instrumental analysis of the architectural collaborative project. More than 100 tools and strategies are organised according to the project phase.

The second half of the book, works, applies the toolkit to analyse 23 built works, mostly in Barcelona’s metropolitan area.

The main goal of the book is to consolidate and broadcast collaborative architectural practices from a solid and open methodology that allows its replicability in other contexts.

Examples of users as proactive stakeholders in projects of  Renzo Piano, Alvaro Siza, Lacol, or Arquitectos de Cabecera.
Examples of users as proactive stakeholders in projects of Renzo Piano, Alvaro Siza, Lacol, or Arquitectos de Cabecera.


Why supporting the initiative

Because it claims and exemplifies architecture as a tool for social transformation that is committed to local communities.

Because it explains and consolidates an open methodology for architects as mediators.

Because it shows that architecture responds better to the needs for which it has been created when it includes users in its decision-making phases.

Because it is a necessary instrument of use to designers, local stakeholders, local governments, technical staff, and architecture students.

Because it makes visible that collaborative strategies are an intrinsic part of the history of architecture, often invisible behind a heroic narrative.

Because there is a lack of knowledge of these strategies among architects, technical staff, and users.

Because architecture is and has always been fundamentally collaborative.



Book details

The book will be edited by the publisher Arquine (www.arquine.com), with an estimated publication date of September 2022.

The book will have two editions, one in English and the other in Spanish, each with 1,000 copies. It will contain 370 full colour pages, with an approximate size of 17x24 cm.

It will be distributed internationally.

Preliminary cover.
Preliminary cover.


About the author

Raül Avilla-Royo is a Barcelona-based architect and a member of the Arquitectos de Cabecera association. Raül teaches at the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) and the Architectural Association (AA) in London. He has developed research on collaborative architecture within the framework of his doctorate at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London.

Arquitectos de Cabecera (AC) is an academic group and an association born from an assembly movement formed by students and lecturers from the Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB) in 2013. Working in the city and focusing on collectivity, the methodology aims to bring the figure of the architect closer to the citizen and calls for a more committed role of the architect towards the social structure of the city. We work with groups, associations, municipalities and universities, concentrating on the existing city, its problems and contradictions. Our current research topics address the intersection of social movements and architecture, the role of the architect in urban transformation, new forms of architectural pedagogy, and new forms of housing within open metropolitan areas. Arquitectos de Cabecera has been exhibited and awarded nationally and internationally.


About the rewards

The rewards respond to different types of collaborators. All book rewards include shipping within Spain. Unfortunately, given the size and weight of the book, shipping it outside of Spain as pre-order at a reasonable price is unfeasible. However, the financial contributions from outside of Spain are fundamental for the feasibility of the book publication.

For this reason, we have opened crowdfunding to international contributors who wish to make this possible and are willing to appear in the credits of the book. The author wants to thank in advance the generosity of all donors and their support in making this possible.

The book will be available to collect in Barcelona during Autumm 2022. Otherwise, after September 2022, the book will be available for purchase with international shipping.

You will be asked about the preferred book languageonce the campaign is over.


Goal of the contributions

The book is currently in the content review phase. The first objective of the campaign is to finance the publishing, printing and distribution costs. Additionally, funding shall will be needed to cover image rights, predictably from archive images. Finally, donations may cover salaries for tasks that would otherwise be assumed with no compensation: content review, translation and proofreading, and graphic design. The professionalisation of such tasks would result in a qualitative improvement for the publication.



Crowdfunding – until 1st June 2022

Content revision – until 15th June 2022

Layout and pre-printing – July 2022

Printing – August 2022

Publication – September 2022


+ Info

Follow us in IG Raül Avilla-Royo e IG Arquitectos de Cabecera

Do not hesitate to comment or get in touch with us if you have any doubts!


  • I cannot pay with Bizum

    Some people have reported problems with Bizum. I have asked Verkami, and there hasn't been any problem with the payment platform. It seems to be a problem with the procedure by users. There is more information here: https://ayuda.verkami.com/article/390-como-aportar-con-bizum

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  • Alex Mitxelena

    Alex Mitxelena

    almost 2 years

    Felicidades por el trabajo! Deseando leerlo!

  • enric mir teixidor

    enric mir teixidor

    almost 2 years

    Força companys!!!…llibre i agraïment!!

  • Associació Oasiurbà

    Associació Oasiurbà

    almost 2 years

    Un llibre molt necessari! Quines ganes de veure'l publicat ;)

  • Eva


    almost 2 years

    Endavant, Raül!! Quin projectàs!

  • Emília Rovira Alegre

    Emília Rovira Alegre

    almost 2 years

    Enhorabona pel llibre! Que tinguis molts èxits!

  • Colectivo el Tinglado

    Colectivo el Tinglado

    almost 2 years

    Treball minuciós, tan interessant com pràctic!

  • Conchaita


    almost 2 years

    Qué ganas de tenerlo en mis manos, ¡ánimo Raül! :)

  • ManuelSanz


    almost 2 years

    Ánimo Raul! Gran proyecto!

  • Ibon Bilbao

    Ibon Bilbao

    almost 2 years

    Un libro necesario!

  • Cierto Estudio

    Cierto Estudio

    almost 2 years

    Con ganas de disponer de esta potente herramineta de trabako y proywcto, en las estanterias de Cierto Estudio!

#04 / 5000 gracias por el 1r objetivo logrado! vamos a por el segundo!

Hemos logrado el primer objetivo del micromecenazgo que garantiza la viabilidad del libro! Muchísimas gracias a todos y todas los que lo habéis hecho posible con vuestra generosidad y confianza en el proyecto!

Hemos pedido a verkami unos días de prórroga para intentar llegar al segundo objetivo, que nos permitirá cubrir un mayor porcentage (por ahora se cubre el 50%) de los costes editoriales y de publicación, además de poder incluir imágenes en las que se nos soliciten derechos de autor - históricas y de archivos, especialmente de las estrategias colaborativas durante el Movimiento Moderno y el s.XX, a menudo poco publicadas - , lo que aportará un salto qualitativo a la publicación.

Por este motivo os pedimos que sigáis apoyando y compartiendo el proyecto con vuestros conocidos durante los próximos días.

un abrazo del equipo!

Raül - Equipo AC


read more

#03 / superado el ecuador... y entrevista sobre el libro!

Hace 3 días pasamos la mitad de la campaña! Con algo más de dos semanas por delante hemos llegado al 60% del primer objetivo, gracias de nuevo a todxs lxs que lo estáis haciendo posible!

Esta semana Andreu Llabina (@AndruLlabi) me entrevistó en su podcast LA MANO en relación al libro y la investigación que lo ha hecho posible, gracias por la oportunidad! Os dejo aquí la entrevista donde explico un poco más sobre las ideas que subyacen en el libro.

un abrazo y seguimos!

Raül - Equipo AC


3 days ago we crossed half of the campaign! With just over two weeks to go we have reached 60% of the first goal, thanks again to all of you who are making it possible!

For those who understand Spanish, this week Andreu Llabina (@AndruLlabi) interviewed me on his podcast LA MANO about the book and the research that made it possible, thanks for the opportunity! Here is the link where I explain a little more about the ideas that underlie the book:

A hug from the team and let's go on!

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#02 / 10 días y 2000+ euros recaudados!

Ya han pasado los 10 primeros días de campaña y avanzamos a buen ritmo! Hemos recaudado más de 2000 euros, lo que es un hito en el proyecto! Agradeceros de nuevo a tod@s l@s participantes el apoyo y la difusión!

Ya nos han llegado las primeras peticiones de distribución a bibliotecas de los patrones que han apoyado con un "Pack Biblioteca": las bibliotecas públicas de Lésseps i Joan Miró, ambas de Barcelona, van a disponer de una copia del libro!

por otro lado, como forma de ir introduciendo el contenido del libro, hemos arrancado una actividad de acertar imágenes y estrategias colaborativas en nuestro instagram, podéis verlo en @arquitectosdecabecera.

un abrazo y seguimos!

Raül - Equipo AC

The first 10 days of the campaign have already passed and we are moving forward at a good pace! We have raised more than 2000 euros, which is a milestone in the project! Thank you again to all the participants for the support and dissemination!

read more

#01 / Tras 5 días de campaña...

Tras 5 días de campaña, hemos superado los 1.500 euros, un 30% del primer objetivo y un 10% del objetivo más ambicioso! Muchas gracias a tod@s!!

Estan siendo unos días intensos de difusión de la iniciativa, os quiero dar las gracias a todos los que estáis colaborando directa o indirectamente, y animaros a todos aquellos que aún no lo hayáis hecho. Cada pequeña ayuda, mensaje por whats, o difusión por redes sociales marca la diferencia en un proyecto como éste. Estamos tratando de llegar al máximo numero de gente, profesionales, y universidades; cualquier idea al respecto será bienvenida, por favor dejadla en los comentarios.

un abrazo del equipo y seguimos!

Raül - Equipo AC

After 5 days of the campaign, we have exceeded 1,500 euros, 30% of the first goal and 10% of the most ambitious one! Thank you very much contributors!!

read more

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