City as Text Mapping Cultural Histories in Barcelona & Madrid, March 2017

Our group visiting with Designit (a strategic design consulting firm) in Madrid

In City as Text, the city was our laboratory and our classroom - an extended text not limited to what is housed in a library. Rather, we "read" its stories and pondered possible future directions through direct encounters with the city's public places, neighborhoods, and hidden histories. Each day provided opportunities to explore the city as socio-cultural system. The city is a source and outgrowth of innovation and creativity. We delved critically into how each city has sought to brand its image, and what constitutes genuine tradition versus touristic or nationalistic myths. We considered the social and political histories of both cities by actively examining the design of urban spaces - from prominent works of art and architecture to narrow alleyways and unexpected treasures. Babson students collaborated in small teams, exploring designated sectors as social scientists - closely observing the character of neighborhoods, the social dynamics, the economic environment and infrastructure, challenges and opportunities.

A group of Babson students on the first day's scavenger hunt - in Corte Ingles

The narratives and images below are assignments undertaken by the students during their 8 days in Madrid and Barcelona. Each team of students highlighted a specific sector or aspect of cultural production and expression - food, markets, fashion, youth culture, sustainable living, as just a few examples. They also worked on alternative ways of "mapping" culture, not just through traditional 2-D maps, but more imaginative modes of conveying pathways, trends, and changes over time.

At the Chocolateria on our first day -- yum!
More deliciousness
Behold Madrid
Churros + Helado (ice cream) -- No complaints!
Trapsing the city
At the soccer game
GOAL!!!!!!!
A gorgeous day in Retiro Park
Retiro Park
Field study in Lavapies
Amazing talk and workshop with prize-winner author Jose Ovejero
Tapas in La Latina
and with our fantastic La Latina expert, Laren Eriksen (Daughter of Prof Steve Eriksen at Babson)
And more fun + gorgeousness
Tales of the Gothic Quarter
With Jose Belloso - City Branding In Barcelona
With Marc Morillas (Babson alum) and Pau Dalmau at Morillas Branding Agency in Barcelona
And enjoying Barcelona nightlife with Pau as guide
Winery Tour in Barcelona - amazing views!
Barceloneta Bike Tour & the Beach
At closing dinner
Nuree's birthday!
More photos of closing dinner celebration

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