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PERMA | ‘Rurban’ Technology


PERMA | ‘Rurban’ Technology

From 16 to 19 September

La Casa Encendida
Ronda de Valencia, 2


This activity designed by Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas (Grassroots Initiatives Seedbed, VIC) and the Master’s in Ephemeral Architecture programme at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (School of Architecture) explores permaculture-inspired grassroots technology that span urban and rural environments—in other words, rurban technology.

It includes an experimental spatial infrastructure for holding different workshops based on DIY logic, where participants will investigate the competences and capabilities of permaculture technology applied to fields such as energy, food and recycling.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the rural exodus, depopulation, ageing demographics, floating populations, opportunities in the country and the empty (or emptied) Spain. The relationship between city and country is invariably complex and not always exclusive: the two are inextricably linked by more or less obvious connections and diverse external factors.

The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating, consolidating or transforming living conditions, and one of its most noticeable effects is the relocation of residences and homes to more rural outlying areas in search of bigger and better living spaces, given the threat of future lockdowns and the lack of venues for social interaction. This crisis may turn out to be a major boon for the rural world thanks to its competitive space-cost ratio, the implementation of telecommuting, the lower population density and improvements to physical and digital infrastructures.

PERMA proposes a cycle of collective action for rethinking relations between the city and the country with the help of hybrid grassroots technology that narrows the rural-urban gap by means of rurban solutions. Through recycling, DIY and innovative systems (tradition revisited), this cycle aims to prepare and empower people in areas like energy, waste management, food and plant reproduction.

PERMA posits a PERMAnent presence in rural environments with methods related to PERMAculture that boost resilience by hybridising rurban knowledge.

For one week, PERMA will take over the courtyard of La Casa Encendida, offering four free open workshops (advance registration required) where participants will learn how to make a biogas digester with Miogas; use rocket technology in stoves, ovens and fireplaces; explore fermentation cultures and can their own food; or learn how to propagate plants by using cuttings.

The results will be exhibited in the courtyard over the weekend.

Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas (VIC) is a non-profit cultural association with over 10 years’ experience in social and urban innovation. It operates and collaborates at the multiple intersections of art, culture, architecture, urban planning and social innovation. VIC researches, co-designs and promotes knowledge and practices related to new informal and emerging dynamics and co-produces innovative urban transition projects.

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