Harnessing Social Energy: Labs, Prototypes and Neighborhood Projects

This platform provides neighbors with a safe, mediated space with basic infrastructure where they can devise and experiment with solutions to the everyday problems of their community.

The labs bring people together around a common cause, connecting promoters of ideas with collaborators who share the same concerns, but who have different know-how, experience and types of intelligence. It also provides locals with the specific knowledge they lack by inviting mentors who put their expertise to the service, not just of the upper echelons of the group and their projects, but for the community as a whole. The result is a living classroom based on problem solving, where just as much value is placed on the process as the final outcome. Participants are encouraged to focus their energy on interacting with people from very different backgrounds, tolerating their differences and learning as a group. Based on an economy whose currency is mutual trust and respect, participants are invited to come up with viable, negotiated solutions that can be Dates: April – September implemented in their community. The goal of these labs is to produce objects and subjects that are active in their personal space and the community, and that are capable of progressing in an atmosphere of cooperation, solidarity and tolerance that puts the common good above the individual. Harnessing Social Energy: Labs, Prototypes and Neighborhood Projects Started on January as a permanent strategy 43 neighbors attended in 2 programs This platform provides neighbors with a safe, mediated space with basic infrastructure where they can devise and experiment with solutions to the everyday problems of their community. The labs bring people together around a common cause, connecting promoters of ideas with collaborators who share the same concerns, but who have different know-how, experience and types of intelligence. It also provides locals with the specific knowledge they lack by inviting mentors who put their expertise to the service, not just of the upper echelons of the group and their projects, but for the community as a whole. The result is a living classroom based on problem solving, where just as much value is placed on the process as the final outcome. Participants are encouraged to focus their energy on interacting with people from very different backgrounds, tolerating their differences and learning as a group. Based on an economy whose currency is mutual trust and respect, participants are invited to come up with viable, negotiated solutions that can be implemented in their community. The goal of these labs is to produce objects and subjects that are active in their personal space and the community, and that are capable of progressing in an atmosphere of cooperation, solidarity and tolerance that puts the common good above the individual.

Strategy implementation programs:

Our School is also our Neighborhood: Prototype Laboratory

Dates: February – March

Coordinator: José Guerrero and the Casa Gallina team

Participants: 25 neighbors of Santa María la Ribera


This activity focused on an open call for members of the neighborhood community to design educational activities and/or infrastructure projects to run parallel to the classes taught at basic level in public schools. The call was open to anyone who had any idea with the potential to become a project or program to support teachers.

The program allowed four of the ideas proposed by the participants to become projects to be implemented in school clubs. Those who participated in this laboratory are in a process of articulation with school authorities and adjustments with teachers to attach their initiatives to the clubs within the curricular autonomy program in the 20192020 school cycle.


Creating Community: Brownfield Projects Lab

Dates: August – October

Facilitators: David Gómez, Valentina Sánchez, Montserrat Nuñez and David Hernández

Participants: 18 neighbors


This working laboratory called upon neighbors to propose projects to be implemented on communal land. The participants of these laboratories presented three open ideas for a couple of properties. The first one, on Peral Street, saw a disused surveillance booth adopted and activated by residents of the northern area of the neighborhood after negotiating with district authorities. The second, an abandoned property on the intersection of Sor Juana Street with Sabino Street, has been the long-time target of a group of several neighbors who wish present initiatives to adopt the property as a communal space.