Critical Concrete is a project mixing a socio-cultural space and architectural experimentation in Porto. The concept is based on the synergy between popular formats and critical minds at the cutting-edge of artistic production and urban research.
The founder of Critical Concrete is Samuel Kalika, who studied mathematics and fine arts before he moved to Berlin to coordinate the ZK/U Center for Arts and Urbanistics of Berlin (2011 – 2016). In the continuation of his work at the ZK/U, Samuel founded Critical Concrete in 2015. The intention of the project was to create a socially relevant cultural project, a production centre, platform for makers and locals in a suburb of Porto. Hit by the housing poverty they encountered when scouting for spaces, Samuel and Juliana Trentin — first project coordinator — redesigned the project for it to be a solution to tackle this issue and introduce young people to this hidden reality.
Critical Concrete aims to provide an alternative way of teaching, learning and creating architecture, art and design. Through running workshops and summer school programs combining both theoretical and practical activities, the project fosters sustainability in all its levels. All of these actions happen in close collaboration with the community.
In parallel, Critical Concrete hosts open cultural events such as summer screenings, football projections and markets, twisted with the social sciences, artistic actions and architectural experimentation. Their production center Co-Lateral, equipped for work with metal and wood and opened to the public, was started in September 2016.
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