Catalyst Cube is the result of more than a year of working together with the British Council. It began with a call for designers from the United Kingdom to work in Caracas including a workshop with architecture students as well as a collaboration with Incursiónes to design a proposal of an installation in a public space. The English architect Will Sandy worked closely with Raids in the design of this small prefabricated facility, designed to occupy public spaces in different neighbourhoods of the city for periods of three months. The cube was conceived as a generator of an instant focus, capable of promoting cultural and educational exchanges within the community. It is a tool to actively involve citizens in the use and redesign of their urban environment.
Its flexible design allows multiple configurations that can support a wide range of activities, from basketball to exhibitions, as well as classes, meetings and community events. As a catalyst, its objective is to increase the opportunities for interaction, exchange and development in a context, hoping to give these activities enough momentum to continue when the installation moves to the next stop. The cube can help identify opportunities in a neighbourhood, giving its users agency in defining their public meeting spaces at a time when the urban and social fabric of the city is in dire conditions.
The cube consists of a metal structure with metal and wood components that can be installed, operated and easily disassembled. It can be delivered as a kit with all the parts, allowing instant activation with minimal disruption. It is robust and striking at the same time, designed to be both specific and flexible, providing a defined framework, but leaving enough flexibility to allow unexpected uses and appropriations.
The structure was first installed in November 2019, housing an intense program of cultural and social activities that included theatre, puppetry arts, classes and reading sessions, exhibitions, live music and video mapping, as well as celebratory activities of the “Day of People with Disabilities ”and others festivities of the holiday season.