Times of crisis spawn a fresh awareness that seeks to change the system through people, in an attempt to win the city back for its inhabitants. New support and protest networks are created, habits and customs change, as do consumption preferences, and means of solidarity, critique and social condemnation are promoted.
In etymological terms, crisis means “rupture”, critique is the analysis needed to make a judgement, and criterion means “adequate reasoning”. The crisis has sparked an awareness that in turn can translate into new values and proposals.
Barcelona, which was set to become the design capital, now pays tribute to its roots and traditions. People also want to make Barcelona a place for everyone, and supportive, critical and social protest initiatives are spreading.
If capitalism created new mass needs and depersonalised consumers, now it is the consumer who looks for, selects and is willing to pay for a good idea; they want something different. We now do things to suit other people and their tastes.
If Paris is known as the city of love, the city of eroticism had to be Barcelona at the beginning of the 20th century, and it may well be recovering that trend now.