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Community Project, Flea Market Turin, Italy.


RIKEA is a prototype for a micro-urban structure that conceives the flea market Ballon in Porta Palazzo, Turin, as a system of "instant urbanization". The project was prototyped through a participatory process with the merchant community, IKEA and Italcementi.

The Ballon is a weakly flea market that happens every saturday mornings and is one of the poorest in Europe. The project took place after a competition launched by the Italian Magazine Abitare, directed by Stefano Boeri on Geodesign, followed by an exhibition at Pala Fuksas, 2008. The competition asked to connect communities, companies and designers to tackle one of the city's challenges.

Among the challenges of any flea markets, the Ballon expressed the need to:
- Mark on the pavement each merchant position.
- Create a temporary roof system to protect the goods from the weather.
- Develop a system to transfer the goods from the car park to the merchant position, preventing theft while the goods are left unattended during the market preparation.

The project, realized in collaboration with the merchants, proposed to
Combine all the three challenges in one system, which we called micro infrastructure consisting of tiles to recognize the merchants' position in the public space (prototype thanks to Italcementi). The tiles are designed to be customized and install elements of the system "broder" produced by IKEA to support temporary shelters. Furthermore, the foldable sofa "svingen" (IKEA) is adapted to realize a trolley for goods delivery and showcase them during the market times.

The project received a special mention at the "squat city" exhibition at the 4th Rotterdam Architecture Biennale in 2009.

Project in collaboration with Marco Lampugnani, with the kind support of: 

Abitare Magazine

Associazione Culturale Balon

and the generouse technical sponsorship of:

IKEA Italia


The project has been exhibited in: 

- 2009 São Paulo Architecture Biennale, Brasil.  


- 2008 TORINO GEODESIGN, Palafucsas, Turin, Italy.


- 2009 Third Price, INTERNATIONAL BIENNAL OF ARCHITECTURE, NAI, Rotterdam, Netherland.


- M. Lampugnani, A. Scarponi, Rikea, in Torino Geodesign, Mobilizing the Collective Intelligence. 48 Projects for Turin. Editrice Abitare Segesta, Milano, pp. 20-21, 2008.

- A. Scarponi, The Last Market, in P. Guadanho (ed), Beyond. Short Stories on the Contemporary, N. 1, pp. 50-55, SUN, Amsterdam, 2009.

- DesignBoom: Antonio Scarponi and Marco Lampugnani: Reikea.

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