Paso a Paso, el camino de la vida

location project at the red dot

Proposal for public space in la Balanza, Comas.

Theme: History, Memory and Temporality

Concept: Give the self-made and self-managed public space also its own story.

 Outcome: Self created and personalized concrete stepping stones to go on the bus with clean feet.

 The self built neighborhoods have little identity. You can perfectly read what someones economic development is, but history of the neigborhood, personal or collective stories are missing.

The initial status of illegal occupation may have changed to legal ownwership. But neither the inhabitants nor the municipality are claiming ownership of the public space. It looks like it is only half part of the real Lima. But life there is real. Lima now consists 70% of self-built neighborhoods. It is time to change tolerated citizens into real citizens. Time for a real history and identity.


  • la Balanza by day

  • the view from la Balanza by night

In your neighborhood you should feel at home, but you should also be a host. The dusty roads are emotionally very different from the civilized world. If you take the unpaved roads and provide stepping stones you can walk here in urban style.

If you personalize these stepping stones with names, dates and symbols you can literally read the street as the 'road of life”.

 What we introduce is simply the concept: Your street/barrio tells your story. As there is a lack of resources so it must be 100% DIY and cheap. The concrete steppingstones provide a surface to memorize and serve as a pedestrian footpath.

the process

presenting the project to the community leaders

Of course we should make examples and it should all be technically feasible.

This is th eprocess we designed: Introducing the idea to the representatives of the inhabitants. Find their aproval.

Introduce the proposal to the diferent groups of inhabitants: parents, children, grandparents.

Make a design with the whole family. Make the stepping stones. Place them on the road.

  • presenting it to the community groups

  • making designs

third workshop: making stones

  • mixing the concrete

  • making their tile

  • everybody joining in

finally, putting them down

group portrait of the team