Medialab Prado


Citycamp: Citizens with Energy


Place: Medialab-Prado en Intermediae Matadero Madrid (Paseo de la Chopera, 14 Madrid)

First of the practical session developed by Energy and Commons, a work group that emerged from within the City and Commons Group of the Commons Lab.

Energy and Commons group was created with the intention of facilitating, coordinating and developing activities related to prototyping and practical projects, as well as theoretical construction and analysis centred and related to the topic of energy as a part of the Commons. [partial streaming]

> Energy and Commons
> Introduction
> Aims
> Program



Author: I. Nelumada. Title: Lightning over the outskirts of Oradea


Energy and Commons

Energy and Commons emerged as a work group where different Medialab users could share common concerns and a common line of investigation centred and related to the topic of energy as part of the Commons.

The group’s participants have different and complementary abilities in several fields (resource management, information and communication technologies, engineering, hardware development and programming, art, economy, economy, architecture and city planning, digital culture, etc.) as well as a shared interest in energetic cycles,  and are motivated by the idea of making it accessible and transparent to the citizenship, actively participating in it with an attitude of convergence towards rest of the implied agents.

he work unfolds under the premises open up by the DIWO (Do It With Others) way of doing and Creative Commons production, in collaborative processes reviewable and open to the participation of any interested person, with the contribution that his or her position, interest and motivation might make possible.



This session intends to arrive to an abstract idea distilled from the practice and to reconstruct the general characteristics of the current Spanish energetic system, with the intention of making it understandable for any citizen, highlighting the risks that citizens are exposed to, as well as the opportunities for action at their reach and the ways of materializing them.

Medialab-Prado enables the encounter between proactive citizens that understand that now is time to claim themselves as a differential community for their predisposition to carry out initiatives that demonstrate the citizens’ capacities to organize and participate in a constructive and determining manner in current issues. Today energy is a particularly crucial issue, since RIGHT NOW critical decisions concerning the energetic system are being made, such as:

  • The review of renewable objectives
  • The definition of saving policies
  • The definition of energetic emissions and mixes
  • The decisions that affect the production of small installations’ self-consumption

The implicated agents are being mobilized without being directed to the citizen as the final consumer and first manager responsible of the proper use of energy. In order to avoid the sustained ignorance of such capacity, a group of active and constructive citizenship that rebels against the traditional opacity of the Spanish energetic system emerges. Will their view be a flattering on in the face of the proposals of smart cities and their inherent control mechanisms? 



This a call to interested citizens and to representatives of all implicated agents in the different stages of the energetic cycle to successively:

  • Present and share some of the answers to concrete problems from a practical point of view.
  • Establish different simultaneous work groups to create a space to exchange arguments, technical information, interests, viewpoints and concerns regarding different aspects of the practical character yet to be implemented in an effective or uncertain manner.
  • Enable a collaborative elaboration of the current situation identifying priorities, challenges, key questions and possible answers and lines of action, from the previous presentations and the sharing of the work groups' results.
  • Enable a more spontaneous, casual, creative and close interaction among the assistants, regardless of their role in the energetic cycle.
  • Identify the different final users, the characteristics of their reality, as well as their capacity for participation; confirm the need for a more detailed level of description and the role of measuring as the basis for management.



15.06.2012 /18:30h - 21:00h: Capable Citizen. Steps to avoid exclusion in the face of the energetic system: energy, mediation, information and intelligent uses.

  • Introduction of the Energy and Commons Group in Medialab-Prado. Sara Alvarellos and Javier Esquillor .
  • Practical sessions: Introduction to intelligent mediation devices:
  1. Practical session Openenergymonitor with Ildefonso Martínez of the University of Málaga. Introduction, context and applications. Presentation of the project, introduction, History, use cases, introduction to the community, web presentation of the project. Master-class: Building a consumtion measuring sensor that OEM and Arduino are based on.

    Workshop Canceled. We regret the inconvenience.
  2. Good practices, energy and hacking with Tomás García from currentcost Spain. Measuring equipments and how to interact with them: from installing to tracking and online platforms. Day to day applications for measuring and hacking to optimize daily consumption.

16.06.2012: This session is intended as a double session to deal with the 5 main topics of the Energy and Commons Group


  1. The economic structure of the electric system
  2. A nascent transformation of the energetic system?
  3. Intelligent networks
  4. National and European Politics
  5. The inclusion of the final user and the relation between the agents of the cycle.


11:00h - 11:30h: Reception. Introduction of the session within the activities of the Energy and Commons group. [live streaming]

11:30h - 12:30h: Quick initial presentations. Concrete solutions to everyday problems within the frame of energy, each presentation will address one of the 5 fundamental topics. [live streaming]

  1. Possibilities of the rational use of renewable energies: Reducing the consumption and system eficiency with Juan Manuel Ortega, Grupo Ortiz.
  2. Agronautas. An agrocooking prototype: Energetically independent open code shared fourniture. Pez Estudio.
  3. Smarthomes, energy and citizens, today. Carlos De Palacio from ABB.
  4. Independent energy in the rural environment combining sun and wind powerPere Badía.
  5. Theory and Practice: The user involvement in the eficiency and power management. José Antonio Turégano.

12:45h - 13:45h: Debate and exchange groups around the 5 main topics.

  1. Rates configuration after deregulating the electricity system. Moderator: Iván Calvo Rubio and José Luis Velasco, Observatorio Crítico de la Energía.
  2. The energy consumer/producer. A reality in 2012. Moderator: Javier Sierra blogger of servicios energéticos.
  3. Smart, smart, not too much?: Cities, energy networks, homes and citizens. Moderator: Julio Galarón
  4. Power Policies: Ineficient application of current policies. Moderator: Juan José Fuentetaja

[Coffee, snack]

14:00h - 15:15h: Reconstruction and conclusions of the exchange groups. With the moderators group, Energy and Commons group and a documentalist: Ricardo Merino  [live streaming]


16:30h - 20:00h: Practical activities around: Data monitoring, visualization and interaction; Hack the energy of your home and ZigBee Workshop + Barstorming. In three separate zones:

  • Zone 1: Energy data monitoring, visualization and interaction
  1. Practical session. Openenergymonitor with Ildefonso Martínez Marchena (following Friday's session). Monitoring and monitoring platforms.

    Workshop Canceled. We regret the inconvenience.
  2. Practical session. Share your consumption. Reveal-it! proposes to reveal on the spot data of citizens' consumption processes and their interactions with the power infrastructures within the urban environment. The project suggests a participatory intevention using a public projection on urban surfaces with an interactive visualization. The apps shows an interactive infography based on an online database and information gathered collectively. Nina Valkanova.
  3. Practical session. Your electricity bill is the measure for everything. Installation that aims to make the hieroglyphics of the electricity bills more understandable through an interactive process of re-creating them in a visual language where the audience is included. Etc inventions, Anna Carreras, José María Blanco Calvo.
  4. Practical session. Hack your Consumption. Tips to decrease your power needs thanks to the information retrieved by measuring devices: interacting with them from monitoring to online platforms. Currentcost Spain, Tomás García (following Friday's session).
  • Zone 2: Zigbee Workshop. Compatibility between devices. Combining the use of devices through communications. Howlab University of Zaragoza, Roberto Casas.
  • Zone 3: Exchange area and reflection to gather, contrast and complement what has been exposed on the 5 thematic areas up until that point. Coordinated by the Energy and Commons group and the documentalist.


This programme also includes a theoretical session on the conclusions on June 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm.

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