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Changing Metropolis ii

Changing Metropolis II


Changing Metropolis II Changing Metropolis ii


Changing Metropolis II


METROPOLIS – festival for art and performance in urban space With metropolis, Copenhagen International Theatre moves out of the settings of the traditional theatre and into the city in order to create art, life and debate on the creative city. Over a 10-year period (2007-2017), metropolis will challenge and transform urban spaces through artistic experiences, which play with the boundary between everyday life and staging. metropolis is a concept with a festival, held in odd years and a laboratory in even years. 5

metropolis laboratory is an international platform where artists, city planners, architects and researchers can meet the common challenge, of how to create more vibrant, inspiring and cohesive cities.

changing metropolis ii is the second metropolis publication. The publication consists of commissioned articles, rewritten speeches, commentaries and artistic projects made in the context of metropolis laboratory in 2008 and 2010 and metropolis biennale in 2009 and 2011.


7 THE Audience waiting for WATERFOOLS by Ilotopie at Sortedams Sø • Metropolis 2009


changing metropolis ii


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introduction the city as a creative force

saskia sassen immigrants and citizens in the global city: denationalizing europe nan ellin the city in flow: integral urbanism for a new era malcolm miles where now? after the creative city

the urban landscape

hausenberg diverse urban space juul | frost urban space – the familiar into the strange bureau detours u.s.e. t.w.o. / dennis design center gerard reinmuth sustainability as an aesthetic problem helene schytter visions for the future

staging public places

theresa benÊr metropolis 2009 – memories and reflections jay pather the making of blind spot, from lab to biennale


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walks and routes

doung jahangeer ...just passing through...

global cultures and citizens zimmerfrei the hill lola arias hotel life




METROPOLIS was launched as an interdisciplinary initiative in 2007 and builds on Copenhagen International Theatre’s own curatorial heritage and on the heritage of performance in public space. METROPOLIS sets out to question current urban cultural issues, where the notion of place, citizenship, connectivity and identity are major challenges in the public domain in terms of open, democratic and diverse spaces. The city is a place where interpretations and narratives are countless. The artistic approach reflects upon the psycho geographical interpretation of the city – an approach that strives to stimulate individual experiences, activate micro environments, open our senses and raise awareness about urban architecture, infrastructure and flow.


METROPOLIS aims to activate, communicate with, and comment on the city as a phenomenon – physically and mentally. Public places such as squares, streets, train stations, parks, waterfronts, lakes, beaches, cemeteries, underpasses, as well as semi public spaces such as hotels, libraries, backyards, shopping centres, empty spaces… All possible sites are used, both in the city centre and on the periphery. Dance, performance, film, visual and audio based installations, walks, happenings, social architecture are all genres METROPOLIS engages with. The projects vary from events for a large audience to smaller and intimate 1:1 experiences, and engage with macro as well as micro environments and local communities. METROPOLIS acts as a platform for new collaborations and practice exchange by creating a network between national and international artists, architects, city planners, designers and researchers. This leads to a discussion about Copenhagen as a city and about the possibilities and limitations in the public domain.

CHANGING METROPOLIS II is the second METROPOLIS publication and has been structured into five chapters as a compilation of theories, practices and comments in relation to the city as a phenomenon, which have been discussed and realized in the context of METROPOLIS LABORATORY in 2008 & 2010 and METROPOLIS BIENNALE in 2009 & 2011. The first chapter, THE CITY AS A CREATIVE FORCE, contains three fundamental theoretical approaches to the city and functions as an overall introduction to the various practical cases. Immigrants and citizens in the global city: Denationalizing Europe by Saskia Sassen portrays the role of the city as a global phenomenon and the extinction of micro environments. “Cities make it possible that people experience themselves as part of global, non-state networks as they live their daily lives. They enact what we have come to call global civil society in the micro spaces of daily life”. Sassen goes on to describe the city and its potential spaces of politics and spaces of informal subjects. This leads us to look at performative and interactive situations created by temporary spaces, which become enabling environments that support a sense of engagement that is essential for the city. Nan Ellin’s article The city in flow: Integral urbanism for a new era takes the analogy of the performative aspect of the city further and describes the concept of a community as having five qualities: hybridity, connectivity, porosity, authenticity and vulnerability. These qualities are necessary, argues Ellin, in order to achieve what she terms “a city in flow”. Her thesis is a proposed vision of cities as being fragmented and hybrid and talks of “translating the city” in order to reconstruct a deeper understanding and connectivity in the city.



Where now? After the creative city by Malcolm Miles comments on the idea of the creative city – a phenomenon which has been much hyped and practiced as a result of urban de-industrialisation. Miles argues, “Now, after the 2008 crash and subsequent cuts in arts funding, it is time to ask whether culture was an effective or equitable solution to urban ills or whether, now, there may be a rise of dissident arts practices for a different kind of change.”

Bodies in Urban Spaces – a concept developed by the Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner – where the audience follows a trail of dancers as they act as living sculptures on urban elements such as lamp posts, gates, facades, staircases etc. They fill out the in-between and bring awareness to hidden spaces and architecture. Jay Pather’s project Blind Spot was staged as a 3 hour long choreographed walk, performed by dancers from Durban and Copenhagen. Pather chose a three kilometre long stretch on Nørrebrogade, which connects the urban margins with the historic city centre – a road simply overloaded with history and a clear political and social agenda. Pather states, “I fell in love with this road of diversity


The Durban based architect, Doung Jahangeer, describes his passion for the spaces in-between and how the concept of his City Walks developed. “Spaces in-between” which as he puts it “will always provide a platform for resistance, survival and creativity – despite the desire to control and regulate”. He reflects upon the notion of public space, which is in fact increasingly controlled. His own experience of a city, where even after the apartheid system, the citizens are in fact not free to act in public space. 
This is of course not limited to such formal controls, but can be seen everywhere and Jahangeer’s belief in the need for the “in-between” is clearly a plea not to “plan and design life out of the city”. Again, he underlines the importance of developing a culture of activity in public space as a prerequisite for democracy. Artistic walks open up the city for new interpretations. The dramatization of local environments plays with the thin line between fiction, reality and the smudged. Here the work of hello!earth is a clear example of this approach where the public is sent out into the city, one by one and guided through a partly written and partly real scenario. As a do it yourself kit for performative travel - a new type of tourism, where the daily reality of the city becomes the theatrical setting and allows for coincidences with planned actions and interventions.

LA MAREA • Audience in Blågårdsgade at Nørrebro • Metropolis 2009

One of the clear approaches to the city as a performative stage is the current trend of structuring performances based on acts of walking; individual walks, guided tours, explorative ventures with either written, audio or technology based tools; solitary or in a crowd, as urban explorers searching the terrain.


and possibility, a road that led me from the heart of an invisible population all the way into the heart of a cosmopolitan city”. Pather saw the movement of the performance itself, as well as the audience, as a form of urban pilgrimage – homage to the city and a visualisation of the unknown. The Argentinian director Mariano Pensotti opted for a Nørrebro location for the staging of La Marea. With nine performances in cafés, shop windows and apartments, the public wandered along the street and gathered as voyeurs throughout the evening. A meandering mass overfilled the street. The punctual repetition of the scenes, the re-enactment of the acts of love, self-doubt, drunken play and banal conflict represented stereotypical nighttime situations from the city. A cacophony of confused situations and parallel lives.


Other projects seek to disturb the environment and challenge it politically, socially and aesthetically. The project Chilango Hawkers presented 14 artists from Mexico City with their manifestation of kitsch and consumer related art as a re-enactment of the traditional street vendors in Mexico City. Helle Juul’s article The Familiar into the Strange reflects upon how “Cities have to contain diversity and urban spaces should become meeting places that increase insight and knowledge of the unfamiliar” and comments on how temporary spaces can stimulate our understanding of diversity and the unfamiliar. An example here is the sound installation Harmonic fields at Amager Strand – a project that managed to define a new temporary space, within an existing defined functional space, in the search for new meaning and new possibilities. With 500 wind driven instruments, Amager Strand was transformed into a sound and sculpture landscape and provided inspiration for new types of landscaping and urban planning, where social engagement and reflection are at the core. From mass transformation to very discrete and almost invisible interventions are clearly voiced with the trilogy of projects from Ciudades Parallelas (Parallel Cities),

curated by Stefan Kaegi and Lola Arias.
A series of solitary exploration of stereotypical public spaces in any city - in this case a hotel, a library and a train station. Lotte van den Berg found her place on the verge of the city with the staging of Wasteland. On Refshaleøen, a former shipbuilding site, Wasteland posted an apocalyptic vision of a perverted situation, where Neanderthal urban nomads grovelled in a wasteland and where no morals survived the demise of the city. Wasteland was as depressing as it was intriguing. It confronted us with a futuristic landscape, a threatening situation where our concern with our comfortable cities is put into the context of a global meltdown. The French company Ilotopie took another approach to the transformation of a large and totally unused space. The 600,000 m2 lake (Sortedams Sø) in Copenhagen became the frame for a visual spectacle of childlike naivety and surreal adventure. With more than 15.000 spectators, there was a sense of uniqueness of actions in public space, which is essential and expressed the need to see the city as a sensorial playground. As illustrated by these examples and others in this publication, METROPOLIS encompasses projects which engage with the city from very different perspectives and on a variety of scales. However, the common factor in all these projects is their engagement with the physical aspect of the city and the construction of a temporary fictional layer. 
This duality, we believe, is the key to unique experiences and performative situations, portrayed as hyperreality where situations are exaggerated or in abstract and imaginary scenarios, which hopefully can inspire us to change or alter existing situations and physical spaces. Trevor Davies, Katrien Verwilt and Marie Viltoft Polli Copenhagen International Theatre





Immigrants and Citizens in the Global City: DENATIONALIZING EUROPE saskia sassen professor of sociology, columbia university

Citizenship and alienage, the two foundational institutions for membership in the modern state, are being partly destabilized through major current transformations.1 As citizens lose rights due to the new types of policies that reduce social rights and immigrants gain rights through the human rights regime, we see a blurring of the distinctions. Much of this blurring has been obscured by the strong nationalism of particular sectors. But the deeper structural transformation is going in the opposite direction of the more visible and noticed conditions: beneath it all we can detect a denationalizing of a growing number of conditions and struggles.We are seeing emergent centrifugal dynamics that disperse what used to agglutinate around the national state apparatus. Cities, especially the complex spaces of global cities, are one kind of space where the national is becoming denationalized through the material and discursive practices of a growing variety of actors, from global firms to foreign workers. In this denationalizing, Europe becomes less a community of states and more a proliferation of networks that decenter Europe away from the national state and onto people and cities. In this process we also see a blurring of the distinctions between immigrants and citizens.

The Renationalizing of Citizenship:

Politically shrill but institutionally weak

The growth of anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe is pushing towards the renationalizing of particular features of membership politics. Yet this renationalizing of membership, even when ideologically strong, is institutionally weak, given the increased formalization of the European Union (EU) level. And although the EU level is still thin compared to that of the national state, it is beginning to alter the underlying conditions that have fed the articulation between citizenship and the national state. The institutional development of the EU and the strengthening of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) push the question of political membership towards a kind of European universalism. The denationalizing represented by the EU is fed by the emergence of multiple actors, groups, and communities increasingly keen on broader notions of political membership and unwilling automatically to identify with a national state. These transformations in the EU raise questions about the actual meaning of that renationalizing of membership. Is it an ideational event that can exist even as the institutional settings of membership are becoming partly denationalized? Can growing discrimination against the alien coexist with a strengthening of the right to have rights, notably through the decisions of the ECHR confirming the rights of immigrants that national legislatures had tried to withdraw? And can the ideological renationalizing of citizenship coexist with the Europeanizing of membership and multiple transnationalisms for identity politics? These changes raise questions about the assertion in most of the pertinent scholarship that citizenship has a necessary connection to the national state. Many of the changes in citizenship and alienage may not yet be formalized and some may never become fully formalized. But they may nonetheless be consequential for some of the issues that concern us here, notably the question of immigration and ethnicity in today’s Europe.

Addressing the question of citizenship and alienage against these transformations entails a specific stance. It is quite possible to posit that, at the most abstract or formal level, not much has changed over the last century in the essential features of both institutions. The theoretical ground from which I address the issue is that of their historicity and their embeddedness in projects of national state construction in the past and of partial deconstruction in the present – notably the strengthening of the EU and of the ECHR. The purely formal features of citizenship and alienage easily obscure some of the microtransformations I am after here. Citizenship and alienage have each been constructed in elaborate and formal ways, and each has evolved historically as a tightly packaged bundle of what were in fact often rather diverse elements. The dynamics at work today are destabilizing these bundles, thereby making legible the fact of this bundling of diverse elements itself and of its particularity. Social constructions that mark individuals and groups, such as race and ethnicity, may well become destabilized by these developments.

Discursive and Practical Openings for New Actors

Where the international human rights regime and the new EU institutions have contributed to formalize certain rights and protections, globalization has created less formalized potentials. Critical among these potentials are operational and legal openings for non-state actors to enter international arenas that were once the exclusive domain of national states. Various, often as yet very minor developments, signal that the state is no longer the exclusive subject for international law nor the only actor in international relations. Other actors – from NGOs and First Nations People to immigrants and refugees who become subjects of adjudication in human rights decisions – are increasingly emerging as subjects of international law and actors in international relations. That is to say, these non-state actors can gain visibility as individuals and as collectivities, and come out of the invisibility of aggregate membership in a




nation state exclusively represented by the sovereign. One way of interpreting this is to posit that we are seeing an incipient unbundling of the exclusive authority over territory and people that we have long associated with the national state. The most strategic instantiation of this unbundling is probably the global city, which operates as a partly de-nationalized platform for global capital and, at the same time, is emerging as a key site for the most astounding mix of people from all over the world. The growing intensity of transactions among these cities is creating a strategic cross-border geography that partly bypasses national states. The new network technologies further strengthen these transactions, be they electronic transfers of specialized services among firms or Internet-based communications among the members of globally dispersed diasporas and interest groups. These cities, and the new strategic geographies that connect them and bypass national states, can be seen as constituting part of the infrastructure for global civil society. They do so from the ground up, through multiple microsites. Among these microsites and microtransactions are a variety of organizations concerned with transboundary issues con­cerning immigration, asylum, international women’s agendas, anti-globalization struggles, and many others. While these are not necessarily urban in their orientation or genesis, their geography of operations is partly inserted in a large number of cities. The new network technologies, especially the Internet, ironically have strengthened the urban map of these transboundary networks. It does not have to be that way, but at this time cities and the networks that bind them function as an anchor and an enabler of cross-border struggles. These same developments and conditions also facilitate the internationalizing of terrorist and trafficking networks.

A European Politics that Runs through Localities

Global cities are, then, thick enabling environments for these types of activities, even though the networks themselves are not urban per se. In this regard, these cities make it possible that people experience themselves as part of global, non-

state networks as they live their daily lives. They enact what we have come to call global civil society in the microspaces of daily life, rather than on some putative global stage. This signals the possibility of a transnational politics – in this case European or global politics – that runs through localities, but with a difference: a growing consciousness of the recurrence of their particular struggles in other places and countries. They can understand themselves as involved in transnational networks of activists and struggles, yet can remain focused on localized issues and engage local actors in their struggles. This can produce a transnational politics constituted through multiple decenterings into the multiple localities where similar struggles recur. I think of these as non-cosmopolitan forms of transnationalism or globality, in that they remain rooted in localized issues. It seems to me important not to conflate globality with the typical meaning of cosmopolitan – we need to qualify such a transnationalism of localities as it is more complex than grand cosmopolitanism, hence my use of noncosmopolitan globalities. This way of conceiving of globality tells us that disadvantaged individuals and resource-poor organizations, those who are immobile and confined to their locality, are not necessarily excluded from emergent forms of globality.

Spaces for the Politics of Informal Subjects

The space of the city is a far more concrete space for politics than that of the nation. It becomes a place where non-formal political actors can be part of the political scene in a way that is much more difficult at the national level. Nationally, politics needs to run through existing formal systems, whether the electoral political system or the judiciary – taking state agencies to court. Informal political actors are rendered invisible in the space of national politics. The space of the city accommodates a broad range of political activities – squatting, demonstrations against police brutality, fighting for the rights of immigrants and the homeless, the politics of culture and identity, gay and lesbian and queer politics. Much of this becomes visible on the street. Much of urban politics is concrete, enacted by

people rather than dependent on massive media technologies. Street-level politics make possible the formation of new types of political subjects that do not have to go through the formal political system. It is in this sense that those who lack power, those who are disadvantaged, outsiders, discriminated minorities, can gain presence in global cities – presence vis-àvis power and presence vis-à-vis each other. This signals, for me, the possibility of a new type of politics centered in new types of political actors. It is not simply a matter of having or not having power. These are new hybrid bases from which to act. In these types of cities, informal practices and political subjects not quite fully recognized as such can nonetheless function as part of the political landscape. Undocumented immigrants who are long-term residents engage in practices that are the same as those of formally defined citizens in the routines of daily life; this produces an informal social contract between these undocumented immigrants and the community. Subjects who are by definition categorized as non-political, such as “housewives” and “mothers,” may actually have considerable political agency and be emergent political subjects, e.g. the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo contesting the military dictatorship in Argentina. Insofar as citizenship is at least partly shaped by the conditions within which it is embedded, conditions that have today changed in certain very specific and also general ways, we may well be seeing a corresponding set of changes in the institution itself. These may not yet be formalized and some may never become fully formalized. Many of these transformations in the broader context and in the institution itself become legible in today’s large cities. Perhaps the most evolved type of site for these types of transformations is the global city. In this process, the global city is reconfigured as a partly de-nationalized space that enables a partial reinvention of citizenship. This reinvention takes the institution away from questions of nationality narrowly defined and towards the enactment of a large array of particular interests – from protests against police brutality and globalization to sexual preference politics and house squatting by anarchists. I interpret this as a move towards citizenship

practices that revolve around claiming rights to the city. These are not exclusively or necessarily urban practices. But it is especially in large cities that we see simultaneously some of the most extreme inequalities as well as the conditions that enable these citizenship practices. In global cities, these practices also contain the possibility of directly engaging strategic forms of power, a fact I interpret as significant in a context where power is increasingly privatized, globalized and elusive.


REFERENCE This text is based on chapters 6 and 8 of Saskia Sassen (2008), Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press and translated into Swedish in 2012 and published by Bokförlaget Atlas.


SASKIA SASSEN is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University ( Recent books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2008), A Sociology of Globalization (W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2011). The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001. Her books are translated into over twenty languages. She is currently working on When Territory Exits Existing Frameworks (Under contract with Harvard University Press). She contributes regularly to and

Off the wall • DANSKE GRAFIKERE • Metropolis 2011


“What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them.” US President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009

Indeed, “the ground has shifted.” President Obama’s remark during his inaugural address not only applies metaphorically, but literally as well. For we have been witnessing of late a marked, and long overdue, positive shift in urban growth and development I describe as Integral Urbanism1. Over the last decade or so, a quiet revolution has been taking place aiming to heal the wounds inflicted upon the landscape by the modern and postmodern eras. These wounds are manifest in sprawl, the growing perception of fear, a declining sense of community, and environmental degradation.

The City in Flow: Integral Urbanism for a New Era nan ellin professor, planning department, university of utah

In an effort to remedy what ails us, communities around the world have been engaging in a range of restorative efforts by incorporating five qualities: hybridity, connectivity, porosity, authenticity, and vulnerability. Hybridity and connectivity bring activities and people together at all scales (from local to global). Porosity preserves the integrity of that which is brought together, while allowing mutual access through permeable membranes, rather than the modernist attempt to dismantle boundaries or postmodernist fortification. Authenticity involves actively engaging and drawing inspiration from actual social and physical conditions with an ethic of care, respect, and honesty. Like all healthy organisms, the “authentiCity” is always growing and evolving according to new needs that arise, thanks to a self-adjusting feedback loop that measures and monitors success and failure. And vulnerability



calls upon us to relinquish control, listen deeply, value process as well as product, and re-integrate space with time. With the mass production and consumption of cars a century ago, city plans became motivated, particularly in the US, primarily by getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, rather than valuing the journey. Pedestrian and vehicular paths thus separated. So did land uses, activities, buildings, and districts resulting in cityscapes composed of freestanding high-rise buildings and suburban tract houses linked by highways. Largely absent were quality public spaces, local character, multi-functional places, and an integration of the built and natural landscapes. Dispersal and fragmentation occurred hand in hand, spelling an end to the connectedness, walkability, and sense of place of the pre-vehicular landscape.


An integral urbanism aims to bring these back. While modern urbanism espoused the separation of functions in urban form, integral urbanism reaffirms their symbiotic nature by combining and linking them. These various integrations can be accomplished through cross-programming buildings and regional plans – spatially (plan and section) as well as temporally allowing people and activities to co-mingle and converge in new ways. Emergent examples of cross-programming include the office building with basketball court and daycare center, the intergenerational community building (combining day care, teenage community center, adult education, and seniors center), the public school/community center, the integrated parking structure (into office buildings and retail centers), the movie theatre/restaurant, and the urban plaza by day/movie theatre at night. Transposing this concept onto the larger scale can increase density of activity without necessarily increasing building density, translating into reduced commuting, greater convenience, preservation of the natural environment, an increase in quality public space, and greater social interaction. The outcome is new hybrid typologies and morphologies that pool human and natural

resources to the benefit of all. Resources conserved include time, effort, talent, money, water, energy (fuel, electricity, and human energy), building materials, paper, space, and more. The result is a city in flow. As defined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, flow is the intense experience situated between boredom and overstimulation. It is characterized by immersion, awareness, and a sense of harmony, meaning, and purpose2. While generally intended for enhancing individual performance such as playing sports, it is useful to consider how places might be “in flow.” We know intuitively when a place is in flow. It strikes a balance between boredom and overstimulation through, for instance, combining monuments with background buildings, de-familiarizing features with banal ones, and a wide range of people and activities. It is not the unrelenting grid, but nor is it deconstructivism on the urban scale. Places in flow also allow ease of movement of people, goods, and information. Too much ease of movement would produce boredom and stasis, eliminating mystery and wonder, ultimately the Achilles heel of the modern city. Places that are truly in flow thus have interesting and unexpected detours and zig zags. We might consider these ebbs, or the rocks around which the flowing stream navigates. And since people require varying amounts of stimulation to be in flow, places that are in flow offer choice and may be experienced in different ways. The well-intentioned, and in many respects laudable modern efforts to cleanse the city of illness and to render it more efficient have gone too far, ultimately “draining the life” from them or “cutting off their lifeblood.” Simultaneously, globalization and attendant standardization have been endangering the soul and character of our landscapes and our selves. We crave unique and authentic experience along with more opportunities for freedom of expression. Just as people are mutually interdependent, so are our activities as expressed in city forms. Cities only thrive (are only sustainable) when these interdependencies are allowed to flourish.

Integral urbanism simply validates our intuitive understanding of how places should be – dirt, disorder, and unpredictability included rather than propose some ultimately undesirable as well as unattainable utopia. Places of urban integrity exemplify certain qualities. Places in search of the vitality these qualities endow might learn from them. Integral urbanism veers away from master planning which, in its focus on controlling everything, ironically tends to generate fragmented cities without soul or character. Instead, Integral urbanism proposes more punctual interventions that have a tentacular or domino effect, catalyzing other interventions in an ongoing dynamic process. This approach activates places by creating thresholds, or places of intensity, where diversity thrives. These interventions activate “dead” or neutral spaces; they acknowledge and care for abandoned and neglected spaces. By increasing density of activity and perhaps building mass, they weave connections between places, people, and experiences. These transformations can respond to current needs and desires while also allowing for new ones that may arise. An integral urbanism allows greater self-determination and empowerment because it brings people together with more time and energy to develop visions and implement them. By enabling efficiencies and synergies, it allows greater conservation and less waste, more quality time, and less distrust, paranoia, and fear. The health of communities and relationships relies upon trust and too often, an “architecture of fear”3 fills the void left by an erosion of trust. Alternatively, integral urbanism fills that void in a way that builds trust by providing mutually supportive networks of people and buildings that are diverse (hybrid) by design, dynamic, and self-adjusting. In other words, convergences in space and time (of people, activities, businesses, and so forth) generate new hybrids. These hybrids, in turn, allow for new convergences and the process continues. This is, in fact, the definition of development4. While the modern paradigm discouraged convergences through its emphasis on separation and control, this new paradigm



encourages them. Indeed, the diversity of actors involved in producing this big picture demonstrates the principle of ecodiversity along a threshold of time.


Integral urbanism involves an approach as well as an outcome. Just as a good manager builds on existing strengths of an organization, so good urbanism builds upon given assets of a place. Integral urbanism begins by engaging communities to identify these “gifts” and consider ways to leverage them. In this way, it sets a generative and dynamic self-adjusting feedback mechanism into motion, where communities build creatively upon their strengths, sometimes in the process even converting their greatest problems into their greatest solutions.


Rather than get mired in critiques, this approach focuses on identifying the strengths of a place. It similarly recognizes exemplary practices from which we can learn and upon which we can build. In contrast to the modern ethos that started with a clean slate, integral urbanism begins by identifying what we already value and assuring its preservation, be it buildings, neighborhoods, businesses, cultural institutions, natural landscapes, or creative and intellectual capital. Recognizing existing assets and capacities inflects the process, invariably leading to a consideration of what we might value more with minor adjustments. After protecting what is valued and enhancing what may be underperforming, this approach addresses what is missing and should be added. Rather than neglect, abandon, or erase our urban heritage, integral urbanism preserves buildings, neighborhoods, and natural landscapes that we value, rehabilitates, reclaims, restores, or renovates what is underperforming, and adds what we do not have yet but would like, as informed by effective community involvement. Consequently, the new builds upon existing assets and is deeply influenced by this “DNA” of a place, allowing for unique and meaningful expressions to unfold. Skillfully inserted, these interventions into the urban fabric can perform

“urban acupuncture,” clearing blockages and liberating energy to catalyze additional positive growth and change. And the dynamic process of city- and community-building continues. This approach reaches across the divides of professions and academic disciplines: architecture, planning, landscape architecture, engineering, interior design, industrial design, graphic design, sculpture, painting, performance, and more. Reflecting a general reorientation in the Western world, integral urbanists seek to restore the connections that have been severed over the last century between body and soul, people and nature, and amongst people. While not forming a “school” of thought, since the expressions vary widely, this considerable undercurrent shares an emphasis on drawing from the best aspects of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern urban design; incorporating new technologies in a humane way; and respecting physical, historical, social, and environmental contexts. This approach emphasizes re-integration (functional, social, disciplinary and professional), porous membranes or permeable boundaries (rather than the modernist attempt to dismantle them or postmodernist fortification), and design with movement in mind, both movement through space (circulation) and through time (access to the past as well as dynamism and flexibility). In Metropolitan Phoenix, we are practicing integral urbanism canalscape, an initiative to create vital urban hubs where an ancient canal system developed by Native Americans six centuries ago meets the modern urban grid. This distributed network of “canal villages5” would reflect the region’s unique quality of interspersing urban living into a breathtaking desert landscape. The mixed-use urban infill would provide an alternative to sprawl, highly desirable live/work settings, and much-needed places to gather. In addition, canalscaping would stimulate the currently sluggish economy, con­tributing significantly to urban and economic revitalization. Building upon our assets, this reorientation of urban growth and development along the canal banks offers an authentic and sustainable desert urbanism for the Phoenix region.


Just as defragmenting our computers allows them to run more effectively, defragmenting – or integrating – our cities and communities is enhancing individual as well as community health and well-being. Bringing together the functions that the twentieth-century city separated, integral urbanism celebrates connection and communication in contrast to the functionally-zoned city which separates, isolates, alienates, retreats, and escapes. It achieves this by integrating buildings with nature, center with periphery, local character with global forces, the various professions involved with urban growth and development, the university and the community, and people of different ethnicities, incomes, ages, abilities, and lifestyles. From the machine as model (modernism), to cities of the past as model (postmodernism), integral urbanism finds models simultaneously in ecology and new information technologies such as thresholds, ecotones, tentacles, rhizomes, webs, networks, the world wide web, & the internet. From ecology, it adopts the logic that the health and well-being of places derives from optimizing numerous variables rather than trying to maximize one variable6. And from new information technologies, it learns about the distributed, dynamic, and resilient qualities of networks. In contrast to earlier models, these suggest the importance of connectedness and dynamism as well as the principle of complementarity. Integral urbanism and the landscape it generates reflect the complementary human urges to merge (connect) and to separate (preserve distinction), with the resultant ongoing tension and dynamism. On the ecological threshold where two ecosystems meet, for instance, there is competition and conflict along with synergy and harmony. There is fear along with adventure and excitement. It is not about good or bad, safety or danger, pleasure or pain, winners or losers. All of these occur on the threshold if it is thriving.



In sum, integral urbanism emphasizes: • Networks rather than boundaries • Relationships and connections rather than isolated objects • Interdependence rather than independence or dependence • Natural and social communities rather than just individuals • Transparency or translucency rather than opacity • Permeability rather than walls • Flux or flow rather than stasis • Connections with nature and relinquishing control, rather than controlling nature • Catalysts, armatures, frameworks, punctuation marks, rather than final products, master plans, or utopias • Integration rather than perfection


The urban and environmental challenges of the last century have prompted a reconsideration of values, goals, and means of achieving them, particularly over the last decade. In contrast to the fast-paced more-is-more mentality, the appeals of simplicity, slowness, spirituality, sincerity, and sustainability are clearly on the rise. Side by side with the still prevalent reactive tendencies of form to follow fiction, finesse, finance, and fear7, myriad proactive initiatives from a wide range of contributors to shaping the environment are shifting the paradigm toward integration. Although there remain obstacles along this path, we are nonetheless passing through a rare historic moment when healthy urban growth and development is aligning with political, economic, and social trends. These include widespread opposition to urban sprawl, interest in conserving the environment and preserving historic urban fabrics, the rise of regional governments, the renaissance of central cities, the exponential growth of neighborhood associations, the avid interest in urban agriculture and community gardens, the establishment of community land trusts, mixed-use development, and transformations wrought by the new eco­no­ my (e-commerce, partnering, and technological convergences). Social trends reflect and coincide with these, expressing a frustration with the fragmented landscapes produced

by conventional urban development and a craving for the excitement, spontaneity, and sense of flow characteristic of truly urban places. In the best case scenarios, the efficiencies allowed by this urban development conserves energy (including human) and other resources while decreasing social isolation, thereby empowering people to envision alternatives and implement change most responsively and creatively. While integral urbanism pertains specifically to urban design, its five qualities might effectively apply to governance, homeland security, management, business, education, mediation, tech­ nology, the arts, and other realms. Applied generally, these qua­­li­ ties translate into regarding organizations as dynamic networks with built-in feedback mechanisms; acknowledging the primacy of relationships and process over products; bringing people and other resources together to achieve efficiencies (optimization); and maintaining an ethic of care and respect for self, others, and the environment. Incorporating these qualities brings a profound shift from competition to synergism, the kind of collaboration that yields outcomes larger than the sum of its parts, not the lowest common denominator. We have been coming full circle or, more accurately, full spiral, by learning from the inherent wisdom of nature and cities of the past, and infusing these with contemporary sensibilities. Rather than choosing to continue or abandon the modern project, our hyper-rational reliance upon information technologies along with a simultaneous revalorization of process, relationships, and complementarity is conspiring to eradicate the either/or proposition. We are doing both simultaneously, each providing feedback for and adjusting the other accordingly, holding potential for achieving integration at another level. The modern era divided the world and our thinking about it into fragments and our landscape followed. We are suffering the results. Without shifting into reverse, integral urbanism seeks to put a brake on the continual fragmentation of our landscapes and lives through proactive design and policy solutions. Resolutely refusing to idealize the past or to escape

the present, integral urbanism seeks to mend seams in the urban and social fabrics by acknowledging contemporary challenges and realizing informed and inspired alternatives for an enriched future. Crises and stress incite growth and change in all life forms. The kind of change that occurs may support or detract from the health and well-being of the system depending upon its level of resilience and intelligence. Integral urbanism is shifting the ground for a new era, by offering the soul food necessary for our cities and communities to blossom and truly thrive. Not merely survive.

NOTES integrate: To form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole; to unite with something else; to end the segregation of and bring into equal membership in society or an organization; desegregate; to become integrated integral: Essential to completeness, lacking nothing essential, formed as a unit with another part integrity: Adherence to artistic or moral values; incorruptibility; soundness; the quality or state of being complete and undivided; completeness REFERENCES 1 This essay is adapted and appened from Integral Urbanism by Ellin, Routledge, 2008. 2 Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990. 3 Nan Ellin, ed., Architecture of Fear, 1997, Princeton Architectural Press. 4 Jane Jacobs, The Nature of Economies, 2000, Modern Library. 5 Nan Ellin, “’Canal Villages’ Could Become Phoenix Legacy,” Arizona Republic, March 26, 2008. 6 Richard T.T. Forman, Land Mosaics, 1995, Cambridge University Press, p. 515. 7 Nan Ellin, Postmodern Urbanism, 1999, Princeton Architectural Press.


NAN ELLIN is Professor and Chair, Planning Dept., University of Utah. She holds an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. She has previously taught at the University of Cincinnati, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), University of Southern California, and New York University. Ellin is the author of Integral Urbanism (2006) and Postmodern Urbanism (1996; revised 1999). Her numerous articles and essays have appeared in Journal of Urban Design, Journal of Urbanism, Lotus, History of European Ideas, Journal of Architectural Education, Design Book Review, Thresholds, Intersight, Urban Studies Review, The Hedgehog Review, Shade, and the Encyclopedia of New York City, among others.


Where now? After the Creative City 31

malcolm miles professor of cultural theory, university of plymouth

Since the 1980s, culturally-led renewal has been a key response to urban de-industrialisation following a shift of material production to the global South. Amid contested claims to space and visibility by diverse publics, and the rise of globalisation enabled by the de-regulation of trade and labour conditions under neo-liberal administrations across the global North, the arts were seen by city authorities as contributing to the symbolic economies required for global competition for inward investment and tourism. But if the arts seemed non-controversial, resting on a claim to universal benefit derived from Enlightenment philosophy, the benefits of arts-led urban renewal were not even in distribution. Citycentre schemes did not always regenerate peripheralised communities or local economies. Now, after the 2008 crash and subsequent cuts in arts funding, it is time to ask whether culture was an effective or equitable solution to urban ills or whether, now, there may be a rise of dissident arts practices for a different kind of change.

Cultural turns

De-industrialisation was accompanied by a shift to immaterial production in the creative sector - digital communications, advertising, public relations, financial services, and cultural institutions. This sector was regarded as the agent of regeneration, both directly and in the construction of a new creative class of young professionals. Creative enterprises re-used redundant industrial sites, created jobs, and most importantly contributed to a city’s image for external perception. One of the first gestures in this cultural turn in urban policy was the decision to hold a garden festival in Liverpool after unrest in the city’s Toxteth district in 1981. The Liverpool Garden Festival of 1984 was followed by festivals in Glasgow, Gateshead, Stoke, and Ebbw Vale. The sites were scripted for redevelopment, but in Liverpool this began only in 2011 - a gated enclave of apartments and town-houses - while the site was derelict in the intervening years. After 1984, with a growth in public art (including in the garden festivals), the case for art as a means to urban renewal was put persuasively by employees and consultants in an expanding arts infrastructure, though many of the claims were too vague to be demonstrable.1 In 2005, under pressure for data to support cultural investment, Tessa Jowell, UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, announced a further policy turn: maintaining the expediency of art, Jowell also asserted the primacy of ‘what the arts can do in themselves.2 ’ This cannot be measured.

During the cultural turn, a key strategy was the insertion of flagship cultural institutions in de-industrialised zones. The Guggenheim, Bilbao, by Frank Gehry, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Barcelona (MACBA) by Richard Meier were newbuild schemes but many new institutions re-used redundant buildings, such as the Tate Liverpool in a Victorian warehouse, and Tate Modern in a modern power station. There were cultural quarters, toom such as Castlefield in Manchester and El Raval in Barcelona.3 The most recent examples of new flagship buildings in Britain are the Hepworth, Wakefield and the Turner Contemporary, Margate; but they may be the last in a generation of projects, now the money has run out. A withdrawal of support for prestigious arts buildings has begun in other European countries as well. In Spain, for instance, the Niemeyer Centre in Aviles has recently closed for at least six months, and construction has been halted on a City of Culture in Santiago de Compostella (as well as Huesca airport). In the cultural turn, the arts became an element in a public-private partnership in which buildings and property values became the dominant factor in urban renewal; today, post-crash, the arts are also casualties.





In Britain and North America, cultural expediency became the norm, linked to economic renewal benefiting urban and transnational elites.4 In the European Community (EC), culture had a different inflection. Saskia Sassen describes the financial services districts of New York, London and Tokyo as a single ‘global city’ unified by digital communication,5 but the EC has few such centres – only London and Frankfurt – so that culture is a means to draw a map of another kind of profiler. Cities of Culture thus become the identifiers of an EC culture-map, creating visibility aligned with but exclusively linked to economies.6 Glasgow (1990) and Liverpool (2008) thus sought to reverse economic decline by drawing on their architectural and cultural pasts. Weimar (1999) drew on the legacies of Goethe and Schiller, and the Bauhaus. Dublin, however, was City of Culture in 1991, coinciding with the rise of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger economy and redevelopment of the city’s Temple Bar area as an arts quarter; today Temple Bar is a drinking zone – stag nights and hen parties while unfinished building projects and empty office blocks characterise the post-crash city. As I write, Occupy Dublin activists are

camped outside the Central Bank. A passer-by reminded me, it contains no money now. Is there a parallel between the creativity with financial transactions which produced the crash, and the claims made for the arts? Did the arts mask failures in other policy areas? Did the problems of structural economic change require structural solutions? In Bilbao, questions remain as to the Guggenheim’s function, as a global art brand, in marginalising Basque culture.7 In contrast, Barcelona created a specifically Catalan cultural infra-structure serving local publics as well as tourists.8 But Barcelona has a unique political history: a bastion of the Spanish Republic in 1937, oppressed by the fascists, celebrating economic and cultural freedoms after Franco’s death in 1975. When it hosted the Olympic Games in 1992, the city’s politics were referenced in the reconstruction of Josep Sert’s pavilion for Republic at the 1937 Paris World Exposition. Nonetheless, despite a liberal planning regime since the 1850s, Barcelona moved to a market-led policy in the late 1990s in the redevelopment of El Raval as a cultural quarter. Monica Degen observes that demolitions to make a new Ramblas there, and refurbishment of the remaining blocks to attract young

professionals, meant, ‘the new buildings and streets … are not accepted as fitting aesthetically and socially into the neighbourhood.’9 Cultural re-coding tends to gentrification.10 Designer bars replace working-class drinking places around Tate Modern, while new apartments house the young professionals who work in the city’s financial sector over the Thames. Tate has moved the cultural centre of London to one of its poorest boroughs, and has preserved free admission, but it re-codes the area as a zone of cultural consumption - and itself as a global cultural brand. Esther Leslie writes, “Tate is a brand that niche-markets art experience. Its galleries are showrooms. However, this is still art and not just business. The commodity must not show too glossy a face. The reclamation of an industrial space […] lends the building a fashionably squatted aspect […].”11 Tate extracts culture from politics and social contest to render its experience as a universal good adapted for globalisation’s seamless (and illusory) non-society. Sharon Zukin writes, ‘these strategies … reduce the multiple dimensions and conflicts of

culture to a coherent visual representation.’ 12 Meanwhile, in Liverpool, the evaluation of its year as Capital of Culture shows that in some districts only a third of people felt the events were relevant to them. Around the city’s main football ground terraces of Victorian houses are empty and boarded up, awaiting demolition in a failed policy to revive the housing market by a new version of slum clearance.13 NOW … ?

Since 2008, redevelopment has had less use for culture, moving to post-code clearance in London. A resident of a social housing area scripted for demolition says, ‘We are the wrong sort of people in the right sort of postcode … sitting on a golden nugget of land. They’ve never thought for one minute that we’re human beings.’ 14 After 2008, there is anger. In the summer of 2011 there were riots and looting in several English cities. Culture cannot deal with crises of that kind, denoting social breakdown. Now, instead of art for gentrification, there is a rise in art which, outside the funding system, seeks to interrupt gentrification and globalisation, which rejects dominant strategies,



and is politicised. As artists Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan write, a re-emerging avant-garde contests culture, towards a ‘critique of contemporary society’.15 In the window of a bar in Copenhagen, near the Central Station, a notice announces that its fashion parties have been cancelled. The hipsters are asked to move on. This is an art work against gentrification produced by the Hamburg-based group Park Fiction, following their interruption of gentrification in that city’s St Pauli district. Christoph Schaefer and Cathy Stevens, participants in Park Fiction, describe their work as a practical critique of planning ‘from the perspective of its users’.16 Informed by Henri Lefebvre, they add, “The decisive point for us is that the city is appropriated space, that the process of urbanisation describes a process of appropriation.”17 They take the idea of appropriation (or re-occupation) as a tactic against gentrification and the political-economic mechanisms of which it is a symptom. Growing from the squatters’ movement of the 1980s, Park Fiction worked with diverse local publics to reclaim as public space, and then to co-design, a park in a riverfront site set aside for redevelopment.

All Our Fashion Parties Are Cancelled • bar in Copenhagen, 2011


To me this kind of cultural work, which no longer requires the label Art, denotes a renewed radicalism in keeping with current occupations of city spaces. Art cannot solve the urban ills produced by neo-liberalism but, obliquely, with wit and aesthetic engagement, it can create a gap in the dominant narrative: a moment of interruption enabling other social and political visions to appear. This is like Lefebvre’s idea that moments of wonder and sudden clarity can occur in the lives of everyone, both fleetingly and transformatively. Perhaps, then, today’s radical art will not seek to replace one failed solution with another as instrumental, but will draw out the transformative sense of being there among others in moments when the madness of the dominant system is fractured. Interruption is the possibility for cultural work today.


MALCOLM MILES is Professor of Cultural Theory, School of Architecture, University of Plymouth, UK and author of Herbert Marcuse: An aesthetics of liberation (London, Pluto Press, 2011).

Park Fiction • co-designed public space, St Pauli • Hamburg


REFERENCES 1 Selwood, S. The Benefits of Public Art, London, Policy Studies Institute, 1995 2 Jowell, T. Why Should Government Support the Arts? Engage, 17, p. 6 3 Degen, M. M. Sensing Cities: Regenerating public life in Barcelona and Manchester, London, Routledge, 2008; Bell, D. and Jayne, M. eds. City of Quarters: Urban Villages in the Contemporary City, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2004 4 Yudice, G. The Expediency of Culture, Durham (NC), Duke University Press, 2003 5 Sassen, S. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton (NJ), Princeton University Press, 1991 6 Miles, M. Cities and Cultures, London, Routledge, 2007, pp. 121-142 7 Gonzalez, J. M. Bilbao: Culture, citizenship, and quality of life in Bianchini, F. and Parkinson, M. eds Cultural Policy and Urban Regeneration, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1993, pp. 73-89 8 Dodd, D. Barcelona: the making of a cultural city, in Dodd, D. and van Hemmel, A. eds. Planning Cultural Tourism in Europe, Amsterdam, Boekmann Foundation, 1999, pp. 53-64 9 Degen, p. 156 10 Lees, L., Slater, T. and Wyle, E., Gentrification, London, Routledge, 2008 11 Leslie, E. (2001) Tate Modern: A Year of Sweet Success, Radical Philosophy, 109, p. 3 12 Zukin, S. (1996) Cultural Strategies of Economic Development and the Hegemony of Vision in Merrifoeld, A. and Swyngedouw, E. eds (1996) The Urbanization of Injustice, London, Lawrence and Wishart, pp. 227 13 Minton, A. Ground Control: Fear and happiness in the twenty-first-century city, London, Penguin, 2009 14 in Hill, D. 2011, The battle of Earl’s Court, The Guardian, 9 March, Society, p. 3 15 Hewitt, A. and Jordan, M. A Transformative Art Gallery, in Hewitt, A. and Jordan, M. eds. Futurology, Walsall, The New Art Gallery, 2009, p. 16 16 Park Fiction (2006) Rebellion on Level p 17 Ibid

The urban landscape

N55 • From the workshop Urban Free Habitat System • Metropolis 2008



DIVERSE URBAN SPACE nicolai carlberg

How can we design social landscapes which contain the safe and the well known as well as differences? Nicolai Carlberg asks...

the diversity of neighbourhoods like Vesterbro, we would prefer to live next to someone who is similar to ourselves. Even if we have a fear of the spread of ghettos, we still feel safest in our own ghetto.

When we see black glazed brick on yet another detached house, we either shake our heads in puzzlement, despise it, or nod approvingly. The good life is lived in multiple ways, but we become blind to what is familiar. We will regard measure and arrange the world in accordance with our own norms and values. Groups or whole generations with common experiences and value systems create lifestyles, trends and sub cultures. Some groups are provoked by the spread of rubber surfaces and caffe lattes in many new public spaces in the city; others cheer it on.

THE RIGHT BALANCE So how do we create spaces with the right balance? How do we design social landscapes that are both safe and familiar, but at the same time allow for differences? Classical sociologists like Sharon Zukin and Richard Sennett have long pointed out how the cities of the world become fragmented and dispersed, both in terms of physical and social space. In particular, the socially challenged and the working classes get pushed out to the periphery as a result of the middle classes taking over the cities. But few have made a proper bid on the tools to create spaces where different groups want to be at the same time. The Dutch urban researchers Arnold Reijndorp and Maarten Hajer give their commandments in the book In Search of a New Public Domain (NAI Publishers, Rotterdam, 2001). Central to their argument is the premise that you have to feel safe in order to involve yourself in a meeting with a stranger. That means that it is the character and the quality of the boundaries and transitions in the city that decide whether different groups will be present and interact with each other in the public realm.

ethnologist and co-founder, hausenberg

THE GOOD LIFE The numerous architects and planners, who today work around the world to vary, transform and improve modernism’s big homogenous developments, know that the consequences can be enormous when one particular idea about the good life becomes an overriding ideology. So, in the future, if we want to create frameworks for the good life, we have to work from a pluralistic understanding of the term. The physical framework we are creating is supposed to give meaning to many different lifestyles and phases in life. That is why designers are working increasingly more interdisciplinary, engaging the end user into the design processes and often basing their work and analysis not only on the physical landscape, but also on the social landscape.

CHOOSING SIMILARITY To work with social and cultural differences is fascinating, but filled with dilemmas. On the one hand, differences contribute to the creation of conflicts and struggle. On the other hand, differences also drive us to new realizations, give us experiences and breed innovation and development. While we might cherish

Yuppie Raus! • Newly opened lifestyle stores in an old railway viaduct in Zürich

FRICTION WITHOUT EXCLUSION The design of social landscapes is not about making something for different groups, each with its own corner. The focus should be on the boundaries and their ability to bring the differences as close together as possible without leading into damaging conflict. The harbour promenade on Västra Hamnen in Malmö is a good example of how intelligent layout and use of design have created a social landscape where many different groups feel at home. Each and every group can enjoy each other’s presence, but on their own premises. There is friction without exclusion.


UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY The notion that good boundaries are a key premise for diverse city spaces is challenged by trends that promote floating, borderless and transparent spaces: Open office plans, multifunctional and flexible spaces, schools without classrooms, and glass as the prevailing material in both homes and workplaces. The intention is often the same: to increase exchange, to create something for everyone and to invite people to interact. But when the boundaries are dissolved, the differences dilute and leave the users with a feeling of uncertainty and insecurity. How close can you walk to a private home with a glazed façade? My point is that the differences do not disappear with the absence of boundaries. Sometimes we establish the missing boundaries ourselves to create order. We put up blinds in big windows, plant private signs, or clearly mark the site owner’s area with flower pots on the pavement.


HEALTHY CONFRONTATION Should we stay separated? The answer is obviously no. As I have already indicated, economy, pleasant experiences and rich development are among the advantages of mingling. Also, it is necessary for our basic formation as responsible citizens to be confronted with those who live differently from us. Social landscapes, which manage to bring us together, can help us become better people. NOTE Diverse Urban Space was originally published in the exhibition catalogue Manmade Environment New Nordic Scopes, 2010 by Norsk Form at the 4th Oslo Architecture Triennale.

NICOLAI CARLBERG is an ethnologist and co-founder of Hausenberg in Copenhagen.

Borders in urban space rarely consist of fences, like here in manchester, but are often subtle transitions and zonings that emerge in the interaction between form, material and function and spatial disposition

Urban space -­­ ­ the familiar into the strange


Changes are a major indicator of our times. Change processes affect our work, our private life, our social relations and have natural consequences for urban planning and the development of urban spaces. The question is how planning of cities and urban spaces can both be solid and adjustable in order to assimilate the changes that take place – without the development losing track? JUUL | FROST Architects has developed value based potentiality planning as an open, adjustable and sustainable planning tool. This article represents the practice’s approach towards urban planning and the development of a future proof planning tool.

Hyllie’s new structure towards the south, a strategic tool

helle juul architect and partner juul | frost ARCHITECTS


In the beginning was the city. But even in the beginning the city was not static. The primary characteristic of cities is – and has always been – changes. Cities are organic and are developed in correspondence with changes in economic, technological and social conditions. The major strength of cities is their inherent diversity that makes it possible for people to meet regardless of their interests, age, social and ethnic affiliations. This is one of the reasons why cities throughout the ages have functioned as meeting places, experience zones, innovation and incubator environments. If cities don’t meet these requirements, it has an impact on society as a whole. If citizens entrench themselves – as a consequence of public spaces being forced away by private interests and selfish causes – the social cohesion and its possibilities to develop disappear.

Planning in a new context 49

The question is how urban planners can underpin the possibilities of cities to adapt changes? Economy, immigration, unemployment, family patterns and political displacements are all variable factors that affect cities and the urban life that takes place in them. We live in individualised cities where we interpret and apply meaning to the surroundings on the basis of our own background and preferences. This is certainly a quality worth nourishing. On the other hand there is a permanent risk that the individualised city closes itself in excluding communities. How can we find a balance between the self experienced, consumption orientated city and a space for exchanges, where we all learn from each other? The challenge for urban planners is therefore to develop adjustable and solid cities that are open towards changes and at the same time strengthen their diversity so cities become turning points for developing new types of communities.

New planning tools

This imposes new demands upon urban planning. Urban spaces are not solely an issue for municipality planners. Cities no longer

develop by themselves – they are developed because opposites meet which again makes new urban qualities emerge. In order to strengthen urban diversity, an interdisciplinary approach towards urban planning is important.

that is adjustable and is continuously capable of assimilating the changes that take place. The foundation of value based potentiality planning is a horizontal method that incorporates city, space, life forming and the body:

One result of the current economic condition is that large development projects are not realized as rapidly as a few years ago. This represents an obvious occasion to stop and think about where we are going: We believe that society is moving from a knowledge society towards a value society. As a consequence of this, urban planning is transformed from being a functionally grounded discipline towards a discipline that increasingly focuses on the values of current and future users. Successful planning takes its point of departure in people. People that use urban spaces, their behaviour, their stance and their social interaction. Communities should be a starting point for developing urban spaces and urban spaces should function as the social glue that connects the city. There is a need to develop new planning tools that can secure a user driven urban development where the social life lays the foundation for the architectural design. First of all, this implies effective methods that lead to an understanding of the users and their values. Furthermore there is a need to develop new planning tools that convert values and potentials to useful development strategies: value based potentiality planning is a tool that can future proof urban development.

City is the meta-frame and constitutes the context of urban space. A city is a complex and changeable size that consists of relations and impressions. It is a question of correlations to the surroundings and an overall view of the city and the many functions that exist in it.

Citizens as meaning creators in urban spaces

Value based potentiality planning is a flexible planning tool that focuses on values and potentials as a basis for urban development. A holistic approach towards planning is based upon a broad interdisciplinary foundation that represents a movement away from the rigid and locked master plans of modernity where everything was planned and closed from the start. Traditional master plans seek to anticipate a future that no one can predict. This is one of the reasons for their failure when the time span is stretched over a couple of decades. As a contrast, value based potentiality planning is an open tool

Space demarcates itself physically and/or mentally in relation to other spaces. Urban spaces are the glue that connect the city. They are not solitary units but are always part of a more or less defined context and their expressions are made up of relations, physical elements and social practises. Life forming covers the actions of the individual in social groups in urban spaces. Different conditions create different life forms that are part of more or less robust communities. Central questions are – among other things - How is the urban life lived? By whom? and who do we wish to attract? The body is our tool to perceive, for movement and action. A person acts and moves as a reaction to the combination of the experienced and the sensed. The sensual actions of the body therefore have a great impact on a person’s use of and movement in urban spaces. By addressing these four themes, value based potentiality planning represents a future proof and holistic approach that makes users of urban spaces co-producers in line with the physical surroundings.

To plan in a changing environment

Changes are a fundamental condition that has to be integrated in planning of urban spaces. Future planning strategies will only become successful if we dare to work with an open approach. In

the future, attractive urban spaces will be robust and adjustable at the same time. Robustness secures that the development of a given area is based upon values that become indicator for future development. On the other hand, adjustability leaves room for development concurrently with changes that take place. The long term strategy is based upon a deeply rooted set of values while pilot projects of a more temporary character set the scene for future development.

The temporary leaves room for experiments and increases diversity

The current economic climate reduces the pace at which large development projects are realized. One of the consequences is that in the course of the next years we will see more temporary activities. They leave room for experiments because they are not dependent upon huge construction costs, but operate on the basis of a minor and more foreseeable economic engagement. Cities have to contain diversity and urban spaces should become meeting places that increase insight and knowledge for the unfamiliar. In this context, the temporary can be a tool that stimulates understanding towards diversity, changes and the liquidity of urban life by focusing on temporary spaces for meeting, dialogue, curiosity, experiments and art. Planners have to adjust themselves towards globalisation as a condition that lays a foundation for a new cultural experience and a parameter that has to be approached in planning strategies of the future. Temporary projects are able to increase tolerance in the city. First of all, temporary use of spaces creates awareness and outlines the values that future development will pursue. Secondly – by focusing on diversity and changes in cultures, lifestyles, art, taste and functionality of urban spaces – planners are able to challenge people and their thinking patterns. Temporary approaches can contribute to an understanding of changeability, create reflexions and establish meetings that confront us with the unfamiliar.


The future?

The urban spaces of the future will become meeting places for a – continuously – increasingly varied urban population. The planning tools of the future should therefore remain open towards many possibilities. Futuribles is a term coined by the French avant-garde movement bearing the same name. It can be translated with many futures and pinpoints the challenges planners face. Working with futuribles is a question of imagining different perspectives on a certain development. Through futuribles it is possible to mobilize foresight. It is a question of sensing something at its incipient stage – a way to practice for the future. We have to accept the unpredictability as a basic term and hereby remain open towards the future. Value based planning is a way to be foresighted – without closing any opportunities. Futuribles open for a multitude of potentials instead of pursuing one perspective or one singular alternative.

HELLE JUUL, Architect MAA, Ph.D., partner and co-owner of Juul | Frost Architects, an innovative and internationally oriented practice with expertise within architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture. The studio spans a broad professional range and is an expert in developing cities and transformation areas, as well as new types of buildings in urban contexts.

Hyllie’s new structure towards the south – a strategic tool




Over a period of three weeks in August 2011, Bureau Detours occupied Prags Boulevard in Copenhagen with their portable workshop, exhibition and office containers. With their usual power and pace, Bureau Detours instantly undertook urban studies and created a platform for workshops and exhi­ bitions, which provided visitors with daily updates and enabled them to participate in the activities.

BUREAU DETOURS AT Prags Boulevard • Metropolis 2011

The diverse and dynamic cultural collective Bureau Detours operates on the borderline between art, design and architecture. With great social commitment, and through a wide range of different expressions and media, they put the boundaries and limits of public space to the test. The Bureau’s favorite “playground” is the cityscape where they, through various projects, create customized oases and a framework in which new relations and interactions between people can evolve and emerge. They call it “2nd Generation City Planning”.



Bike BQ touring in the local neighbourhood around Prags Boulevard

The Board Shop in front of the Danish Design Centre in central Copenhagen





architect and director, terroir


As I complete this essay in the week before the Copenhagen summit, I can hear the steady increase in focus on sustainability by the wider public reaching a crescendo. Copenhagen is the third key marker – after Kyoto in 1997 and Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth in 2004 – in a decade-long increase in focus on sustainable issues. Accompanying this increased awareness in the public realm has been more focused positioning on sustainability by Governments worldwide. This is particularly so in Scandinavia where barely no aspect of life has been spared the influx of new “sustainable” products and services along with some form of corporate or marketing statement about lowering carbon outputs. However, in the face of this frenzied re-branding of everything we use and eat as “sustainable”, the views of Australian academic Alexander Cuthbert provides an important reminder that “sustainable consumption” is in itself something of an oxymoron, and that we should try to resist the anesthetic

power of the word “sustainability” when presented in regard to products and services. We should look deeper into the implications of changing consultation patterns rather than simply maintaining them with slightly altered offer. In architecture, this would mean the application of a more critical eye over claims for sustainability made in corporate profiles and competition entries. We are now regularly seeing architectural projects with the most basic levels of thermal performance, cross ventilation and glass shading sustainability being presented as the “sustainability” package. These techniques – a traditional part of any adequate basic design capability from an architect – receive special mentions in competition citations and project presentations.


In Scandinavia, it seems that the situation has mutated to the extent that if you do not show some coloured arrows and sun diagrams on architectural drawings it is considered that you probably did not address sustainability issues and so are penalised. So, as competition juries fall under the spell of simplistic environmental diagrams, I wonder why you would mention these techniques at all when they are part of basic practice anyway? I worry that the sustainability industry as it is currently constructed and practiced may well become the most significant constraint upon the successful resolution of the environmental problems we now face. For, armed with the tools of political-economic theory, the expanded passage from which Cuthbert’s quote has been taken is an eloquent critique of the sustainability industry and in particular the corruption of it by capital. My argument here will focus directly on the practice of architecture, where in this age of green tools, green

Upsala glacier

“The very concept of sustainability has been colonised by big capital and turned into another huge marketing operation to guarantee the reproduction of corporate profits. The idea of sustainable design is locked into this paradigm, where solutions are constrained to areas where big business can make money, almost exclusively limited to technical fixes in the form of photovoltaic cells, solar energy hot water systems, double glazing panels, light rail systems and recycling materials of value. Unfortunately there is no technical fix to the problems we now confront in designing cities, which are primarily about sustainable value systems in the face of enormous problems of equity and environment worldwide.” Alexander Cuthbert1

products and green consultancies, the view is rarely put that the problem of a sustainable future (one in which humanity might have the opportunity to participate) is not essentially technological, but instead is centred in human desire. To this end, architecture should be more than mere armature for the paraphernalia of the sustainability industry, but should contribute to the production of critical work that fosters our desire to live poetically and more sustainably on the earth.

Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, is an example of the poetic approach. By juxtaposing images of glacial formations in a “before and after” format, the impact of a changing climate was finally registered by a world population that had given little consideration to the issue “en masse”. As well as this arresting use of images, Gore displayed technical data to maximum graphic effect, creating a desire in those who watched the film to arrest the current trend. The impact was immense.


Within a single month in 2004, awareness of global warming increased incalculably among the general population. This in turn further increased the fizz of activity in the construction industry, as everyone rushed to get accredited, rated, certified, or in some cases even personally endorsed by big Al himself as one of his “ambassadors”. Gore’s “compare and contrast” technique is in the tradition of wilderness campaigns, such as the seminal Gordon-belowFranklin Dam debate that took place in Tasmania (Australia) in the early 1980s. This battle is a major touchstone for our practice, and indeed, it was formative for an entire Tasmanian generation. As children we were introduced to a form of politics based on clear conceptual and ethical frameworks (as opposed to detailed debates about data), the communication of which was enhanced through the power of images. A cornerstone of this campaign was the way in which the arguments of those protesting the 63

dam was reinforced by a single image – “Rock Island Bend” by Tasmanian wilderness photographer Peter Dombrovskis – which harnessed compassion from a global audience for the plight of the river. While that campaign was successful, the Australian national Government was voted out of office and the dam was stopped, the response to the Gore film has been characterised by more consumption. We are buying more solar panels, low energy light bulbs, low water-use showerheads, sustainable fabrics in fashion and organic food than ever before. We are buying more of anything with a “green” endorsement. Green consumers are being encouraged to keep buying more products – not to consume less. Similarly, in architectural practice we are regularly asked to ensure projects are “sustainable” yet these requests are rarely accompanied by lifestyle changes beyond the consumption of more appropriate technology. This practice serves only to perpetuate consumption of this technology as the key image of sustainable outcomes. Many of the architects reading this will have been faced with this hypocrisy – my favourite was a request to design a “sustainable house” in a remote location which the client accessed via a long drive in their Porsche Cayenne.

Starbucks Ethos Water

The problem we face is that this rationale – save the world by commissioning a new eco-home – exemplifies the current state of our consumer culture, a culture predicated upon the belief that personal betterment can be achieved via consumption. Disturbingly, this trend has been encouraged by many of the eco-practitioners within our profession, perhaps because they too remain blissfully unaware of the critical flaws in their position, busy as they are surfing the heady wave of liquidity that accompanies the distribution of ESD advice.

Sustainability practice

This paradoxical focus on consumption as our saviour has contributed to the emergence of two mechanisms by which sustainability practice is often measured. The first is the idea that we can make a profound difference via compliance with

green tools – in Denmark this includes BR08 and soon the DEA ratings that will apply across the EU; the second is the idea that where politically incorrect consumption occurs, we can absolve our sins by purchasing carbon credits. While both mechanisms are based on a genuine attempt to ease pressure on the environment, the pressure of consumption is far greater. Exemplar projects lead the charge to consumption for more exemplar projects rather than a change in the amount or type of projects being developed. Sustainability tools are at the core of the idea that we can indulge in “sustainable practice” – a practice supported by accreditations and benchmarks designed to measure our performance and prove the extent of our “sustainability”. Of course, these tools and measures do have a positive role to play as part of the solution, as they can achieve specific results in terms of the various forms of recurrent consumption in particular. However, most tools currently being used do not address consumption with the aggression required to make substantive change within the timeframes suggested by climate change analysts. Disturbingly, awarding these accreditations to new large buildings reinforces the idea that “sustainable development” is not an oxymoron. Most of the tools we have used are subject to exclusions, generalisations and simplifications that arise because of the need for a simple and standardised measurement framework. Questions then arise as to the effectiveness of these tools in procuring a sustainable built environment. In addition to this question of their effectiveness, green or sustainable measurement and accreditation tools have acted as an intellectual anesthetic, convincing society that we are making great inroads when this is often not the case. For example, last year we had a small house addition in Australia fail the thermal performance criteria of the green ratings system which all houses in Sydney must pass to be approved for construction. By keeping an existing house (with its old window proportions and sizing), the crude mathematics

of the software we have to use failed the development on the basis of “thermal performance”. To make the project comply, a range of specialist materials – opaque glasses and motorized metal louvers – were added. Yes, we were required to increase consumption to pass the green rating tool. In frustration, we ran an alternate certificate for the project: demolishing the existing building; replacing it with something larger; installing air conditioning in every room; building a larger pool; allocating a million lights; and clad the whole in plutonium. Lo and behold, it passed! Meanwhile another hillside in the Australian desert would be blown up to provide the raw materials for this building which is an accredited environmental outcome. Thus, we can see that these rating tools have become the carbon credits of our profession, rewarding a culture that pays to pollute in preference to making substantive conceptual changes. The danger in these tools, and in the similarly flawed logic that permeates the practice of many sustainability experts, is that they allow for a sense of personal emotional resolution to the problems of sustainability, while in practice the tools not only have limited effect – they actually serve to delay substantive action. The impression is created that global warming is being addressed via modified and targeted consumption – and not by changing our consumption habits more dramatically.

The case for building less

In this context, it is worth reviewing research that compares the impact of new “sustainable” buildings with the re-use of existing buildings without green credentials. This date is particularly important in Europe where the cities are “completed” such that more opportunities exist to re-use or augment existing buildings when compared to the developing world which is struggling with massive population and city growth. Australian sustainability expert Craig Roussac has developed simple tabulations which show the difference between re-use



and replacement. Roussac notes that “a building’s operating energy is only a fraction of the energy required to build it in the first place” 2. His Investa Sustainability Institute estimates this ratio as 1:24 – that is it takes a typical medium-sized office building 24 years to use more energy through operating than was required to build it.


In this context, the concept of a new building paying back its embodied energy over its lifetime is highly suspect. When the construction of a new building requires demolition of an existing one, the situation is even more unbalanced. To make this point, Roussac shows the graph reproduced here. An existing building is upgraded to best practice, using less energy than it did before, while as an alternative this building is demolished and a new green building put in its place. In its first 25 years of operation this new green building will use double the total energy of the refit. If one waited until the new building would finally pay back its carbon debt, we would be waiting 190 years, which is beyond the life cycle of most contemporary buildings. At TERROIR we have been working through a series of exemplar projects to make a claim, in a built work, for this approach. Our Maitland City Bowls is one such example. An existing lawn bowling club required the demolition of its existing premises and a new building put in place which

“rebranded” the club and would provide new facilities to members. This was a dream project, with a 5000 m2 public-use facility situated on a picturesque context of the bowling green. We elected however to keep the existing building, despite its very low grade quality and poor architectural qualities. A new roof was added – a giant “sustainability rucksack” which covers the 5000 m2 area of the building below. This rucksack captures water for use on the bowling greens, shades the existing building and provides a place for new skylights and air handling equipment. The form of the roof is a negotiation between these pragmatic concerns, the form of the existing building, and a response to the mountains seen in the distance beyond which “place” the community and project. The result is a strange hybrid, with the existing (ugly) building topped by a parasite which keeps its host alive, the form of which is dependant on the functions it has to perform. This is a long way from what we know as Scandinavian design.

DEATH OF THE LANDMARK BUILDING? One Danish architectural practice has noted on its website that “we design landmarks”. While this may be true, the question is whether this is a sustainable business model if we are to make real inroads into sustainability practice in the future. The war of statistics that sustains the debates around the merits of the various tools and carbon-trading measures necessitates a conceptual “cutting through” in the interests of seriously stimulating the debate and thus effecting greater change. I suggest that we may have to dismantle the ‘images of green’ which we hold dear – such as new “sustainable buildings” – and replace them with more accurate representations. In architecture, this means shifting our focus from the creation of landmark projects, to the creation of a desire for alternative visions. Consuming less in architectural terms presents challenges for the profession – both in terms of the sustainability of the business of architecture as it is currently structured, and in terms of the aesthetic orthodoxies that govern practice.

I suggest this is a particular challenge in a Scandinavian context where – from Jacobsen to BIG – clear organizational diagrams which result in elegant, precise objects are not only preferred, but culturally embedded as the “right” response. However, building less – and more sustainably – might be a messy business. This will require parasites attached to existing buildings, transplants emerging out of existing fabric and collages of new and old. Thus, the greatest contribution we make to the environment may be an aesthetic one, replacing the current preference for the clean lines which so typify Scandinavian design with new spaces and places with a new aesthetic built upon the potential of the parasite. And in building less, there is a great role for architecture – for it is then imperative that new work is of an even higher quality. Further, the difficulties of this surgical work will need considerable time from exemplary architects and thus should proportionally increase fees. Thus new benchmarks should be set to assist the potential for a more sustainable future that go beyond the twirling propellers that dominate architectural competition entries at present. However, until we increase desire for a new aesthetic, it is unlikely we will build less. Rather than having a future practice built on messy surgical adjustments to old buildings, we will continue with the wholesale replacement of fabric that does not fit within a pre-existing aesthetic framework. But for every year that we continue to build more, a precious year has been wasted in the battle to redress environmental change. The only way forward is vigorous debate – a debate that many are reluctant to have. I challenge the profession to explore building less, and to set the exploration and mastery of new aesthetic parameters as the key contribution we can make to the sustainability of our planet. If we seriously desire change, we need to propel architectural practice beyond faux sustainability before it is too late.



REFERENCES 1. Cuthbert, Alexander The Form of Cities 2. Roussac, Craig Old Star, green star, Bulletin, Sept/Oct 2009, Australian Institute of Architects, Sydney NOTE The article Sustainability as an aesthetic problem was originally published in Conditions Magazine in December 2009

Maitland City Bowls


GERARD REINMUTH is director of TERROIR, one of Australia’s foremost critical and research-based practices. Gerard has recently been made Visiting Professor at Arkitektskolen Aarhus in Denmark, concurrently with TERROIR opening an office in Copenhagen.



Los Angeles architect Christophe Cornubert visited Nordhavnen, the Northern Harbour in Copenhagen, with counter plans to the conventional urban planning and guerrilla improvisations on the recently concluded ideas competition for the harbour’s future.

Nordhavnen as an urban laboratory THE JOURNEY to Nordhavnen’s landscape of containers,

wilderness idyll and spectacular industrial icons follows the railway track and the coastal line northward around the city. The stretches are long and wind-swept, signposting pointing to exotic destinations such as the Orient Basin and the Ocean Club, and at the end of everything, a hazy view directs the gaze towards Sweden. It is here, on the edge of Øresund that CPH City & Port Development in collaboration with the Architects’ Association of Denmark and the Municipality of Copenhagen plan to build the city of the future. For four months, urban planners, architects and interested citizens have had the opportunity to participate in the debate and the competition for a spatial concept and a general structural plan for this the most northern part of Copenhagen’s waterfront. And while future visions for a sustainable, attractive city district with harbour baths, bicycle routes and varying residential buildings have gradually built up the area on a conceptual level, the still raw and uninhabited harbour terrain of real life has been the venue for several cultural events over the summer. These have included this year’s Metropolis Laboratory, a cross artistic biennale and urban think tank, under the heading The City as Stage – The Stage as City arranged by Copenhagen International Theatre, in which the American architect Christophe Cornubert participated with his unconventional workshop. Cornubert has not taken part in the ideas competition for the future of Nordhavnen; his workshop has,

however, been inspired by Nordhavnen’s future development, while concurrently considering this through the urban think tank of the Metropolis Laboratory in order to explore alternative and cross-disciplinary strategies for urban planning in general and Nordhavnen in particular: “In many ways, the workshop has taken its starting point in Metropolis’ general idea of bringing together artists, performance groups, architects, planners and cultural institutions in order to develop alternative development strategies for urban space and the creative city,” Cornubert states. He has previously worked with Rem Koolhaas in the Netherlands on the experimental university building “Educatorium” in Utrecht, and today he has his own awardwinning architecture office, PUSH, in Los Angeles. “I have also focused on the ongoing development of Copenhagen, while experimenting with the conventional ways in which we perceive, navigate, map and read the city. It is about seeing our environment anew and challenging preconceived planning practices,” he explains, as we look around the terrain vague of the northern harbour, which both Cornubert’s Metropolis workshop and Copenhagen’s current development plans have revolved around over the summer.

THE STARTING POINT for Cornubert’s workshop exploration has,

however, not been a sterile raised view over an increasingly empty industrial area. For five days, he and his group of architects and architectural students have practised guerrilla




research, investigating in particular the more inaccessible, deserted and closed zones within the harbour’s topography: “We have been exploring, taking pictures, climbing over fences and drifting through unfamiliar, abandoned buildings and landscapes in order to document Nordhavnen as if we were the first explorers on the North Pole,” Cornubert explains while he unfolds the photo material from the workshop’s urban explorations and points to the area’s position in relation to historical Copenhagen. “Nordhavnen can be seen as an isolated and overlooked appendage, hooked onto the edge of the city. It is quite possible to have lived your entire life in Copenhagen without ever having set foot out here, as it feels like quite a long way and a difficult journey for a lot of people. In this way, you may talk about borders at several levels in connection with the Nordhavnen peninsula. Some are physical and geographical, while others are psychological and related to people’s mental image of Copenhagen. So for this workshop it seemed to make sense to try another method, to supplement purely analytical and demographic data by mapping other less-definable properties and potentials of Nordhavnen. This on-the-ground contact and direct engagement has also tested a more intuitive technique for uncovering and reclaiming some of the area’s secret spaces, to re-establish these places in the collective Copenhagen consciousness,” says Cornubert. The workshop’s tactile “guerrilla research” and reconstruction of the lost and hidden Copenhagen can clearly be traced back to the avant-garde movement ‘Situationist International’, which towards the end of the 1950s went exploring the obscure and marginalized Paris. The incentive that sparked the situationists’ nomadic mapping at the time was to challenge the capitalized space and uncover an everyday oriented, illogical and more authentic city behind the commercial codes. The goal was to revolutionize society by rethinking architecture and changing routines in the urban space. The situationists initiated spontaneous walks across urban boundaries and coincidence games in the public space to create social and artistic situations as well as to gather material about the city’s contrasts, disparity and hidden layers. And although situationist leader Guy Debord

would probably turn in his grave by any non-revolutionary adaptation of situationist guerrilla strategies for the current hegemony, the avant-garde’s experimental mapping has still found its way to Nordhavnen via Cornubert: “The derive could almost be characterized as a scientific method for uncovering inaccessible or lost urban spaces. A fresh adaptation seemed an interesting approach to start our investigation here, where, as in many other cities, a central theme is to rediscover and reimagine these derelict post-industrial and waterfront areas. There is also the idea that the city is seen as a dynamic series of spaces, streets, flows, and experiences that unfold and change over time, as opposed to a static geography inscribed by a plan. The workshop has borrowed from the situationists’ strategies as a sort of template with Nordhavnen as laboratory. Not in order to run conventional planning completely off the field, but in order to generate an alternative mapping, a different layer to the master plan,” Cornubert explains.

At several levels, THE MASTER PLAN has been the methodical wall against which the workshop has tried to play, and which it has tried to modify. The workshop’s alternative mapping could be seen as a direct criticism of the development that has taken place in the southern harbor of Copenhagen, Sydhavnen, which in the same way as Nordhavnen may be characterized as a post-industrial waterfront: “The limitation I see at Sydhavnen is that the master plan – or wall-to-wall planning, as we say in Los Angeles – has not left any kind of openness, neither literally nor on a conceptual level. Each square meter has been thoroughly designed, analyzed and functionally divided. But what if you wanted to open a jazz club, or needed some space for an internet start-up? Unless you live there, you have no reason for going there. The result is the emergence of these anomalies in the midst of the city that have a very high density yet the static and detached qualities of suburbia,” Cornubert explains. On the basis of the workshop’s work, he proposes a more open infrastructure instead. “Rather than using the term “master plan” we have been working with the concept of counter plan”.


Artificial islands In copenhagen • Illustration from Christophe cornubert's Workshop, in which Nordhavnen at the Top of the photo is united with refshale Island and the opera at the bottom


“Instead of calculating how to fill up Nordhavnen, we have tried to strategize how the place can be kept open. The ‘open infrastructure’ can be interpreted literally as collective urban spaces, parks and green areas. But this is also a question of creating urban reserves for future development, future architectures, creating choices for the next generations. Finally this idea should be understood as a program for folding creative, temporary events into the life of the city, what happens when cultural and entrepreneurial activities drive new urban development. It is actually an open question: How can a new master plan model accomodate the more dynamic and changeable urban future?” Cornubert asks, flicking on through the workshop’s collage-like solution proposals and innovative intellectual experiments.


THE WORKSHOP’S illustrations show both the savannahlike nature of Nordhavnen and documentation on abandoned industrial buildings as well as proposals for future city beaches and artificial islands. The fact is, that open infrastructure and counter planning are not merely a question of not building. “Architecture is all about creating possibilities,” Cornubert stresses, and therefore the workshop has focused on both development and preservation in relation to the qualities and potentials of Nordhavnen: “I think anyone who visits Nordhavnen will see the possibilities of the site. To the north, you are confronted by the sea. It’s just you and the open sea, which is a kind of raw nature experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Copenhagen. On the eastern side, you have a view of historical Copenhagen and Refshale Island. And if you venture out to this edge, the city draws so close that you could walk to the Opera, if you were able to walk on water. Being here, you realize that by simply making a series of new connections possible you could transform the dynamics of this place – and Copenhagen – completely,” says Cornubert as he reveals the workshop’s idea of an artificial island as a green connecting point across the harbour entrance. “Think of it as a bridge. With one gesture you overcome the

isolation and disconnection of Nordhavnen, Copenhagen can develop as a continuous ring around the inner harbour”. Another of the workshop’s improvisations on the development of Nordhavnen is demonstrated in a series of colourful variations on the container: the container as a sculptural icon, the container as an architectural event, and the container as building blocks for temporary architecture and utopian full-size cities. “The containers are a ubiquitous part of the landscape of Nordhavnen, and have their own peculiar beauty. We were inspired to use them as a means to stage events, ” Cornubert explains. He points down towards the culture boat MS Halfmachine, which has been moored in Nordhavnen during this year’s Metropolis Laboratory as part of the urban thinktank. “Halfmachine is an excellent example. The boat was originally designed for cable-laying at the bottom of the sea, but today this serves as a floating platform for performances and art events. Similarly, we have played with the idea of cultural events as a driver of the urban transformation, and used the containers as building blocks for architectural experiments. What if you transformed the enormous container yards of Nordhavnen into event-machines where you could create temporary structures and environments? Like testing an airplane design in a wind tunnel, with a rapid staging of events and creative experiments you could test different architectural and urban possibilities, and the best performing structures could be realized in the long run,” Cornubert explains with his hands full of colourful container diagrams. “They should be seen as possibility fragments. The workshop wasn’t meant to be another case for design. On the contrary, we have attempted to develop some techniques that would show how little you need in order to transform a place on the basis of the event as program, and how this knowledge can feedback into new urban development,” he clarifies, with the converted Halfmachine and the heaving traffic of Øresund as his backdrop. The temporary urban space already seems omnipresent precisely at Nordhavnen, where gigantic cruise liners dock from time to time as temporal and monumental apartment complexes in the harbour scenography.

FUNCTIONAL CHANGES based on the existing Nordhavnen have

generally been a consistent aspect of the workshop’s work on guerrilla strategies and open infrastructures. Above all, Cornubert and the other workshop participants have fallen in love with the area’s largest building and the artificial nature area behind, which was established in connection with the pre-fabrication of tunnel elements for the Øresund connection. “It’s a very different and exciting spatial experience, when you step into the enormous hall that you can see hulking over the Nordhavnen skyline. It must be one of the largest rooms in all of Scandinavia. You get the sensation of being in an industrial cathedral – even the light has a sublime quality. And although the place was built entirely according to its function, it expresses an uncanny beauty,” says Cornubert, who considers the factory space ideal for concerts, exhibitions, and conferences – or even refit for offices for start-ups. “It is crucial for the life of the city that old and new are allowed to coexist. In terms of building and architecture, what used to be great about L.A. is that we didn’t have the burden of history. Unfortunately history has recently been discovered there,” he stresses. Behind the grey hall, the artificial landscape starts. An open, green savannah-like surface with birds, frog habitats, and ruinlike concrete remnants from the tunnel construction where enormous fabricated elements were taken from the factory to the sea via a system of locks and canals: “The area behind the hall is remarkable. It’s thick with vegetation; there are pools and canals alive with fish. You feel that you are in the middle of a wild landscape, although everything is completely man-made. But nature is busy claiming the area. If this kind of raw space was folded into Copenhagen, a series of new urban nature experiences would surface, which would render a new set of layers, choices to what it means to be a Copenhagener. And if open spaces were re-claimed for the city at Nordhavnen, you might even be able to justify that Sydhavnen looks as it does,” says Christophe Cornubert, who stresses the importance of not just looking at the area as an independent district in connection with the development of Nordhavnen, but that you also focus on how the place can complement the city as a whole.

We have covered practically the entire scale of the industrial wilderness of Nordhavnen. The workshop’s final future scenarios show a manipulated image of the Roskilde festival’s temporary urban space superimposed on Nordhavnen’s grass areas, and a long, public Rio de Janeiro style urban beach with cranes and concrete silos in the background. “The future of our environment will be shaped by the pressing need for sustainable practices, but also the Darwinian competition between cities in this global society. Change is survival. Future urban space will reflect this. At Nordhavnen there is a chance for Copenhagen to reinvent itself,” Cornubert concludes from his workshop laboratory on Nordhavnen, which in the light of today’s ideas competition deadline has moved one important step closer to the upcoming transformation process. It will still be a while before the sustainable urban spaces of the future are realized on this new focal point of Copenhagen, but even this fall, it will be possible to see a glimpse of the future transformations. The rediscovery of the hidden Copenhagen takes off in earnest on October 9th, when the official competition visions are published in Warehouse 53, Nordhavnen. NOTE Visions for the Future was published in Weekendavisen, 26 September 2008, with the title Nordhavnen som urbant laboratorium.

HELENE SCHYTTER holds an MA in Modern Culture and Communication from Copenhagen University. She works as a freelance journalist and is currently working for Hausenberg in Copenhagen. CHRISTOPHE CORNUBERT is the founder and principal of an architecture and design research practice based in Los Angeles, California. In addition to professional work he has been a visiting professor at leading architecture schools around the world, including the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands, the Southern California Institute in Los Angeles, the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen, and the Architectural Association in London.


Staging public places



Metropolis 2009 Memories and reflections theresa benér theatre critic

On a mild but windy summer’s eve, a group of people assembled outside a warehouse building on Refshaleøen. Although located not very far from the Copenhagen city centre, this area has a slightly rough atmosphere, marked by past and present industrial activities. Guided by the Metropolis organisers, we walked quietly further out, towards the sea. I remember looking at some of the overgrown, abandoned plots we passed, wondering if they might be the Wasteland corresponding with the title of that night’s performance. We ended up being seated in front of a huge, rectangular open space, surrounded by the Øresund sea and some wind turbines in the background with their blades gracefully swishing through the air. This was the perfect wasteland for Lotte van den Berg’s minimalist performance. Isolated individuals emerged out of nowhere on this ‘terrain vague’, moving across in long, straight or diagonal lines, thereby taking possession of the space. Life, death, encounters, sex and (violent) separations occurred silently with no particular emotion. A stranger – a woman from the city, her neat clothes indicating culture and civilisation, arrived in this territory. She was immediately under threat, her otherness somehow revealing an unspoken sense of community among the original inhabitants of the wasteland.

Night fell while the anonymous players acted out a desolate fight for survival and relationships. The CopenhagenOslo ferryboat passed by, like a surreal vessel from another world. Nobody out there would care about the people in the wasteland. Just like inhabitants in undefined suburban territories, the players were left to communicate and organise themselves through arbitrary codes of power and violence. One of the issues at stake in the Metro­ polis project is the question of public space. How do we meet and inter­act socially in urban areas that are not yet occupied and ruled by commercial enterprise or public institutions? Why are citizens (especially the elderly and weak) increasingly becoming reluctant to spend time in parks, squares and streets? We all tend to move swiftly through these open spaces as if they were wastelands, where we have no distinct sense of belonging and may feel uneasy or vulnerable. This does not only apply to new urban development zones on the outskirts of Copenhagen but also to neglected parts of the city centre. Art and culture create democratic platforms where people can meet, negotiate and investigate their differences, without feeling threatened or excluded by each other. When South African choreographer Jay Pather prepared a dance pilgrimage through the socially unsettled district of Nørrebro, his aim was to create poetic gestures out of the

diverse stories and cultural systems that converge in this part of Copenhagen. Pather and his collaborators visited the neighbourhood in 2008 and collected stories from the residents. In the public eye, Nørrebro had unfortunately come to be associated with violent gang conflicts, a consequence of failed integration, which had led to an environment of distrust, crime and hostility. In Jay Pather’s Blind Spot, the audience gathered in deepest Nørrebro, where they became acquainted with a group of exiles arriving in Denmark. The group consisted of twelve dancers of South African and European origin, of mixed colours from black to white. After the first scene, we were invited to follow an African pathfinder and our pilgrimage walk through the district began. All of a sudden, every street corner, walkway, balcony, shop window and even the cemetery turned out to be a potential stage. Dancers popped up in all those places and performed scenes based on real stories from the locals’ everyday lives. They were dancing and playing with us, sometimes in an elaborate choreography, sometimes with an almost imperceptible difference in the body language of passers-by, the ordinary inhabitants of Nørrebro. Hence it seemed as if everybody was part of the performance: the Indian mother with her children, the Arab youngsters, or indeed the tipsy Danish gentleman with an umbrella who joined in the



'' ... In Wasteland we show people living without resistance. People who just drop down when their time has come. People who stopped fighting. People who do not defend the value of life any longer. It hurts. Maybe our greatest fear isn't the fear of death, but the fear of the worthlessness of life. In


wasteland we make the fear palpable, not to offend or to

Wasteland at REFSHALEĂ˜EN • MetropoliS 2009

disdain, but to give comfort. The way you feel, I feel it too. The way you live, so do I. The way you die, so shall I. We are trapped in a paradox. To venture to live we will have to face our own fear of death straight into the eyes.'' Lotte van den Berg, director


The site-specific installations and performances experienced during the Metropolis festival infuse Copenhagen’s urban space with drama and poetry; as a result it attracts mixed crowds, meeting on equal terms in the streets. In contemporary Scandinavian society, the middle class has largely barricaded itself at home, enjoying global music, cinema, visual arts etc. through refined technological equipment. Getting people to leave their comfortable, private haven and take part in public events is an ever more demanding task, so artists have to invent unique setups that cannot be reproduced at home. The performance / installation La Marea by Mariano Pensotti

recognised the fact that most of the fundamentally important scenes of city life actually take place behind closed doors, in people’s homes or in family situations. Thus, Pensotti decided to highlight these private areas. He created a fictive micro society in Blågårdsgade, where he had a number of empty shops and apartments transformed into theatrical spaces. They were furnished as different settings, mainly as private homes. Spotlights were lit and the audience standing outside the windows could watch actors in domestic scenes, while their dialogues and thoughts were projected as subtitles on the façade above the window. Pensotti invited us all to become voyeurs, but on a deeper level, he inspired the spectators to imagine what may take place behind all the closed doors and windows in a street. The papers report the tragic events of murder and crime, while real, continuous life in the neighbourhood is all about these rather banal moments of joy, love, anger or frustration. Guided by reports of extreme conflicts we seem all too eager to brand a local district as dangerous, instead of considering its ordinary, everyday scenes of constructive and respectful cohabitation. Mariano Pensotti’s La Marea managed to create something extraordinary and poetic out of that invisible, non-eventful reality. Blågårdsgade was packed with people hoping to catch a glimpse of the scenes, and probably none of them will ever pass the street again without remembering or trying to imagine what is now going on within those walls.

Blind Spot • Metropolis 2009


scene outside St Stefan’s Church. The inhabitants and the sometimes tired, derelict buildings of Nørrebro were invested with a poetic dimension, which made it possible for us visitors to approach their reality in a playful way. The curious crowd following our pathfinder grew considerably as we got closer to the city centre. During this pilgrimage, we established links of solidarity with the performing exiles. Leaving the ethnically diverse Nørrebro made us all acutely aware of their exclusion in the wealthier and bourgeois parts of the city. A queen like figure standing on a balcony, wearing a very long gown of red and white, the colours of the Danish flag, marked the entrance into the heart of Copenhagen. At that point, the foreign dancers became outsiders in a rich world they could not easily access and found themselves in a social hierarchy where they were insecure, homeless and exotic.

LA MAREA • Blågårdsgade • Metropolis 2009


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The Metropolis productions tend to work on a deeper level with memory, appealing to our awareness of being part of a larger community. Erik Pold’s The Reality Game was performed as a live news investigation in the central square Kultorvet. An actor / reporter stopped people and asked them various questions, such as: “Would you define yourself as a completely free, tolerant citizen? Could a revolution and war ever be justified in Denmark?” There were references to the German poet and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose reflections on man’s freedom were applied to today’s Denmark. In an amusing setup the audience sat indoors, watching the fictive reporter at work in the square through a large shop window. The city was yet again a vibrant, dynamic stage with citizens appearing as potential performers. The Metropolis festival has a clear emphasis on festive and spectacular outdoor performances. Some of the events in 2009 were large-scale visual feasts, like the Waterfools show with French group Ilotopie, or the Submarine Ballet of Live Art Installations in the harbour. The acrobats from Compagnie 9.81 who danced vertiginously on the façade of the apartment building, VM Mountain in Ørestad, introduced an exciting

perspective to the relationship between individuals and architecture while offering first class entertainment, which was open to anyone. But, one of the main rewards of the festival is that it establishes enduring connections between the city and its dwellers, making us all aware of our unique passage through an intricate weave of stories, myths, dreams and pursuits. This was particularly well conveyed in the production City Puzzle by Enrique Vargas, featuring Teatro de los Sentidos. Here, each spectator was blindfolded and carefully guided through a dark labyrinth of sounds, voices, smells and sensations that evoked inner images and scenarios of urban scenes and stories. The past and present intertwined, while my specific experience merged into a greater history of miscellaneous episodes. In the final scene of City Puzzle, each spectator tied a tiny ’thread of life’ to a palace entirely made of such little strings. Giving up my own thread, I became a part of a much bigger creation, which was reinforced by each piece of string. This gave a clear image of how we can grow as citizens in a metropolitan community by sharing our personal stories and treasures with each other. I believe this is what Metropolis is all about.


COMPAGNIE 9.81 Rehearsing COLÉOMUR at VM Bjerget, Ørestad • Metropolis 2009


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jay pather choreographer



Metropolis Laboratory 2008 opened with an audacious tour through the city of Copenhagen. I was one of about twentyfive participants trawling through buildings, roof-tops, concrete and over water to come to grips with this lush city, its people, its architecture, politics, its splendour, charm and oddities.


Confusion reigned supreme. What was going on? What are we looking at? Slowly the feeling crept onto one that chaos might be the raison d’être for Metropolis, for Metropolis Biennale indeed for all metropolises. And knowing too, that apparent chaos in a city belies the intricate pattern that remains invisible, and become apparent only at a distance or with hindsight. And visibility and invisibility indeed became an integral part of the genesis of the project Blind Spot, a term borrowed from Physiology, meaning a “small oval-shaped area of the retina in which vision is not experienced” (Farlex’s Free Dictionary). Walking through the city lush and replete with startling examples of architecture, what was visible were the forms, shapes, style and mediated cityscapes of all hues. Viewed from a rooftop, the experience is nothing short of dazzling. And also maybe not inspiring in the sense that it is already inspired, already done. And then something stirred, innocuous and partially seen. Walking through Strøget in the city centre, I came upon a board advertising a restaurant. It stood upright in the middle of nowhere, and then one saw an actual person holding it up. A man who wanted to bring no attention to himself. To be invisible. And people accorded him that wish and rendered him invisible. He was not taking questions about the product, nor letting on that he could even answer your questions, he




devolved into the perfect blind spot on the street. Who was this man? Where did he live? It was no ordinary question arising out of mere curiosity but a searching political one too. It was a man of colour, different to the swirling crowds around him, and strangely as a result suddenly quite visible, naked even. And I grew uncomfortable with making him naked and vulnerable, and I put away my camera and hurried along, like everyone else, submerging myself further into the streets and sites of Copenhagen. And accorded him his space as a blind spot.

response to colonization, it is a powerful shift in the world and carries a great deal of human aspiration and existential longings, for space, land, home, security, a better life, and above all to know oneself. This essential knowing spawns its own series of tensions with issues of identity and culture. The definition of self-based on a series of traditions long left behind, the new ones one might encounter, or a melting of these is a site of great deliberation and tension. For the migrating twentyfirst century individual, material gain, security and space vie for place and prominence over recognition, acceptance and above all visibility, a cornerstone and perennial theme of the metropolis.

And then one night at about 2am, while walking down a very dark street in a quiet part of the city, I heard a large ‘commotion’. High up on one of the tenements I saw lights in one of the rooms, and dancing shadows thrown by people performing, a North Indian folk dance. The song was in Hindi shockingly enough one that comes from my childhood, from a classic film called Pakeezah, a song about an ostracized prostitute. A beautiful film about another blind spot. And this song from the depths of my childhood growing up in a working class neighbourhood of Durban, South Africa. And here it was in the middle of Copenhagen on a quiet night at 2am.

The Italian philosopher, Georgio Agamben, widely recognized for his work on urban spaces and community, defines metropolis as “having a strong connotation of maximum dislocation and spatial and political dishomogeneity”.

Then there was Copenhagen Jazz Festival, which I attended and enjoyed at the wide variety of venues around the city, until something began to bother me. There was a nagging invisibility of black people at these concerts which appeared strange especially taking into account the notion of jazz itself, defined by respected jazz critic Joachim Berendt as “a form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of blacks with European music”. Not even the jazz could bring people of colour out of the peripheries into the centre. This blind spot thing was running deep.

Beginnings 2:

Migration and the Metropolis

Perhaps one of the single most important characteristics of the human race and no less the contemporary world is the notion of migration and the resultant shifts to society. A contemporary

During my first weeks in Copenhagen it became interesting to notice how this dishomogeneity was challenged and treated with suspicion, epitomized by the words of past Minister of Social Affairs, Karen Jespersen, who said “I think immigration is a benefit for society, but you have to be very cautious in dealing with it, to keep your basic values”. I think it is useful here to consider the words of Michel Foucault on the subject who wrote that “contemporary urban space is a convergence of two paradigms: leprosy and the plague. The paradigm of leprosy was clearly based on exclusion, it required that the lepers were ‘placed outside’ the city. In this model, the pure city keeps the stranger outside, the grand enfermement: close up and exclude. The model of the plague is completely different and gives rise to another paradigm. When the city is plagued it is impossible to move the plague victims outside. On the contrary, it is a case of creating a model of surveillance, control, and articulation of urban spaces. So whilst the leper was rejected by an apparatus of exclusion, the plague victim is encased, monitored, controlled and cured through a complex web of dispositifs that divide and individualize, and in so doing also articulate the efficiency of control and of power.” So initially I was interested in working with these ideas as well as those of Samir Shah and Djoko Andric, The Media: Portrayal of Immigrants in Denmark, Husain M. Islam, Media and minorities in Denmark and writings around the exhibition Minority Report: Challenging Intolerance

in Contemporary Denmark by Trine Rytter Andersen, Kirsten Dufour, Tone O. Nielsen & Anja Raithel. And then I took to the streets with a video recorder and decided to speak with the immigrants.

They desire paradoxes – their community and freedom from their community, are proud and embarrassed by their home cultures, yearn for rest and are restless, anxious and angry, grateful and sad, eager and resistant, thankful and resentful.

Beginnings 3:

They embody the paradoxes of everyone else. Perhaps they are feared because they are so similar to anybody else.

I trawled through Nørrebrogade, accosting people and asked them four questions.

Emergence of a Concept:

What is HomE?

• What is Home? • What is the last memory of your grandmother? • Where can you see yourself in 10 years? • What is your interpretation of “Paradise”? The responses were startling. Most respondents were very generous with their time and their thoughts. I wrote some impressions from the many stories I collected. They spoke of migrating, journeying, unsettled and unsettling identities, of the unpacked suitcase, the incomplete home. Their answers dealt with the tension of becoming the other, and therefore retreating from the other, but in constant quandary of leaving one and arriving at another. So they pass through, forced to stay, seek refuge, integrate and disintegrate, cohere or are expelled, adapt or die, refuse to adapt and isolate themselves. They reconfigure not just their world but all worlds, they pose problems, are inconvenient, bring in new worlds, they confound order and demand adjustment of the host and the natives, they inspire introspection, nationalism, shifting values, debate, sister against sister, reconsidering humanness, compassion, identity, humanity. They speak two or many tongues, have three cultures in one family, misunderstand their sons and daughters, alienated by their parents.

Some Light on a Messy Area

I developed as starting points the following: The metropolis as a space of heterogeneity, of various knowledges, of frisson and dynamic and the hidden presence of this and the negation of it.

• Showing the spatial tension between the insular and the global.

• Mapping the physical and conceptual periphery and centre. • Mapping paradox of a ‘cosmopolitan’ metropolis and a

disaffected immigrant community. • Exploring inter-culturalism as a site for a fluid, shifting, dynamic and complex metropolis. Tracing home, dislocation and shifting grounds in the • metropolis. • Representing these premises through gentle intervention, irony, humour, surprise, beautiful imagery, pathos, empathy, extreme reversal, detailed imagery, private moments in public spaces, extraordinary in the ordinary.

The Spaces:

Falling in Love with a Long Road

And so the content for Blind Spot evolved. After much deliberation I settled on working with the spaces of Nørrebrogade itself. I fell in love with this road of diversity and possibility, a road that led me from the heart of an invisible population all the way into the heart of a cosmopolitan city. I walked up and down this long, long road countless times, from Nørrebrohallen all



the way to the old University. At first I located several key sites, thinking I may just use a few and possibly transport audiences from one site to another. Then there was the possibility of only working from the Assistens Cemetery into the city or even from Blågårds Plads onwards. But this was not to be. The idea of a city walk evolved and Nørrebrogade became a site for a symbolic pilgrimage. And since a pilgrimage has its sacrifices and its epic quality, the full length of the road had to be considered. Audiences would be bussed to Nørrebrohallen and walk all the way back. It was going to be one thing getting the audience to commit to this, it was another figuring the kind of performances that will keep them engaged and walking for three and a half hours and two and a half kilometres.


So this road then had to be populated with set performances at designated spaces as well as images that came out of nowhere and everywhere, obvious and covert, plainly visible and suggested, confrontational and compelling, the links between the sites were going to be paramount in keeping audiences walking all that way back.


Breathing Some Soul onto Some Concrete The Artists

I decided to work with a combination of Danish and South African dancers. This was for philosophical as well as practical reasons. The collaboration would elicit some powerful metaphors, I thought. Also the notion of xenophobia especially with the influx of African refugees fleeing the northern borders was highly topical in our country at the moment. I was lucky enough to have encountered Zozo Mopusala who is a Danish citizen but a South African by birth and as a member of the cast she brought a 20/20 vision so to speak.

The Visits

I visited Copenhagen three times between the Laboratory in 2008 and the performances at Metropolis Biennale 2009. During these visits I interviewed people, visited several centres such as Dansens Hus, Dokumentations- og rådgivningscenteret om racediskrimintation (DRC), Verdens Kultur Centret and Muhamed Aslam, Chair of the Residents Association of Mjølnerparken at Nørrebro. I met with individuals such as the performance artist and activist, Ellen Nyman, the choreographer Marie Brolin-Tani and art historian Karen Vedel. I isolated and confirmed the spaces more clearly as well as auditioned for video artists for the collaboration, and of course the Danish dancers. On the third visit the intensive three-week rehearsal period started, culminating in five performances at the beginning of August 2009.

The Rehearsal Room: The Fantasy

For a large part of the rehearsals I kept the actual sites a secret. I did this for a reason. I wanted to develop a fairly singular interpretation of a site and not leave that part of creating to the dancers. I work in the main through improvisation and workshop. I work quite closely with the personality of the dancer and the context they may come from. In those rehearsals there is a great deal of freedom. But the ‘bookends’, what comes before and after, are very much mine as I believe they lend coherence and continuity to the work. Putting work into spaces provides other challenges and dynamics. The spaces however are always on my mind as I rehearse. I would thereby develop themes for the dancers to work around, these themes were sometimes just architectural, spatial or based on time and pulse. Occasionally we would step into the subject itself and a series of images or a section of choreography might evolve. I am careful not to address content too directly. I wanted to create something more conceptual and not feel like socially relevant, politically correct theatre. Nevertheless the cast approached issues of nationalism, patriotism, the nation state, migration and racism in a variety of ways, in the main creative ones, through processes of abstraction and image.

The Danish dancers were particularly honest and searching in finding ways of representing some difficult and unsettling assertions.

The Road: The Actual

While this happened in the rehearsal room during the day, at night, I would roam the long road, searching stories in odd spaces, searching for odd spaces to pour into a story. On one of those long nights, I realized that I was doing something that was supposed to be at the core of the work: considering site and space and rendering invisible the people that lived, worked, walked and ate there. I was embarrassed. I think this was a turning point in how I approached the style of the work. I realized that as much as I was creating this work for a formal audience who would buy a ticket and come to see it, other people would be around. These others were largely composed of individuals that had migrated themselves. The horrors of the all white Jazz performances came back to haunt me. I began to consider how potentially alienating site specific performance can be for people who are not aware of what is going on and who may not be able to figure it out immediately. This is intriguing when you are aware that something is happening. However within the context of alienation and invisibility, I had to take on both a formal as well as a so-called informal audience. Somehow I could not continue blind sighted. I shifted gears and a series of abstract imagery for example would be woven into a fairly narrative work. I used a wide range of music, mainly popular and a good sound system. When the work at a vacant lot was performed on rubble, where we built a temporary ‘kitchen’ for a piece about a migrant family, a clash of generations and cultures arised. All of this was performed to rap and house music accompanied with violins. The work was like a magnet that attracted people from all over. And that was the thing about audiences. They were everywhere, following, ticket in hand, but also leaning from windows and balconies, stopping cars and bicycles, following and abandoning,

watching the watchers watching the performance and so various permutations of watching and participating ensued.

THE WORK, NØrrebrohallen: Lay of the land

A dancer with a billiard cue stick demarcates space, measures and prods, contemplates, plans with precision, he is an architect of human settlement, a planner of emotional space, a norm setter. The variety of dancers around him suggest transition, carrying bags, sleeping on half constructed beds in demarcated squares and spaces. When they transgress these boundaries, spontaneously combust, migrate we witness a cacophony of movement, individuals and voices revealing an uncontained, uncontainable mass of humanity, confounding and breaking plans, structures, designated spaces, settlement areas. They interfere with the planner’s neatly conceived ideas and pour all over the space, pausing to develop relationship amongst them, until eventually they pour out of the space itself. 94

Portraits and balconies

In this series of portraits, individuals come out of street corners and balconies, revealing idiosyncracies. The lyrics for the first work Zombie go like this: Zombie no go go unless you tell us to go Zombie no go stop unless you tell us to stop Zombie no go turn unless you tell us to turn Zombie no go tink unless you tell us to tink So, ‘go’ only when the green man says refers to a kind of lobotomy, or schizophrenia that is expected of an immigrant. The undertones are taken seriously in the work that followed set against an old church, an inter-generational as well as interreligious disharmony. These initial works then took the form of portraits or etchings of slices of diverse cultures but very much universal needs, desire for security, company, comfort, witness. The balconies that were used were particularly strategic in this regard.


Visibilities and odd witness

Themes of visibility and invisibility persisted with the work in front of a dress shop, on steel balcony and in front of a call centre. However, it was in the approach to what was a midway between the two ends of Nørrebrogade that conflict occupied a more central focus. The bar brawl in front of a bar just before the Assistens Cemetery where characters donned animal masks and played out prejudice framed by beer swilling patrons sitting outside the bar watching audiences watch them. And finally, in the enactment of an indigenous African burial ritual at the Cemetery itself to the strains of music by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki.


After this midpoint the works dealt more with evolving and dissolving cultures as the road took us closer to the city. A busy bus stop with the full company enacting and deconstructing ritualized gesture brought to the fore notions of travel and transit and the incidental, ordinary meeting that evolves into something more.


Overrun by a bunch of mongrels, the cast of Blind Spot that finally arrived here, not the neat homogenous types suggested by the architecture, the University became a significant space especially as a reminder of the intellectual, cultural and aesthetic reserves in the foreigners travelling across land and sea. It was also a neat conversation with the beginning and a kind of similarity in a strange reductive way of both spaces, one marking the beginning of this three and a half hour city walk and the other, the end. Many people living in or visiting Copenhagen may see one and not the other. When the Sanskrit text floated across the pillars of the University at the start of this final section, it marked symbolically a rewriting of text, or a need for it: an inclusive, ruptured, polyphonic, partly recognizable humane text. The notion was simple: these texts of who and how we are are ultimately subjective and selective. The more this language remains homogenous and hermetically sealed, the more elusive the promise of the hybrid, dynamic metropolis.

In a churchyard the audience confronts a native Danish woman as she sits amongst several immigrants. After deliberately chewing her rice cakes she spits them onto her hand and uses them to cover her eyes as she gets up, and blinded, negotiates her way amongst them, bumping into steel chairs. The theme continues all the way into the city in various ways making use of the wall surrounding the subway station of Nørreport, bus shelters, shop windows, narrow side streets until the University is reached. Blind spot • METROPOLIS 2009 JAY PATHER is Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and Artistic Director of Siwela Sonke. A Fulbright Scholar, he read for an MA in Dance Theatre at New York University and since then Pather’s work has traveled widely extending across discipline, site and culture. He has collaborated with visual artists, architects and urban planners since 1984, taking his inter-cultural performances into public spaces and working with the architecture of Johannesburg, Durban, London, Zanzibar, Amsterdam, New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, Muscat, New Delhi, Copenhagen and Cape Town.

Blind spot • METROPOLIS 2009




TRAJETS DE VIE, TRAJETS DE VILLE EX NIHILO Trajets de vie, Trajets de ville is a dance for busy streets and public squares. The dancers follow the rhythm of the city; from the quiet daily life where steps and movements visualise the pulse, to the more hectic rush hour in the afternoon as the city once again speeds up before ending the day.


metropolis 2009






metropolis 2009

The circus ring is replaced by the circular Tietgen Dormitory – a contemporary architectural masterpiece which provides the playground for six circus artists and musicians.

Jungle Strings Karoline H. Larsen


“I followed the activity closely, taking as many photos of reactions and creative ideas as I could. I observed everything from a hammock-like structure taking shape, to outbursts of joy and swinging in the strings at various speeds from a nap in the strings to swinging really fast. One night, some youngsters cut down a small part of the jungle. This was expected as many of them carry knives and it would have been worse if they did not react at all. The construction was made to integrate this kind of aggressive expression and the strings were then tied together in new ways. The children made more jungle strings and used chalk to draw on the ground. Bags and other goods were attached to the strings and transformed the jungle on market days”.

80 km Jungle Strings, participatory installation at Nørrebro Market Square • Metropolis 2008

For two months during summer 2008, a patch of ’jungle strings’ criss-crossed the biggest walls of Nørrebro Market Square. Every string was handmade and strong enough so that adults, youngsters, and children could swing through this jungle. Anyone who felt like moving and weaving to further develop the jungle could participate.


An improbable land at the end of the city, battered by the wind. Five hundred acoustic instruments, five hundred totems standing like sentinels, attentive to the slightest breath of air.

Amager STRAND • Metropolis 2011



ON A VOYAGE Frank Bรถlter Folding a large scale paper boat on Ndr. Toldbod in Copenhagen, Metropolis 2011



SUBMARINE BALLET • Live Art Installations • Metropolis 2009



…just passing through… doung jahangeer architect and artist


I do not believe in the restriction of categorisation. As a Mauritian-born, Creole, Muslim-raised male of Indian decent living in South Africa I experience the weight of over-determination. Yet I am neither ‘the one’ nor ‘the other’. Thus my passion for ‘in-betweeness’ is both personal and political. I shall therefore begin my discussion of the concept of ‘in-betweeness’ through enga­gement with the personal. I spent my first 9 years in South Africa in increasing frustration. Apartheid had just fallen – I arrived in 1992 – yet I found not so much a ‘rainbow nation’ but a space that was and is crippled by a very lucrative fear industry. In 2001 I decided to lose myself on foot in the city [Durban]. Armed with a camera, while drifting, I started writing a photographic essay. As an architect, my passion and obsession lies in the magic of space – not only its presence but specially its perceived ‘absence’: Each ‘form’ giving the other its raison d’être. However because of the conditioning nature of a society fixed in its frightened forms – to paraphrase Lebbeus Woods – we quickly at a very young age learn to only recognise and value the seen, tangible and factual ‘reality’ of life and death.

‘Spaces of in-between’ became the essence of the photographic essay and consequently my frequent straying into the city led to the birth of the City Walk initiative. The City Walk is perhaps best described as an investigative journey, an exuberant exploration as well as a humbling and cautionary tale, an allegory on the infinite complexities of spaces and timings in the city of Durban KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. It is experimental, oral, visual and informal in nature. Like Edward Soja’s Thirdspace, everything comes together here: subjectivity and objectivity, the abstract and the concrete, the real and the imagined, the knowable and the imaginable, the repetitive and the differential, structure and agency, mind and body, consciousness and unconsciousness, the disciplined and the transdisciplinary, everyday life and unending history. Sadly despite this, ‘sophisticated’ humankind largely considers itself distinct from nature. This attitude sets up a discourse of difference between nature and us. Since our species is historically fixated on the acquiring of power, we have mastered the art of controlling nature for our selfish consumerist benefit. It seems apparent that this detachment is playing a considerable role in leading us to the destruction of ourselves in this environment today. We have learnt to value the ‘rational’ over the irrational, order over chaos, disregarding the fact that there may well be a very high level of order in this chaos that we fear so blindly. We cannot rule out the possibility that entropy might just be the magic ingredient when thinking about 21st century urban – and hence personal – development both on the African continent

and in the South. Instead, our inability to open up to alternative truths has led us to develop highly controlled and organised (urban) spaces. From roads to pavements to boundary walls to electric fences to gated communities to armed responsive dwellings. This highly regimented space has made many people fearful of anything different. Middle-class urban dwellers prefer to hide behind a veneer of cultivation, fear and the pride that we have become ‘civilised’. Yet despite this overpowering and pervasive need to control, there is a force at work in the overlooked and therefore often invisible spaces of inbetween. Walking from the informal settlement of Umkhumbane (situated in the periphery of the city), via suburbia, along the national highway through the heart of the city ending at the harbour, I became intrigued by the growth of plants at the meeting points [spaces of in-between] of those dividing elements. In the gap where the boundary wall meets the pavement, where the pavement meets the street, inbetween the paving brick and even in the crack of the asphalt of the road. These are the interstitial spaces where human control fails. As a result this is where life/creativity/nature prevail. Here, I make a deliberate allegorical connection with nature and a metaphor drawn from plant life to accentuate the relevance of gaps where time in our disciplined spatial composition is suspended.



I was equally astonished to notice that like plants growing in the fissure of the city’s infrastructures, an unrecognised community of walkers has been traveling along the highway on their way to the city and back to the township every day. This highway, besides being a means for vehicular movement, also served as a segregating device during the construction of the apartheid regime. It is a big gap trenched out forming a no-man’s land between two suburbs. It is a state of inbetween, often looked at but seldom seen where these walkers appropriate this forgotten space for the practice of their freedom.


The walker is able to plant and reap experiences from an activity, which has become increasingly unnatural to many dwellers [mainly the rich], addicted as they are to the intoxication of motor travel. De Certeau (1984) in his book on the practice of every day life, became an advocate of the stories told by pedestrians in the city. Not verbalised or written in text, but those spatial narratives told as people traverse the city in an uncontrolled, irregular fashion. This, he argues, provides a counter-foil to the panopticon: “the disciplined, rational use of space defined by planners, architects, engineers and owners of capital.” However, the burdened reality of a post apartheid South Africa presents a different scenario to De Certeau’s eurocentric understanding of traversing space in an uncontrolled fashion. Nevertheless, despite his romantic notions, I certainly do agree with the fact that a public space should be an area or place that is open and accessible to all citizens, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or socio-economic level. Yet, in spite of 13 years of democracy, the legacy of an oppressed space still looms. The ‘non-white’ citizens use public space merely as a means to an end. For these masses, a public space was one where he/she was not allowed to be free. As a result, urbanisation became an unprecedented phenomenon in the South African cities after the fall of the apartheid regime in the 90s. The influx of poor people into the urban settings should have brought in a spatial realisation – a shift in the

psychology of the South African space. Essentially speaking a Western space should have been challenged by this intuitive assimilation of the oppressor’s space in an African one. But the notion of the urban nature of the African city is one difficult to grasp, especially because it still often refers to Western and colonial notions, and is dominated by modern ideologies exemplified through the urban design city based on the Cartesian grid. These were manipulated to display authority, oppression and control as typified in the apartheid city and coincide with Koolhaas’ (2000) concept of a “Generic city”. So, if the design of cities and hence public spaces in South Africa still adorns the failed urban design principles of The Modern Movement, then art in public spaces or public art are as good and detached to the vernacular as the art resides in its white cube. If the intention for artistic intervention is to do that then so be it. Nonetheless, the issue of the role of art in public space in the third world is a contentious one. In 2006, as part of the project Memories of Modernity that involved a collaboration between South Africa and Sweden, I created a piece of public art entitled Lost spaces. It was a sculptural piece made out of steel rods positioned in a disused freeway underpass – a “lost space” (Trancik, 1988:3-4). The express purpose of the piece was to document its demise as it slowly became re-appropriated by steel recyclers until it disappeared entirely. The process took no more than a couple of weeks. In 2008, I was invited to do a permanent work in public space – this time outside the town hall. Attention was taken to use materials impervious to vandalism. 40mm Solid stainless-steel rods were used. The first rod was taken a month or so after it was installed. Two years later much of it has disappeared. The city has not replaced the missing rods. This would seem to suggest that public art, in the context of the third world, needs to be reassessed in terms of what function it is actually serving. If it is the ‘upliftment’ of the citydwellers then it cannot really exist in the form that public art traditionally has. When engaging in art in/for public spaces it is important to be consciously aware that people in space make

place and that the city is an engine and laboratory of human relationships. It is in this ambit that in 2009 my organization DALA, in collaboration with the local contemporary gallery KZNSA, ran Intersections, a project which linked emerging artists from countries bordering South Africa: Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe in a residency programme of three weeks in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal. The artists engaged public space through a series of interventions in the urbanscape. The artistic, performative actions heightened curiosity, which in turn activated new relationships and new combinations. That gave rise to unexpected (re)configurations of the sociospatial system from a kind of logic that was positioned no longer solely in the figurative form but in the operative terms of activity, movement and/or exchange. In that constructive game of social territorialisations, de-territorialisations and reterritorialisation, we identified a paradoxical new condition of operative multi-belongings and ambivalences.


The two case studies quoted above have provided an effective and qualitative detournement of the practice of a civilised art into the participatory public where art became as much a process of investigation as it is a final intervention. I believe that art, architecture and indeed all cultural expression besides their aesthetic superficiality can also function as a medium through which our society is able to articulate and conscientise its citizens around social issues as well as build skill and selfdevelopment. I also believe that the natural phenomenon of the in-between will always provide a platform for resistance, survival and creativity ... despite the desire to control and regulate. Perhaps the philosophical energy of interstitial spaces should be inspiration for finding public spaces. Then art in those spaces would know that its purpose is to facilitate the process of re-humanization.

DOUNG ANWER JAHANGEER is an artist and architect based in Durban. He is the co-founder of DALA which is an interdisciplinary creative collective that believes in the transformative role of creativity in building safer and more liveable cities.



HERE WHILST WE WALK gustavo cirĂ­aco & andrea sonnberger

Through a silent group walk Here whilst we walk investigates the possibilities of inhabiting urban space through ways of sharing another perception.





Explore the city with a “do it yourself kit” for performative travel – a new and sustainable form of tourism. The daily reality of the site becomes the theatrical setting and allows coincidences to interweave with intended actions.




Tomorrow everything will be different • METROPOLIS 2009


129 130


Close your eyes and rely on your guide as you travel through the city. Hear, smell and feel the rhythm and sound of the urban environment.




Bodies in urban spaces is a moving trail, choreographed for a group of dancers. The per­ formers lead the audience through selected parts of public and semi-public spaces. A chain of physical interventions set up very quickly and only existing temporarily, allows the viewer to perceive the same space or place in a new and different way – on the run.





The audience is driven blindfolded through Copenhagen destined for a secret place where the task is to recreate society with new understandings of growth, family and love.




GLOBAL cultures and citiZenS



LOOKING FOR A PLACE All our city portraits relate to very small and specific places. The Panorama Series was shot on single urban squares in Rome, Bologna, Athens and Hamburg, from sunrise to sunset. Memoria Esterna deals with outdoor places portrayed as personal memories by people living in Milan and LKN Confidential was shot on a single street in Brussels. In Copenhagen, we were trying to find a good point of view of a city that we were exploring for the first time. Copenhagen is absolutely flat and the top of a hill is a capital event in terms of visibility! 145

We were walking around Nørrebro and we turned a corner and saw a narrow alley. We entered the alleyway and all of a sudden a strange form framed in front of us, a white rounded piece of earth! In a completely flat city like Copenhagen, even a tiny high ground becomes a hill. And that day we had to climb it and take a breath from the top. This spot imposed itself on us; it revealed itself as an observatory, an open-air theatre surrounded by apartment blocks. One thing we noticed in Copenhagen is the separation of spaces dedicated to different purposes and different users. We were struck by the use of fences, boundaries and delimited areas. In some parks there are incredible gardens for junkies and in the former slaughterhouse area on Vesterbro there is a crosswise fence that separates a fancy café from a social service area, just to avoid a mutual view. In another park, there are designated areas for children, barbecues, heavy drinkers and drug abusers, for cycling and

jogging, for buggies and strollers, for skateboarders and scooters… If you are a junkie in Italy you simply should not exist because drugs equal outlaw. If you are old, young, a mother or a father or whatever, you simply take care of yourself and mind your own business. The place where we come from does not take care of the needs of different people; there is one common place where everyone tries to build up their own private space. There is something strange with both attitudes. On one hand, everyone has the right to exist but still remain separate. On the other hand, there is no legitimacy (as far as denying your own existence) so everyone must handle coexistence. Denmark seems to be a place of (separate) rights apparently pacified and that’s why the diversity in Nørrebro (in terms of generations, provenance, social classes) seemed the most interesting and familiar to us. We also know that Nørrebro is the theatre of social conflicts, but we couldn’t see any evident signs. Of course you cannot see it at first sight but we sensed a very serene and quiet atmosphere. We are used to the fact that social fights produce social tension. You can breathe the tension walking down the streets. You see it in the rapid eye glimpses, in the frequent gestures of aggression and self-defence. That’s not the case in Nørrebro. Everything seems to be okay until the next “crisis”. The neighbourhood has kind of a bad reputation in Denmark. In a Mediterranean country, this sort of neighbourhood would represent a good example of a mixed and diverse area, which only emphasizes that the perspective and perception of a place isn’t interchangeable. The observation of a local community becomes an important experience of encounters and mutual awareness.

sCREENING OF THE HILL on building AT NØRREBRO • Metropolis 2011

zimmerfrei artist collective


PORTRAYING THE PLACE During our talks about the actual shooting of the film, we had the impression that Nørrebro’s reputation was a “well known issue” that we were asked to go beyond. We took this as a given stereotype that couldn’t produce anything interesting; people would get bored instantly! When we first arrived at the hill with our camera everyone thought we were making a documentary about violence, poverty or social conflicts. This produced a sense of disappointment,

reticence and mistrust. Things changed when we explained our ideas and that the film would be screened on the same location; on top of the hill. This gave a feeling that we weren’t there to steal stories and faces in order to realize a sensational documentary and sell it to a commercial TV channel. The inhabitants had the possibility to witness the entire process, from our arrival to the screening. Even if they didn’t want to participate they still had the possibility to check out what was going on in their courtyard.


We directed our attention to things we care about: the perception and the use of a public space; the representation of a place interpreted by the local inhabitants through their inner imagination and unconscious thoughts of life in their dreams.

The hill became our station; a place where we could be seen before demanding anything from anyone, a place where we could be reachable day by day, whenever the inhabitants passed by. The fixed (but continuing) point of view worked as a physical anchor from where the conversations could arise.

PORTRAYING THE PEOPLE In each of our city-portraits, we try to tune a special procedure that focuses on the verbal transmission and leaves the images in the background.

When we met somebody that had enough curiosity to approach us, we proposed to record sound only. No images, no talking heads, no posing. By only talking we could slowly build up a dialogue and confidence. We were able to listen to memories, chronicles, stories and rumours in silence and forgot all about framing borders.


Film stills from THE HILL



After the sound recording we proposed to film the person in action, meaning: walking, talking on the phone, having a picnic on top of the hill, cooking at home, housekeeping, unlocking the door, waiting for somebody, fixing the bike… Our secret desire has always been to film someone while falling asleep in a public space. But that is another film. During the second or third encounter, we proposed to film the person while he or she was talking.


Of course language was an issue, but we didn’t want to surrender completely to pidgin English. So, the collaboration with Miriam Nielsen from Third Ear was crucial. First she absorbed our “listening method” and then she continued by leading the conversations very freely. Not only did she help us to translate and direct the interviews, she was also the film’s first spectator. Some of the people around the hill did not want to be filmed and asked us to remove all the recorded material that showed their windows (from the outside) and personal belongings. We respect this as self-defence, a form of personal “iconoclasm” that tries to release the pressure of constant image production. On the other hand there were also people who deliberately came to tell us a story. Not all were recorded, but what a gift! There is an image from the film that we love. A young boy is climbing up the hill, and suddenly stops in the middle of a step. He stands still but his intention is to move forward,

he’s vibrating in hesitation. He is watching us watching him; he’s the simple essence of presence. The boy appears in the background several times. He was the envoy of a family who refused to be approached. His task was to keep an eye on us. And he absolutely succeeded, with blue wild-open eyes. The Hill isn’t reportage or a social documentary based on thorough research. We didn’t want to draw up statistics; on the contrary we wanted to realize our own personal portrait of a very small area: a private courtyard staged as a public space. We needed people from the area to help us reach an internal perception of that special piece of earth. Whether it was right or wrong didn’t matter. We stayed on the hill for twenty days. Some people popped up, others appeared from a distance and some invited us to their homes. We asked them to talk about the construction of the hill and about places they had “visited” in dreams. In both cases they talked about something we cannot prove nor see by ourselves. Each person had their own perception of the area. A man with a big moustache says that he misses sleeping outside on summer nights at his house in Turkey, and when he mumbles and rolls about on the grass this memory becomes vivid in front of our eyes. An old Italian woman saw herself dead in a place she describes exactly like the one we can see behind her shoulders out of the window. From that moment, Korsgade Hill became the door to the otherworldliness.

“I have worked here almost a year and I always see this hill on the horizon. I’ve never been there, it’s so far away. I want to climb it one day but… it’s just too far away for me now. I need to climb it one day, I need to see what’s on the other side, but right now I’m just doing my job. I’m working in this office and I can see the hill from the window, it’s always there but I just haven’t been there. I don’t know if I’m capable, physically capable of going there. So there’s this big mountain that you just, I think you have to… maybe go on an expedition, maybe be more people… because you can’t do it by your own, I think. It’s too… too tall a mountain to climb.” From the film THE HILL

ZIMMERFREI is a collective of artists (Massimo Carozzi, Anna de Manincor and Anna Rispoli) based in Bologna and Brussels. Their practice is located at the crossways of cinema, theatre, music and performance. Mixing formal languages, the group produces kaleidoscopic sonic and visual works that investigate real and imaginary urban environments, where the mental and the physical blend into a coherent narrative of human experience.


Mobile cinema screening THE HILL In different locations at NØRREBRO • Metropolis 2011



Hawkers refer to the people that work in the vast informal sector. They move constantly from place to place earning their living by selling products and services on the streets of Mexico City. 153

Street vendors are not a recent phenomenon in Mexico City. They are part of an old tradition of buying and selling goods directly on the streets. But the current image of the hawker, as a problematic phenomenon who ‘occupies’ the streets and disturbs with their chants in order to attract attention and enhance sales, is part of the demographic explosion in Mexico City in the twentieth century. Thus, Chilango Hawkers are no longer isolated people selling fruits, vegetables or

falluca (illegally imported merchandise), but organized social ‘performers’ who play an important part in the whole economy of the city and create jobs for thousands of hawkers, who are then able to make a living and support their families. They have become distributors of recycled, transformed and smuggled merchandise in a global economy.

CHILANGO HAWKERS IN COPENHAGEN Chilango Hawkers was an installation based on street traders; a reenactment staged in Copenhagen. Fourteen Mexican artists created works for the installation for Metropolis Biennale 2009, which included video, performances, electronic media and live broadcasting from the streets of Mexico City. The installations and performances were staged in the historical centre of Copenhagen on Nikolaj Plads and Kongens Nytorv.


Nikolaj Plads • Metropolis 2009

Chilango refers to the inhabitants of Mexico City. Initially people from the province used the term pejoratively, however presently it is uttered with a certain pride among citizens of this megalopolis:“Soy chilango” (I am chilango).


Nikolaj Plads • Metropolis 2009




Vertical Exile is an international project which took place in two refugee camps in the West Bank, April 2009; in Copenhagen, August 2009 and in Botkyrka, Stockholm from January-June 2010 Vertical Exile is an artistic platform where citizens, local artists and architects meet to share and exchange creative knowledge and define collective ideas in relation to urban space. The project uses different aspects of the map as a platform for a process that deals with transformation of movement; from the field of dance to social movement between people, experiences and ideas.


Installation IN Library at Nørrebro • Metropolis 2009

Hammock Attack workshop • Vertical exile • Metropolis 2009

Hula Hoop workshop • Vertical exile • Metropolis 2009



Vertical Gardening - The Carpet is a festival combining the art of leisure time and entertainment with workshops and collective activities. The festival took place from 5-15 October 2011 in the village of Dura Al Kara in the West Bank.


“We think of Vertical Gardening as a fantasy in reality, with the aim to develop tools and strategies for gardening in vertical spaces. And one of our main objectives is to let different knowledge and experiences meet in a process where the expertise in the camps, whose citizens to a large extent have to be experts on survival with a minimum of resources, cooperate with ideas and concepts within contemporary architecture and art practices. The project therefore is not defined out of an already existing know­ledge that we wish to bring; we prefer to think of the work as a process of mutual teaching and learning that will produce new knowledge on both sides”.




Inside a red circus tent a radical multi-screen film portrait of Moscow unfolds accompanied by a live string orchestra. Moscow is the fourth part of the Holoceen cycle, a series of portraits of towns and cities. Previous portraits cover Jerusalem [2004], Iqaluit [2005] and Bonanza [2006].

HAVNEGADE • Metropolis 2009


“Moscow, where all roads still lead to the Kremlin. Where more billionaires live per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world. Where the mayor has the participants in the gay parade beaten up. Where everything you touch is history. Where every cliché is confirmed and denied. Where you don’t order vodka by the glass but by the gram. Moscow, a circus?”


the big movement dries verhoeven

A container is set up as a cinema on a central square. The audience watches a film of the outside world while a female voice-over tells a story of our universe in chinese – from the origins of life to the civilization of human beings.

NYTORV • Metropolis 2011


View from inside Container looking out to the square


Metropolis 2009


Continuous City is a meditation on how contemporary experiences of location and dislocation stretch us to the maximum as our “networked selves� occupy multiple locations. From Shanghai to Los Angeles, Toronto to Mexico City, Continuous City tells the story of a traveling father and his daughter at home tethered and transformed by speed, hypermodernity, and failing cell phones. The characters they interact with pursue their own transnational business, from an Internet mogul exploiting networking across the developing world to a nanny who blogs humorous stories about the people and places within her universe.



Hotel rooms, shopping centres, factories... Functional places are not considered places of interest. They are to be found in every city, and they are what make cities inhabitable as such. These in­ stantly recognizable places live parallel existences around the world, each modelled on similar rules but displaying a local face.

Ciudades Paralelas has been shown in: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Warsaw, Zurich and Copenhagen, each time with the participation of local performers.

172 Hotel Astoria • Metropolis 2011


For Ciudades Paralelas, Lola Arias and Stefan Kaegi invite artists to devise interventions in public spaces. As observation stations for situations, the projects make stages out of public spaces used every day, and seduce the viewers into staying inside the space long enough for their perception to change: Plays that make you subjectively experience places built for anonymous crowds.


An installation composed of biographies. Each visitor adopts the role of a chambermaid responsible for five rooms per hour. But instead of cleaning, the audience spends the hour walking through the five rooms, where they discover portraits of the cleaning staff: films, original voice recordings and photographs that bring to light something of the invisible spirits who clean up after others.



The Royal Library (The Black Diamond) • Metropolis 2011




A whispered, self-generated performance for two at a time exploiting the particular tension common to any library worldwide; a combination of silence and concentration where different peoples' experiences of reading unfold.

The Argentinean director Mariano Pensotti transforms four writers into literary surveillance cameras. With a laptop on their knees, they describe and fictionalize scenes at the Central Station in Copenhagen as they unfold in reality. The text is projected directly onto large screens at the station, visible for travelers and other passers-by.





Hotel Life lola arias artist Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time alone in hotels. I’ve gradually started to feel a little afraid of hotels, the same fear you might have of aeroplanes, because they take you outside of time and space. I used to wake up in a hotel bed and feel that terror of not knowing where I was: which city, what time, which moment in my life.


I suppose this fear of disappearing and going insane in a hotel room awoke a curiosity in me about the hotel as an institution, the architecture of anonymity, the way hotel guests use the space, and the invisible people who work there. I spent so much time wandering the corridors like a sleepwalker, meeting male and female cleaners, that I started to think: who are these ghosts who clean my room when I’m not there? What kind of experiences have they been through and what do they know about other people’s lives? How many naked bodies, drenched bathrooms, unmade beds, sleeping people and strange smells do they come across every day? So, I started to work out this idea of creating a work based on the life of hotel maids in my head. It would be a portrait of their lives, and at the same time an indirect reflection on how we behave as guests. The work would be an essay about hotel life from the maids’ perspective, like spies who observe the private lives of strangers on a daily basis, and know better than anyone how we act when we are away from home and think nobody is watching. In order to write the piece, I started a long process of interviewing hotel maids in different cities. The first thing I decided was that it should be a hotel chain, with the same architecture and operations replicated all over the world.


The Hotel Ibis Anhalter Banhoff in Berlin is a few metres from where the Berlin Wall used to be, opposite the Nazis’ bunker.

But, the Ibis doesn’t show any trace of the city’s history. Built in the nineties, it stands in a row of hotels, which share its neutral, welcoming ambience. On entering the hotel I am greeted by the hotel manager, who gives me a short tour of the hotel. As he shows me the identical rooms, he tells me how the windows don’t open so that guests can’t commit suicide. It would appear that people prefer to kill themselves in hotels rather than at home. All the rooms have a single watercolour painting, which soothes the guests and helps them to sleep. But, in the future there will be no more hotel art: just a flat screen TV with images of the sea. I ask him to show me the service area and he takes me to a cemetery of dirty sheets. He says the dirty sheets are washed in Poland. It’s cheaper. I want to see the chambermaids, but the manager says he would have to get permission. The cleaning staff is outsourced, part of another firm that works for the hotel. He says he never speaks to them because he doesn’t understand them: they’re all from China, former Yugoslavia, Africa and Asia. The following week I set out in search of my protagonists. I walk around the corridors with a notebook, explaining that I want to interview them and write about their lives. As they don’t speak German very well and neither do I, I try in English and in my limited French, but most of them think I’m a journalist or a hotel spy and flee from me like the plague. After various failed attempts, I manage to persuade a few people to give me an hour of their time, with the promise that those who feature in the piece will receive payment for their stories. The first person I interview is José, from the Canary Islands, who fell in love with a German woman and moved to Germany. He tells me that when he finds faeces outside of the toilet they pay him double for the room (though he would prefer not to find them in the first place).

Then I meet Bich, a Vietnamese woman who met her German husband on the Internet. When I go to her house, it’s full of professional wedding photos, showing a fairy-tale existence. But the truth is, she was separated from her two-year old daughter because the German authorities said she didn’t make enough money to look after her.

Suzanne, from northern Germany: she works as a maid because her family has always been cleaners, although she would have liked to be a kindergarten teacher.

Li is from China. He studies automobile

engineering during the week, and works all weekend cleaning. He says the best guests are old people, because they don’t wash (the shower is the hardest thing to clean).

Then there’s Gaston, from Cameroon. The first time I speak to Gaston, he says: first pay me, and then I’ll talk. I tell him that I have to know something about his story so I can decide whether I can write about it. He tells me that his family had him deported from his country because he was a political prisoner and was going to be killed, that when he arrived in Germany he was placed in a refugee camp for five years, and then he was allowed to leave when he got a woman pregnant who had a residency permit. This is the hardest interview: he’s already had to tell his story a thousand times so that the authorities would give him his papers, and he knows what to say and what not to say. And I don’t know how much of it is true and how much is a story he made up for the Germans. As he doesn’t trust me, I tell him things about Argentina, my work and my life. At times it is he who is interviewing me.



During one of the interviews, he shows me a picture of a coffin with a woman’s body inside, and he tells me that his wife died while he was waiting to be granted asylum, and that he received a photo of her corpse in the post. With these five stories, I made Chambermaids, a biographical installation in five hotel rooms. But, that is just the beginning, because the installation is also going to be shown again in Buenos Aires, so I’ll have to do it all over again.

Buenos Aires


The Hotel Ibis Congreso is opposite Plaza Congreso, where every day you can see demonstrations, families living in the street in cardboard boxes, office workers eating lunch on the benches, rickety carousels where children spin round and round. As I go through the automatic glass door separating the hotel from the city, the chaos of the square dissolves in the white, red and green livery of the hotel décor, like the colours of a flag for a country where all is calm. The hall is a bubble of muzak and young, smiling people in uniform immediately immersing me into another country: Ibis country.

Eight women in green, red and white uniforms sit opposite us: a female army with two stars shining on their chests. I tell them I want to make an installation about their work and their lives and they smile in disbelief: “What’s so interesting about the life of a maid?” one asks.

Iris, who doesn’t work at the hotel anymore because at the age of 23, after making thirty beds a day, has a broken back.

Over the following weeks, I interview them one by one, in sessions lasting two hours. Sitting in the hotel conference room, they share their most private things with me. Sometimes they cry and then carry on talking good-naturedly about naked guests and the number of used condoms they pick up every day. They crack jokes about selling guests’ sperm over the Internet.

Patricia is from Misiones, is 26 and has four children back in the jungle, waiting for her to get time off.

In remaking this piece in a totally different context, the life stories are very different but a lot of observations about the piece are repeated, creating a new portrait of the city. While in Berlin, Chambermaids showed the parallel lives of foreigners who had fled war or economic crisis, in Buenos Aires this installation makes these invisible women visible again, these women who travel into the city from the surrounding areas every day, to clean away the traces of somebody else’s private life.

Edith, who started off cleaning the Pink

LOLA ARIAS is a writer, director, actress and songwriter

The questions I ask them are sometimes harmless, and sometimes awkward or painful. I’m like a quack psychiatrist doing sessions after work. Over the course of the interviews a total complicity is built up with them and my team.

Cecilia, the lovesick woman who

always leaves the guests love-letters.

It’s hard to choose just five stories, but in the end I go for the most different ones.

I go in and ask for the assistant manager and explain my idea for creating an installation in a hotel based on interviews with chambermaids. To my surprise, this strikes her as an excellent idea and she calls all the chambermaids down to meet us.

Luisa Carina, who lived her whole life

in a hut the size of one and a half hotel rooms, and now has her own brick-built house.

Palace, where she met the president and her husband, who waited for her to come home from work before dying in her arms.

based in Buenos Aires and Berlin. Her work plays with the overlap between reality and fiction, and in 2010 she created the concept Ciudades Paralelas (Parallel Cities) together with Stefan Kaegi from Rimini Protokoll.





metropolis laboratory 2008 key note speakers integral urbanism NAN ELLIN (US) professor and chair, Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah.


Ellin is author of a range of books including postmodern urbanism (2007), integral urbanism (2006) and architecture of fear (1996). The revolution of city making has turned the main focus from a modernist, mechanical and functionally differentiated approach to city planning, to a holistic and organic approach focusing on the flow of the city as a whole. We are rediscovering what Ellin calls our ’urban instinct’, which has been buried in modern city planning: the instinct for the city as a complex, diverse and integrated place of human interaction.






UTE META BAUER (DE) associate professor and director, Visual


CHRISTINA RAY (US) artist, curator and founding director of

USMAN HAQUE (UK) director of Haque Design + Research.


Arts Programme, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ARTSCAPE (CA) presented by director TIM JONES.


Artscape, Toronto is a not-for-profit enterprise engaged in culture-led regeneration. The projects are designed to build and leverage the local community’s cultural assets and creative resources while serving as catalysts for neighborhood growth and transformation. Artscape has grown from a Toronto-based affordable arts space provider into an international leader in culture-led regeneration.

Glowlab is an artist-run production and publishing lab engaging urban public space as the medium for contemporary art and technology projects. As the director of Glowlab, Ray curates events and exhibitions, publishes Glowlab’s web-based magazine and produces Conflux, an annual festival in New York for psychogeography and the creative exploration of urban public space. NEW URBANISM

KORO Public Art Norway

SASKIA SASSEN (US) professor of Sociology at Columbia

GRO KRAFT (NO) director of KORO.

University, New York.

KORO Public Art Norway is an organisation that organises temporary and permanent installations and visual artworks as an integrated part of architecture and public space. KORO is the government’s professional body for art in public spaces, and the country’s largest art producer. Planning, production, and quality control of art projects are core activities. KORO emphasises diversity and innovation in art productions that reach wide and varied audiences in cities and regions throughout the country.

Sassen is author of The Mobility of Labour and Capital (1988), The Global City (2002), Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (2006) and The Urban Architecture of Global Networks (2001). Saskia Sassen’s presentation dealt primarily with the link between local and global political challenges and focused on the possibilities of confronting the global order – or lack of the same – through using local institutions, the city being a key example.






HACKENBROICH ARCHITECTS (DE) presented by architect



Juul | Frost Architects is an innovative and internationally oriented practice with expertise in urban, built and landscape architecture. The research project Public Space as a Catalyst for Change deals with how public space can be seen as a strategy for development, transformation and change in cities. The project works as a cross-disciplinary dialogue between architects, geographers, sociologists, ethnologists and artists as a prerequisite for innovation and the creative development of public space and cities.

JUSTESEN, Head of Planning, and RIKKE FAABORG, Head of Urban Development.

CPH City & Port Development works with a range of projects that aim to integrate creative industries, culture and investment in the current plans for Copenhagen. An introduction to the overall strategies for their work in Ørestad and Nordhavn: working with everyday life, events and activities both in terms of temporary and permanent initiatives.

Representing an architectural and artistic approach, Wilfried Hackenbroich and Jan Christensen presented their collaborative project The Traffic of Clouds, a large scale sitespecific installation in the PROGRAM Gallery, Berlin.

Haque Design + Research is a company specialising in the design and research of interactive architecture systems. Usman Haque has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation performances. His skills include the design of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life.

MARK SHEPARD (US) assistant professor, University of Buffalo, State University of New York.

Mark Shepard is an artist, architect and researcher and his practise investigates the implications of mobile and pervasive media, communication and information technologies for architecture and urbanism. URBAN SCREENS


MIRJAM STUPPEK (NL) curator, founder and director of Urban



(DK) architect and cultural planner.

Jes Vagnby and Peter Schultz Jørgensen talked about the potential and challenges in the creation of both temporary and permanent citymaking. MAP OFFICE IN HONG KONG GUTIRREZ & PORTEFAIX (HK) architects.

MAP Office is a collaborative research and design studio involved in cross-disciplinary projects that incorporate architecture and visual arts. Based in Hong Kong since 1996, both epitomize a new breed of architects who are rethinking the socio-political agencies of architecture. Their projects focus on territorial strategies of global spaces, involving a critical analysis of spatial and temporal anomalies and documentation of the ways in which human beings subvert and appropriate spaces for their own use. PUBLIC ART LAB IN BERLIN SUSA POP (DE) artist, curator and director of Public Art Lab.

Public Art Lab is a forum for international artists and curators working in the public realm, often using multimedia and technology. Pop has worked on a number of projects including Mobile Museums (2004) and the Media Facades Festival in Berlin (2008).

Urban Screens is an international forum for media and public art that investigates how the currently commercial use of outdoor screens can be broadened with cultural content. It addresses cultural fields such as digital media culture, urbanism, architecture and art and aim to network and sensitise all engaged parties for the possibilities of using the digital infrastructure as a contribution to a lively urban society. INNOVATION LAB ON INVASIVE TECHNOLOGIES PEDER BURGAARD (DK) manager.

Innovation Lab is an international knowledge centre for new technology and the application of new technology in products. They have established an international network comprising close to 2500 connections within worldwide research, product development and entrepreneurship. Through talks, articles, workshops, seminars and projects, Innovation Lab strives to provide a comprehensive list of the potentials and challenges facing businesses and organisations related to new technologies and innovation.

Ute Meta Bauer was professor of Theory, Practice and Transfer of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna for 10 years, Director of Kunstlerhaus Stuttgart (1990-94) and founding Director of the Norwegian Office for Contemporary Art Norway (2002-05). She was Artistic Director for the 3rd Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art in 2003-04 and co-curated Dokumenta11 in Kassel and continues to work as a freelance curator. PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY AND EMOTIONAL MAPPING CHRISTIAN NOLD (UK) artist, designer and educator.

Christian Nold is working with the development of new participatory models for communal representation and the psychogeography of the city and has led a number of large scale participatory projects and worked with a team on diverse academic research projects. In particular his “Bio Mapping” project has received large amounts of international publicity and has been staged in 16 different countries and over 1500 people have taken part in workshops and exhibitions. URBANITY AND SHARED SPACES ASHOK SUKUMARAN (IN) artist based in Mumbai.

His recent work deals with technological infrastructures and how we move and act across them. Sukumaran’s work has been shown internationally and he has received a number of major awards. He is the co-founder of CAMP, a new platform for artistic and research activity, based in Mumbai.




EKER & SCHAAP (NL) JORAM SCHAAP architect and partner.

Eker & Schaap landschapsarchitectuur is an Amsterdam based office for landscape architecture and urbanism. Projects range from urban interventions to regional transformations.



Based in Beirut working with the notion of space and structures in the context of times of catastrophe, and teaches history of art and history of architecture at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA) in Beirut.

Trans Europe Halles is a European network of independent cultural centres in former industrial spaces. It provides a network for the independent cultural centres in Europe where they can benefit from each other’s experiences, take courses in practical matters such as marketing, basic economy and how to structure an organisation. 185

AWP (FR) MARC ARMENGAUD partner and head of the research and creation department.

AWP – a Paris based interdisciplinary architecture and landscape design studio. On going projects include an iconic canopy and open-air auditorium in Stavanger, Norway, a new park for the Museum of Modern Art in Villeneuve d’Ascq (Lille) and several regeneration projects in France, Italy, Spain and the UK.


Custard Factory is a former factory transformed into a creative hub and home to more than 200 creative businesses such as galleries, restaurants, artist studios, theatre and music venues.





JACOB KAMP / TRINE TRYDEMANN landscape architects.

YOHANN FLOCH coordinator.

1:1 Landskab is a practice working in the field of architecture, (urban) landscape and design. The studio strives for pragmatic and poetic solutions, focusing on luxuriance, simplicity and contrast. GH3 (CA)

Circostrada is a European information and exchange network on street arts and new circus. HorsLesMurs, French National Center for development of street arts and circus arts, founded it in 2003. The Circostrada network’s goal is to work on the development and structuring of street arts and circus arts in Europe.

DIANA GERRARD / PAT HANSON architects and partners.

gh3 from Toronto designs in the increasingly complex realm where architecture, urbanism and landscape overlap. They design landscapes with a modernist’s eye to order, beauty and social possibility, and an environmentalist’s awareness about sustainability and long-term thinking.


U-Turn is the first festival for contemporary art in Copenhagen (2008), with an ambitious programme of national and international artists and a focus on public art and performativity. SOUP (DK)

SOUP is a temporary art and architecture project, which took place in the modernist social housing area of Urbanplanen in Copenhagen in 2008, involving the local community and institutions in the revitalisation of a shopping centre threatened by demolition, with cultural and social activities and commerce.


Christian Skovberg Jensen (DK) freelance curator and critical writer.

Working primarily within the field of public art, mediation and urban/ cultural planning and has curated ‘SIT DOWN!’ from 2006, which was part of an Urban Regeneration Scheme in Outer Nørrebro, Copenhagen.

TERROIR (AU) Gerard Reinmuth architect and director.

TERROIR, a practice founded with Richard Blythe and Scott Balmforth in 1999. The practice explores how architecture mediates what were traditional cultural relationships between people and between people and their world in a globalised condition where the very idea of cultural

SIGNS OF LIFE IN MEGACITIES Pedro Jose Mahando (MZ) architect based in Maputo.

GITTE JUUL architect / KAY NYBORG artist.


boundaries has been fundamentally questioned because of the interactivity of society and capital at a global level.

With a practice focusing on upgrading the slum areas in African cities, Pedro Jose Mahando is concerned with the major challenges facing the development in African cities in terms of informal settlements which are rapidly growing settlements, but settlements receiving no funding for building infrastructures such as suez systems, water supply and electricity. fernando naftal manuel vamusse (mz) artist and director of the cultural centre Centro Cultural Guezi in Maputo.

Fernando is an artist who is also concerned with the rapidly growing informal settlements in African cities. Through the cultural centre Centro Cultural Guezi the aim is to use cultural activities as a communication platform and a driver in terms of the development of informal settlements. DOUAL’ART (CM) Marilyn Douala-Bell curator and president.

Doual’Art is a centre for contemporary art and a laboratory experimenting with new urban practises in the megacity of Douala, Cameroon. With an emphasis on community based projects the centre seeks to empower people by involving them in the decision-making concerning projects in their neighbourhoods.

HANS CHRISTIAN POST (DK/DE) PhD, University of Copenhagen.

A PhD-project that examines, discusses and evaluates how the multifaceted cultural heritage found on Alexanderplatz has in this connection been reflected, thematised and employed.


Bernard Khoury (LB) architect.

Based at DW5 design production facility in Beirut, Bernard Khoury is an acclaimed architect who holds lectures and exhibits internationally. Over the past 15 years, his office has developed an international reputation and a significant diverse portfolio of projects both locally and abroad.

JON SØRVIN artist.

N55 is a group of innovative and socially concerned artists particularly interested in architecture and design, creating mobile constructions with a social and philosophical perspective. WATERLIVING (DK)

HOIDN WANG PARTNER (DE) Barbara Hoidn architect, professor and partner.

Hoidn Wang Partner is concerned with designs that are self-evident, seemingly effortless and able to maintain a long physiological as well as aesthetic life expectancy. Contrary to mass production and its aesthetic decadence, the office’s aim is to create a sensuous identity and cultural continuity in each project by means of conscientious craftsmanship.

niels holck ceo

Waterliving is a company developing new houseboats and communities on the water by combining contemporary architecture with an understanding of maritime design. L.E.F.T (US) Naji Moujaes architect.

L.E.F.T, a New York based design collective comprising architects Makram el Kadi, Ziad Jamaleddine and Naji Moujas. Established in New York in 2001, L.E.F.T is dedicated to examining the intersections of cultural and political productions within the built environment.




A design studio developing concepts and designs that challenge spaces, organisations and users in a way where design borders on being artistic interventions.

Karoline H. Larsen (DK) artist.

Visual artist working site specific, collaborating with and engaging the public in her projects which include strong elements of social sculpture and social creativity. Karoline is the founder of Creative Actions which is ideally a participatory art, where idea and process designed in collaboration with the population in a specific area set in the context of a larger whole.






Matthew Griffin architect.

Working in the crossover between art, communication and design. They publish books and magazines, develop brands, communication platforms, websites, arrange events and conduct secret tours.

NORTH DESIGN OFFICE (CA) Pete North / Alissa North landscape architects.

North Design Office is a landscape architecture, urbanism and design firm. The office has developed a praxis where research and theory inform a process based approach to solving complex issues in the environments we inhabit. RAUMLABOR BERLIN (DE) Matthias Rick architect and partner.


Raumlabor berlin’s work is based on the principles of empirical designbased research. Collective action questions the meaning of urban spatial function and goes on to explore the potentials of buildings and areas. Spatial experience becomes a central concern. Their projects produce a framework for individually initiated perception and use of previously appropriated places, thus forming a basis for subjective or collective public self-projection and a higher level of social interaction.


Airplay Street Gallery, an outdoor gallery in Copenhagen presenting digital and performative art in the public realm. The gallery has a permanent exhibition platform in Nørrebro with a projector and loudspeakers. The exhibitions lie in a cross-disciplinary field where the artists and the public challenge and investigate the ideas and values that shape our society and public space. SHAHRAM ENTEKHABI (DE) artist.

Based in Berlin, Shahram is focusing on the transportation of ideas via live art and performative elements fusing video, architecture, sculpture, drawing and photography, in an urban setting.


Filip Noterdaeme (US) artist and founding director of the Homeless Museum of Art (HOMU).

HOMU is a conceptual art project that seeks to subvert the increasingly impersonal, market-driven art world and expose the sellout of cultural institutions to commerce, cronyism, real estate and star architects.

Elizabeth Streb artistic director.

Elizabeth Streb’s choreography, which she calls “PopAction”, intertwines the disciplines of dance, athletics, boxing, rodeo, the circus, and Hollywood stunt-work. The result is a bristling, muscle-and-motion vocabulary that combines daring with strict precision in pursuit of the public display of ‘pure movement’.

Deadline operates as a group of architects, graphic designers, computer programmers, curators and developers, with a flexible pool of freelancers.The studio experiments with the emerging information-age structures, which are evident in different spheres, but have yet to manifest themselves in an urban form.

TOPOTEK 1 (DE) MARTIN REIN-CANO landscape architect and partner.

TOPOTEK 1 works mainly with design for public spaces. Based on a critical understanding of immanent realities, the search for conceptual approaches leads to decided statements concerning the urban context.

MAPT (DK) Mads Møller / Anders Lendager architects.

MAPT is a small practice in Copenhagen that challenges architecture by using new digital technology in design and manufacture. MAPT “adjust the technology in order to achieve humane values, and to create a sustainable, intelligent and interesting architecture”. RAKETA INSTITUTE (SE) Åsa Lipka Falck artist / camilla schlyter gezelius architect / ELISABET M. NILSSON PhD game studies.

Jay Pather (ZA) choreographer and founding director of Siwela Sonke Dance Company.

Siwela Sonke Dance Company is a dance company working with classical and contemporary dance with African, Indian and European influences often collaborating with visual artists, architects and urban planners. Lotte van den Berg (NL) theatre director.

Lotte is part of the new generation of Dutch performance makers. Her latest projects deal with the interpretation of place, presented as real, unreal, constructed and staged events – from prisons to deserted suburbs at dawn. Previous productions include a.o.Begijnenstraat 42, Het blauwe uur (The Blue Hour) and Braakland (Wasteland). Kitt Johnson (DK) performer, choreographer and producer.

Kitt works extensively with site-specific projects throughout Europe and, in recent years, has created a series of ensemble works, which have challenged her artistic vision. Kitt is the founder of the festival Mellemrum, a site-specific performance festival taking place in the hidden, forgotten, known and unknown places of Copenhagen.

interactive media, the performance and the city

Raketa Institute is located in Stockholm and is a network running interdisciplinary, collaborative projects and experiments within art, design, architecture and digital media.

jan hatt-olsen (dk) artist.

The essense of Jan Hatt-Olsen’s work is the creation of what he calls ’reenchanted urban space’, which deals with the staging of public space and attempts to open up for public co-creation and creative communication in public space. Projects include Urban Wiki which uses Wiki software to augment urban space.

MAPPING URBAN SPACES GET LOST (DK) Kjersti Wikstrøm project manager at DAC / NIS RØMER artist / BUREAU DETOURS represented by MADS PETER LAURSEN artist.

RECOIL PERFORMANCE GROUP (DK) Tina Tarpgaard choreographer / OLE KRISTENSEN software designer.

In 2003, composer Pelle Skovmand and choreo­grapher Tina Tarpgaard founded recoil performance group with the intention of creating a group that is formed by the collaboration of artists across genres and borders. Through dance, live video and electronic sound, the group creates performances that aim to explore generative digital technology as an equal and interacting partner to the performing artist.

The exhibition GET LOST discussed social sustainable urban development – with an emphasis on the conditions of the exposed in a rapidly growing city like Copenhagen. How do we move around and meet each other in urban public space? Is the city made for everyone? What values should be the basis of the further development of Copenhagen as a big city? The exhibition encountered the audience in their every day activities in the city in the shape of short-lived art projects and interactive interventions in urban public space. Web-blogs and debates invited citizens to discuss the way in which our cities develop. Doung Jahangeer (ZA) architect, artist and co-founder of DALA.

DALA is an interdisciplinary organization based in Durban which aims to facilitate the activation and production of [public] space through participatory creative initiatives. It is a physical, theoretical and philosophical platform for both local and international creative practitioners who wish to engage with the thinking, feeling and making of urban space.


NEW MEDIA, SPACES AND STAGE HOTEL PROFORMA (DK) Kirsten Dehlholm artistic director.

Hotel Pro Forma takes the notion of theatre into new territories, which lie between art and non-art, theatre and non-theatre, physical and metaphysical expression. Hotel Pro Forma’s performances occupy a space between construction and sensation, consciousness and intuition, the concrete and the abstract.


Viera Collardo works with independent media, which relates to the essence of its environment. Her light pieces are to be seen as integrated art works in the given architectural space.


HOLLAND HOUSE (DK) Jacob Schokking artistic director.

The organisation Holland House creates, produces and stages modern opera and theater plays directed by Jacob Schokking. His work is above all characterized by the use of highly advanced electronic image technique which, when integrated with music, text and plot stage-action, makes the best use of the possibilities the opera genre offers as to synchronicity and intensity. THE BUILDERS ASSOCIATION (US) Claire Hallereau producer.


The Builders Association is a New York-based performance and media company exploiting the richness of contemporary technology in order to stretch the boundaries of theatre. Based on innovative collaborations, The Build­ers Association’s productions blend stage per­formance, text, video, sound, and architecture to tell stories about human experiences in the 21st Century.

LIGHT AND THE CITY illumenarts (dk) CATJA THYSTRUP / STINE KEIDING artistic directors and curators.

Illumenarts is a light and multimedia art gallery located in the recently developed part of Copenhagen – Ørestad Nord. Illumenarts uses public spaces and buildings in urban areas as settings for exhibitions. Their vision is to create a framework for artistic initiatives in Ørestad focusing on light, through curated exhibitions and consultancy work regarding the use of light and new ways of integrating light and architecture. VICTORIA COELN (AT) artist.

Victoria Coeln develops light spaces she refers to as ’Chromotopes’. Her work condenses and concretises light and incorporates scientific knowledge as well as the power of emotion and personal encounters.

PROGRAM - Initiative for Art and Architectural Collaborations, is a non-profit Berlin based platform that aims to expand the disciplinary boundaries of architecture through collaborations with other fields. Anu Pennanen (FI) artist.

Anu is an artist working within urban public space and its relation to cinema and media. She is interested in creating narratives with people situated or living in alienating architectural structures of power. Sites serve as backdrops for events acted by people, over a given period of time. Film is used as a reflexive medium and a productive space to re-negotiate with reality. Vibeke Jensen (NO) artist.

Based in New York and Norway, Vibeke works in the interstices between photography, video and installation and has produced several public art commissions. A recurring theme is surveillance of and in public space as a result of privatization of public spaces and fear.























Trajets de Vie Trajets de Ville


City Puzzle

ARTISTIC DIRECTION: Anne Le Batard, Jean-Antoine Bigot

CONCEPT: Nina Larissa Bassett

DIRECTED BY: Enrique Vargas

TRAJETS DE VIE: DANCERS: Anne Le Batard, Jean-Antoine Bigot, Hughes Pomiès, Corinne Pontana

PERFORMERS: a.o. Layla Mollerup, Paco Fernandez, Mikkel Raahede, Philippe Christiansen,

DEVELOPED IN COLLABORATION WITH: Teatro de los Sentidos, Republique, Copenhagen

MUSIC: Yves Miara

Camilla Graff Junior, Diana Wesser, Linford Brown, Joy Harder, Thomas Burø

International Theatre

TRAJETS DE VILLE: DANCERS: Jean-Antoine Bigot, Jean-Marc Fillet, Anne-Claude Goustiaux, Anne

MUSIC / SOUND: Thomas Burø

CO-PRODUCTION: Teatro de los sentidos, Festival Grec de Barcelona, Napoli Teatro Festival Italia,

Le Batard, Sasker Polman, Hugues Pomiès, Corinne Pontana, Satya Roosens, Lies Cuyvers, Lisa da

LIGHTDESIGN: Liza van der Voorn


Boit, Adolfo Vargas

VENUE: Meeting Place: Frue Plads, 10-22 August (except 16 August)

VENUE: Republique, 14 August-6 September

CONCEPT: Dominique Noel, Bruno Schnebelin, Ann Williams



PERFORMERS: Eric Bernard, Lucile Boissonnet, Valérie Cartier, Magali Chabroud, Sébastien

Continuous City

La Marea

CONCEPT: Marianne Weems, director / James Gibbs, dramaturg / Harry Sinclair, writer

DIRECTOR: Mariano Pensotti


MUSIC: Pascal Ferrari VENUE: Enghave Plads, 5 August / Axeltorv, 6 August / Rådhuspladsen, 7 August

Coulomb, Fanny Decoust, Philippe Eustachon, Andràs Hajdu, Daniela Luna, Dominique Noel,


Stéphane Pigeyre, Arnaud Poupin, Bruno Schnebelin

Submarine Ballet


SET DESIGN: Mariana Tirantte

TECHNICIANS: Ann Williams, Pascal Wyrobnik

PERFORMERS: Maia Hauser, Kerstin Lofvander, Malou Lindholm, Diana Knudsen, Dorthe Bjerre,

VIDEO DESIGN: Peter Flaherty

LIGHT DESIGN: Matias Sendon


Allison Lorenzen, Rebecca Patek, Karl Gillick, Ulrike Bodammer, Frank Willens, Daniel Davis, Sacha

LIGHTING: Jennifer Tipton



Kimberly Rudd, Pierre Enaux, Juli Gabor, Sofia Karlsson, Judit Keri, Trine Trash, Margit Lund, Helle

SCENIC CONCEPT AND DESIGN: James Gibbs, Stewart Laing, Neal Wilkinson

PERFORMERS: Helene Kvint, Joachim Jepsen, Erik Nielsen, Emma-Cecilia Ajanki, Christian Rossil,

VENUE: Sortedamsøen, 1 August

Fuglsang, Lisa Ødegaard, Sergio Mendez, Dascha Lavrennikov, Linda Priha, Ela Spalding, Annelien

PERFORMERS: Moe Angelos, Rizwan Mirza, Caroline O’Neill, Harry Sinclair

Maj-Britt Mathiesen, Svend Kristensen, Marie Topp, James Stephen Back, Mikkel Brunberg, Nicolei

Goetschalckx, Lai Yde, Daniel Brooks, Kristen Greco, Niklas Levin, Stefan Fischer, Xiri, Laurent

PRODUCTION: Claire Hallereau with The Builders Association / Neal Wilkinson, Production

Faber, Lisa Carlehead, Lisbeth Eugenie, Mads Siggaard, Mikaela Kirketerp, Marek Magierecki


Manager / Joe Silovsky, Technical Design / Josh Higgason, Touring Technical Director / Chantelle

IN COLLABORATION WITH: Cafe N, Casa, KIPO, Niels Brock, shft I/S / This Issue in Blågårdsgade

OFFICERS: Tobi Twang, Erik Skibsted Hey

Norton, Costume Designer / Ed Purver, Video Associate / Laura Mroczkowski, Lighting Associate


Blind Spot

ORCHESTRA: Hélianne Blais, Niklas Antonson, Peter Morrison, Ursula Paludan Monberg, Lavinia

/ Tom Korder, Technical Development / Kate Goodwin, Stage Manager / Shoshana Polanco,

VENUE: Blågårdsgade, 14-16 August


Whitaker, Andreas Bennetzen

Managing Director

DANCERS: Ntombi Gasa, Nhlakanipo Cele, Rosa Isaldur, Susanne Judson, Khanyiso Kunene,

SUBMARINE+BOAT CREW: a.o. Peter Madsen, Lars Hansen, Claus Nørregaard, Brian Josefsen,

VIDEO FOOTAGE: Harry Sinclair, James Gibbs, Mathieu Borysevicz, Ed Purver, Moe Angelos, Nabil

Sandile Mkhize, Zozo Mposula, Pravika Nandkishore, Mxolisi Nkomode, Aida Redza, Peter Russell,

Christoffer Meyer, Christian Wang

Mirza, Rizwan Mirza, Ariba Sultan, Tammi O’Neill


Reidar Sjoeset

CHOREOGRAPHY+CONCEPT: Pipaluk Supernova in collaboration w. the artists



ALSO APPEARING: Rama Amtrup, Reisa Reyes Castro, Joe Nyamaei, Barthelot Ekeme Same, Meire

LIGHT+FIRE INSTALLATIONS: Thomas Jørgensen, Christian Liljedahl


CONCEPT: Berlin [Bart Baele Yves Degryse, Caroline Rochlitz]

VIDEO: Martin Kløft

COMPOSER: Andreas Bennetzen

CONSULTING: Donna Cox and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Urbana, IL

SOUNDTRACK: Benjamin Boutreur

VENUE: Nørrebrogade, 3-9 August

SUBMARINES: Peter Madsen, Jens Falkenberg + crew


VIOLIN: Wim Lauwaert, Sterre de Raedt

TOW BOATS: Lars Hansen + crew


VIOLA: Natalie Glas

COSTUMES: Malou Lindholm, Pipaluk Supernova

VENUE: MusikTeatret Albertslund, 11 – 13 August

CELLO: Katelijn Vankerckhoven




ADDITONAL DESIGN: Frederikke Lange, Siri Carlslund

PIANO: Joachim Saerens

The Reality Game

PRODUCTION ASSISTANCE: Allison Lorenzen, Jesper Ipsen, Vanessa Carpenter, Hanne Jørgensen,

CONCEPT, INSTRUCTION & PERFORMANCE: Erik Pold in collaboration with the performers.

Margit Lund, Natasha Verco


PERFORMERS: Erik Pold, Merete Byrial, Johannes Lilleøre, Pernille Koch


Chilango Hawkers


FILM CREW: Jaro Colajacomo, Matej Svenda, Robert Fox

CONCEPT AND CURATORS: Claudia Adeath, Sergio Medrano


DRAMATURGY / CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT: Mette Wolf Iversen, Lars Bo Løfgreen,

Produced for Live Art Installations by Copenhagen Dream House

ARTISTS AND PERFORMERS: Alejandro Rincón, Arturo Rodríguez Döring, César Cortés, Claudia

Here whilst we walk

Jan-Phillipp Possman

VENUE: Inner Harbour, 7 & 8 August

Adeath, Guerrilla Urbana, Yuvia A. Pérez González, Carlos Reyes, Ricardo Pavel, Ferrer B, Ilana

CREATION, DISCUSSION, PERFORMANCE: Gustavo Ciríaco, Andrea Sonnberger

TEXT: Selected quotes from the authorship of Friedrich Schiller

Boltvinik, Israel Cortés, La Banqueta, Roxana Aguilar, Crissel García, Marina Meza, Osfabel Diteos,

VENUE: Flæsketorvet 57-67, 20-22 August

PRODUCTION: LiminalDK by Marianne Klint

Sergio Medrano, Tilemy Santiago G, Viktor Banales, Yurián Zerón

VENUE: Kultorvet, 5-12 August (except 9 August)

PROJECT ASSISTANT: Anne Julie Arnfred VENUE: Nikolaj Plads & Kongens Nytorv, 13-22 August

VENUE: Havnegade 50, 18-20 August





vertical exile


PERFORMANCE: Martin Vognsen, Sara Gebran, Casper Øbro, Ylva Henrikson, Joen Vedel, Esther

CONCEPT: Eric Lecomte

Wrobel, Anders Paulin

CHOREOGRAPHY: Eric Lecomte, Odile Gheysens


AERIAL DANCERS: Yves Fauchon, Violaine Garros, Odile Gheysens, Eric Lecomte, Joëlle le Gléau

Allan Myrup, Thomas Bo Østergaard, Sylvester Roepstorff, Biba Fibiger, Emma-Cecilia Ajanki, Sara

MUSICIANS: Thibaut Garnier, Guillaume Dumas, François Pernin, Julien Thiery

Gebran, Ylva Henrikson, Esther Wrobel, Rikke Kjær, Roberta Blasone, Line Koch Nørreklit, Julia

VISUAL ARTIST: Claire Hemery

Giertz, Nuria Pellitero

SOUND TECHNICIAN: Frédéric Lechapt

PROJECT ASSISTANCE: Emma-Cecilia Ajanki, Celine Bardram

VENUE: VM Bjerget, Ørestad City, 28-29 August

VENUE: Absalonsgade 8, 21-23 August

DOUNG JAHANGEER (DURBAN) City Walk CONCEPT: Doung Jahangeer VENUE: Meeting point: Bus terminal, Rådhuspladsen, 24-28 August


Tommorow everything will be different CONCEPT: hello!earth


VENUE: Gothersgade 167, 25 -29 August

COMPAGNIE DAKAR (AMSTERDAM) Wasteland DIRECTOR: Lotte van den Berg PERFORMERS: Daphne de Winkel, Romanee Rodriguez, Lobke van Beuzekom, Guido Kleene, Mathias Maat, Ward Weemhoff, Jaap ten Holt, Luc Loots, Hanne Struyf TECHNIQUE: Paul de Vrees, Manuel Boutreur VENUE: Meeting point: Busstop ”Refshaleøen” final stop with bus 40, 25-29 August

GLIMT (COPENHAGEN) Alene sammen – et glimt af en cabaret DIRECTED BY: Lars Gregersen PERFORMERS: Esther Wrobel, Lola, Maite San Juan, Anders Skat, Brice Malahude, Gry Bagøien, Lars Ingar Lundin LIGHT: Mogens Kjempff SOUND: Chris Engel CONSULTANT: Camila Sarrazin

VENUE: Tietgenkollegiet, Ørestad Nord, 28-29 August



There is little evidence that the Creative City is sustainable. Meanwhile, a dissenting art has emerged to challenge the Creative City and open a more antagonistic public realm – this has limits, but may offer a glimpse of possibilities for a democratic public sphere.



THE CITY AS LIVING LAB OR PLAY SPACE FUTURE EVERYTHING (UK) presented by Drew Hemment, artist, curator, researcher, director and



STEFAN KAEGI (DE) theatre director, Rimini Protokoll / LOLA ARIAS (AR) writer, performer and

HANS KIIB (DK) professor / GITTE MARLING (DK) architect and professor,

founder of Future Everything (formerly Futuresonic).

theatre director.

Department of Architecture, Aalborg University.

Future Everything is an art, technology and social innovation organisation in Manchester that all year round runs innovation labs and an annual festival. The festival is the crucible that allows artists, technologists and future-thinkers to share, innovate and bring the future into the present. It seeks to reimagine, liberate and alienate the city through collaborative art and technology practice.


METOPOS is a dynamic studio with a strong profile in landscape architecture and city planning, both in terms of urban development projects as well as planning processes and artistic urban interventions.

RECODING CITIES THOMAS UGO ERMACORA (DK/IT) Urbanist designing creative platforms for sustainable lifestyle

CITIES UNDER SIEGE? THE NEW MILITARY URBANISM AND THE URBAN PUBLIC REALM STEVE GRAHAM (UK) professor of Cities and Society, School of Architecture, Planning and

THE MANIFESTO AS A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS DR. CAMERON CARTIERE (US/UK) co-director of the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice at Birkbeck, University of London.

Through a comparison of not only the content, but how these different manifestos were developed, prepared and presented, Cameron Cartiere presents innovative strategies for artists to navigate their way through the maze of challenges, negotiations and compromises intrinsic in the public art profession, particularly within the urban environment.

Bodies in urban spaces is a temporary intervention in a diversified urban architectonical environment – a moving trail, choreographed for a group of dancers. The performers lead the audience through selected parts of public and semi-public spaces.

Landscape, Newcastle University.

Steve Graham will explore the ways in which the securitisation of cities threatens the urban public realm. Revealing how security discussions, policies and technologies now permeate the sites, spaces and circulations of cities, ‘targeting’ everyday civilian life.

CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY IN URBAN PLANNING TERROIR (AU) presented by Gerard Reinmuth architect and director. Using examples from his native Australia and its multicultural cities, Gerard will contend that cultural sustainability is a spatial issue, particularly in Scandinavian contexts where new cultures literally move into spatial frameworks envisaged and constructed for extremely homogenous populations.


He has curated the first world touring cycling culture exhibition Dreams on wheels inspiring city mutations such as vélib’ in Paris and is now focusing on soft planning and participatory design for communities with the Clear Village initiative.

BODIES IN URBAN SPACES WILLI DORNER (AU) choreographer and founder of the performance company Cie Willi Dorner.


Kaegi and Arias introduce their most recent collaboration Ciudades Paralelas. For the project they have invited a group of artists to create artistic interventions at places that are common to every city.

LYSLYD (DK) presented by TREVOR DAVIES / MARIE VILTOFT POLLI Copenhagen International Theatre.

The project LYSLYD is an attempt to look at the notion of innovative artdriven public processes involving communities, local authorities and businesses over a period of three years (2008-2010) in the Region of Copenhagen. An attempt to look at interrelated sectors, i.e. place-making, business development, knowledge and learning and to see how innovative connections between art, technology, urban space and businesses can be addressed in a way which opens up for new practices.

NEW STAGES, NEW EXPERIENCES DORTE SKOT-HANSEN (DK) head of Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, Royal School of Library and Information Science.

URBANISM OF CO-PRODUCTION KLAUS OVERMEYER (DE) urban planner, landscape architect and founder of Studio UC, Berlin. Klaus Overmeyer operates in the challenging field of urban development, which is today characterized by eclectic transformational processes which landscape architecture is increasingly unable to address alone. By cooperating with an extensive network of experts in architecture, visual communication, management consultancy, sociology, exhibition design and ecology, Klaus Overmeyer succeeds in elaborating operational methods and tools as strategies for complex locational developments.



For the last 20 years huge investments have been made towards building new cultural institutions. Cafés, libraries, cultural institutions and businesses have become experience spaces. Public and private partnerships, in particular in the smaller cities in Denmark, have driven the development of these new performative spaces. The research study and publication Experience examines the conditions and consequences of new hybrid cultural projects and performative urban spaces.

Urban Space as a Catalyst for Change is a Realdania financed research project focusing on how urban spaces act as catalysts for urban development. The purpose of the research is to question the assumptions dominating present discussions regarding urban space, urbanity and urban development and aims to identify how urban spaces can be seen as catalysts for the development of “the good city”– socially, culturally and architecturally.

Dorte Skot-Hansen researches in the fields of cultural policy, cultural planning, experience economy and the city as a scene. In this session focus will be on New Stages, New Experiences – Metropolis as an example.





ZAYD MINTY (ZA) cultural producer and researcher, Creative Cape Town.


Bridging Boundaries: Public Art in Cape Town since 1997. A presentation of the organisation Creative Cape Town and its work in the context of the broader city of Cape Town.


ásta olga magnusdottir (is/za) new media designer. How to tap into the energy and playfulness of a city faced by crime and poverty on the one hand but full of urban renewal potential on the other? And how the Metropolis experience could contribute to some of Cape Town’s agendas.




Cape Town.

Celebrating public space. A focus on Human Cities Festival in Brussels and Istanbul 2010, European Capital of Culture 2010. PROSTOROZ (SI)



The long-term art project Beyond was launched in 2001 in Leidsche Rijn, the largest new-style housing estate in The Netherlands and exploits the relationship between art and urban planning, landscape, architecture and the community that takes shape in this setting near Utrecht.

EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE MARSEILLES - EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2013 jean-sébastien steil, coordinator for IN SITU network, Marseilles.

A presentation of the global frame of Marseille-Provence 2013, European Capital of Culture, related to the concept of creating a bridge between the two shores of the Mediterranean. KOsICE – EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2013 CHRISTIAN POTIRON, programme manager.

Launched in 2009 the festival Use the City is aiming to present the diversity of international artistic creations in the public space and to invite local communities to interact with their city.


choreographer and associate professor, Drama Department, University of

Can one resist the temptation of site-specific interdisciplinary performance that engages with key nodal points of urbanism, development, visibility and economy? Jay wants to propose a kind of new dramaturgy that captures the edginess and reinventions of live art in the postcolonial city of Cape Town.

ANA GRK, architecht.

PROSTOROZ is a team of young architects and designers based in Ljubljana, which examines new possibilities of using public spaces.

Hjemstavn is a 2-year (2010-2012) project lead by Helsingør Teater which addresses the challenge of the survival of smaller cities at a time when more people move to larger cities. In collaboration with a number of artists the project will question the idea of Hjemstavn in a global society.

NETWORKED CULTURES PETER MÖRTENBÖCK (AT/UK) / HELGE MOOSHAMMER (AT/UK). Networked Cultures investigates the cultural transformations on their way in Europe through examining the potentials and effects of networked spatial practices. Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, the project collaborates with art, architectural and urban practices across Europe and beyond, to look at ways in which contested spaces allow for a multi-inhabitation of territories and narratives across cultural, social or geographic boundaries. STRATEGIC PLANNING / MUNICIPALITIES AND ARTISTS COLLABORATIONS POLAU (FR) MAUD LE FLOC’H, cityplanner and director.

The city has become a stage for many artists. But how is it possible to integrate these creations in the process of city planning? A short presentation about the activities of the pOlau followed by focus on the artistic project UPIA, urban psychoanalysis international agency. HQAC: HAUTE QUALITÉ ARTISTIQUE ET CULTURELLE (FR) STEFAN SHANKLAND artist.

A new protocol for the integration of contemporary art practices and research in the context of urban transformation in France.

Art without Artists? What happens in the meeting between artistic and self-organized practices? What can the coming together of art, architecture and public space produce? A presentation of the project SOUP and reflections on how collective and participatory art can be understood and discussed. ZIMMERFREI (IT) ANNA DE MANINCOR, artist.

ZimmerFrei is a collective of artists whose complex practice is located on the crossroads of cinema, theatre, music and performance. Mixing formal languages, the group produces kaleidoscopic sonic and visual works that investigate real and imaginary urban environments, where the mental and the physical blend in a coherent narrative of human experience. URBAN (COL)laboratory DIANA WESSER (DE) artist / HELEN STRATFORD (UK) architect.

Urban (col)laboratory is an ongoing project located between performance art, architecture and writing, a process-led research practice investigates the rhythms and routines by which people negotiate, define and produce everyday spaces.




The focus of this session is to show how the combination of gaming and urban space may facilitate new experiences and interesting hybrids between the ludic space of games and the social and architectural space of cities. This session was organized by concept developer jesper pedersen (dk) and jakob la cour (dk) designer. DR. DAVID PINDER (UK), reader in geographyc at Queen Mary university of London. Games, play and cities: contested spaces. David Pinders research and teaching focuses on urbanism and the politics of space in relation to the ideas and practices of twentieth-century modernist and avant-garde movements, especially the situationists.


THE WALL is the newest communication project which places the story of the city right in the city centre. On a 12-meter long interactive multitouch screen you can fly away in a gigantic picture universe, and evoke the Copenhagen of the past and present. ELLE-MIE EJDRUP HANSEN (DK) artist. GELLERUP – LIGHT AND CHANGE, a light and laser installation in Gellerupparken in Århus. The light installation shows the nature of architecture and space, providing a possibility to discuss, interact and dream about the changes of the future. HAUSENBERG (DK) presented by KATINKA HAUXNER, partner.

Based on ethnographic methods Hausenberg create ideas, proposals, knowledge and value in the field of urban development. Katinka Hauxner will show examples and reflect upon projects and initiatives dealing with temporary approaches in relation to urban development.







EVENING SESSION CARLSBERG GOES TEMPORARY, an attempt to use temporary approaches in the Carlsberg area in Copenhagen. Cultural planner and partner of UIWE CHRISTIAN PAGH introduce the idea and design methods. FRIEND_SHIP is a Nordic and Baltic performance art project visiting the

harbours of Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Klaipeda from 10-20 June 2010. HENRIK VESTERGAARD FRIIS presents the performance Baltic Water developed for Friend_ship in collaboration with artist CHRISTINE FENTZ. LIVE ART INSTALLATIONS, a Copenhagen based collective of artists.


Artistic director PIPALUK SUPERNOVA presents recent site-specific projects dealing with harbour and water areas as public spaces. Co-founder of Wunderkammer Luke Cooper (UK/DK) presents the project Drive-In, a performance in the Ny Tap space at Carlsberg which encompasses installation, film, animation and performance. Danish artists HELLE HOVE and IBEN BRØNDUM present a series of site specific projects and events done in collaboration with the Municipality of Roskilde and show how art projects can point out local potentials.

live art installations (copenhagen) 100 dancers


CONCEPT: Pipaluk Supernova




VENUE: various sites in copenhagen, 2 - 5 august

GUIDES: David Bouvard, Jessy Coste, Stéphanie Lemonnier, Elsa Vanzande, Laurie PeschierPimont, Jacques Boyer,Corinne Pontier, Gilles Guegan, Samuel Ripault, Vincent Bonnet, Betina


Birkjær, Camilla Graff Junior, Jens Bäckvall, Kamma Siegumfeldt, Karen Brodersen, Mette Truberg, Lea Buch



CONCEPT: ZimmerFrei – Anna de Manincor, Massimiliano Carozzi, Roberto Beani

VENUE: Meeting point: Axeltorv, 1 – 12 & 15 – 18 august

PROJECT ASSISTANT: Miriam Nielsen VENUE: Korsgadebjerget, 4 & 5 August Mobile cinema on Nørrebro:


Sankt Hans Torv, 6 August / Lygten, 7 August / Nørrebro Parken, 9 August / Hans Tavsens Park,


10 August / Folkets Park, 11 August / Blågårds Plads, 12 August / Folkets Park, 13 August / Sankt

CONCEPT & MANUSCRIPT: Stine Eva Jørgensen, Steen Haugesen

Hans Torv, 14 August / Nørrebro Parken, 15 August / Nørrebro Runddel, 16 August

PERFORMERS: Steen Haugesen, Stine Eva Jørgensen, Andreas Ugorskij, Sune Bang a.o. SET DESIGN: Sissel Romme Christensen


MUSIC: Andreas Ugorskij PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Pernille Steen Kabell


CONSULTANT: Betina Birkjær

CONCEPT: Frank Bölter

VENUE: Tunnel at Jagtvej 23, 10 – 17 august / tunnel at Sølvgade 83, 20 – 25 august

VENUE: Nordre Toldbod, 5 august



U.S.E. T.W.O. / Dennis Design center



PERFORMERS: Ahmad Salhi, Britt Kamper Nielsen, Christel Elisabeth Stjernebjerg, Daniel

VENUE: Prags Boulevard, 8 – 21 august

Herrero Ditlevsen, Daniela Escarleth Romo Pozo, Fie Dam Mygind, Helena Hertz Melkjorsen, Julius Hjernø, Katarina Rosen, Katrine Jørgensen, Katya Nielsen, Kristian Tirsgaard, Maria Öhman, Michael Tang Pedersen, Michiel van Leeuwen, Rafaela Sahyoun, Frej Stenholt Mortensen, Sanna Blennow, Søren Linding Urup,Thais Hvid DIRECTORS ASSISTANT: Esther Vanessa Steinkogler PROJECT ASSISTANT: Signe Løve Anderskov VENUE: Meeting point: Københavns Museum, 12 – 14 August




CIUDADES PARALELAS Curated by: Lola AriaS & Stefan Kaegi



Ciudades Paralelas was developed with the support of HAU Berlin, Schauspielhaus Zürich,

CHOREOGRAPHY: Bo Madvig, Esther Wrobel

DANCERS: Bruno Duarte, Eduardo Hermanson, Kristiano Gonçalves, Alex Progenio, Barbara

CONCEPT, TEXT & PRODUCTION: Camilla Graff Junior, Helen Stratford, Diana Wesser

Goethe-Institute Buenos Aires and Warschau, Teatr Nowy, the foundation of Teatr Nowy,

VIDEO: Morten Vest, Jessica Nilsson

Lima, Ronielson Araújo, Thiago Almeida, Thiago Silva Lacerda, Joseph Antonio, Luiz Carlos

SOUND DESIGN: Jürgen Häberer

Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Swiss Cultural foundation Pro Helvetia.

DANCERS: Bo Madvig, Esther Wrobel, Margot Kuiper, Anton Wretling, Emma Vegge Andersen,


VOICE: Helen Stratford

Frederikke Arentz

LIGHT: Renato Machado



BOXERS: Mohammed Ali, Soufian Touti, Amith Rahman, Louise Brømmum, Lotte Knold, Younes

ART DIRECTOR: Gualter Pupo

VENUE: Metro stations: Nørreport, Kongens Nytorv, Christianshavn, 27 August

Hotel - Chambermaids

Castat, Gerald Glower, Mahmoud Snounou, Yasmine El Arbagi, Iman Samhi, Mohammed Samhi,

COSTUMES: Marcelo Sommer


Lea Pedersen, Stine Søfting, Khayre Hassan, Hamza Ghellam, Jacob Anher Lassen, Muddin Idrisi,

MUSIC: Lucas Marcier, Rodrigo Marçal – ARPX

PARTICIPANTS: Arjeta Maksuti, Coman Ciprian Constantin, Manuka Raya Prasai,

Jacob Hilarius, Fadil Ademi, Zaharia Mansour

DRAMATURGY: Rodrigo Bernardi


Sylwia Maria Kubicka, Yibetal Tibebu Damtew

CHOIR: Sebastian Nozari, David Thielki, Kristoffer Raasted, Asger Willumsen a.o.


Off The Wall

VIDEO & SOUND: Thomas Seest

PARTICIPANTS: Ole Fogh Kirkeby

VENUE: MusikTeatret Albertslund, 16 & 18 – 19 August

CURATORS: Julie Boserup, Carina Randløv


SOUND COMPOSITION: Åsmund Boye Kverneland (copyflex), DJ Hvad, Ali Sufi, Helianne Blais,

ARTISTS: PlakMarc Bijl, Lise Harlev, Gudrun Hasle, Jakob Kolding, Hester Oerlemans, Ahmet

VENUE: Hotel Astoria, 19 – 25 August


Ögüt, Pulsk Ravn, Klaus Staeck




LIGHT DESIGN: Per Daumiller



INSTALLATION: Christian Liljedahl


Library – The Quiet Volume

CO-ORDINATOR: Yasmine El Arbagi

MANUSCRIPT & PRODUCER: Anders Boss Holsting

CONCEPT: Ant Hampton, Tim Etchells

PR & COMMUNICATION: Karen Toftegaard

DIRECTOR: Mille Maria Dalsgaard


VENUE: Det Kongelige Bibliotek, 19 – 20 & 22 – 26 August

IN COLLABORATION WITH: Copenhagen Muay Thai Bokseklub

MANUSCRIPT & PERFORMER: Maria Carmen Lindegaard


VENUE: Copenhagen Muay Thai Bokseklub, Kbh. Ø, 12 & 13 August

SOUND TECHNICIAN: Michael Svensson

CONCEPT & PERFORMERS: Jef Naets & Iris Carta


VENUE: Meeting point: Harbo Bar, Blågårdsgade, 17 – 21 & 24 – 28 August


Station – Sometimes I Think, I Can See You

MUSIC: Jochem Baelus

CONCEPT & DIRECTOR: Mariano Pensotti

TECHNICIAN: Olivier Melis

AUTHORS: Adam Drewes, Anders Abildgaard Nielsen, Katrine Grünfeld,

VENUE: Islands Brygge, 26 – 28 August & 30 August - 1 September

Meghan Jakobsen



VENUE: Danske Grafikeres Hus and various places in Copenhagen, 1 – 31 August

Harmonic Fields


COMPOSITION: Pierre Sauvageot

No Known Cause



CONCEPT, DESIGN & DIRECTORS: Luke Cooper, Samuel Moore, Caspar Haarløv

VENUE: Københavns Hovedbanegård, 28 – 31 August

SET DESIGN: Toni Casalonga

MANUSCRIPT: Emma Jowett, Samuel Moore, Luke Cooper, Hildigunn Eydfinsdóttir, Mads




PERFORMERS: My Grönholdt, Henriette Aarup, Georg Jagunov, Maria Kristiansen, Vincent Skat-


Rørdam, René Kruse, Adam Ild Rohweder, Hildigunn Eydfinsdóttir, Luke Cooper


SOUND DESIGN & VIDEO: Michael James, Sissel Marie Tonn, Samuel Moore, Georg Jagunov,

CONSTRUCTION: Camille Bonomo, Alain Arraez, Matthieu Audejean, Alain Gavaudan, Germain

Lucas Margutti.

Prévost, Frédéric Chartiot, Bernard Gaspérini, Annette Pradier Roger, Thibaut Pedusseau, Jérôme

TECHNICIAN AND SET CONSTRUCTION: Kamal Jabli, Rasmus Lykkebo, Thor Jensen


PRODUCTION: Sophie Ullerup, Ditte Rosenquist, Luke Cooper, Mads Hansen

CO-ORDINATION & PRODUCTION: Élodie Presles, Lieux Publics – Centre National de Création,

VENUE: Ny Tap, Carlsberg, 18 – 20 & 24 – 27 August & 31 August - 1 September

Marseille VENUE: Amager Strand, 13 – 21 August



Trajets de vie, trajets de ville • EX NIHILO • METROPOLIS 2009

COPENHAGEN INTERNATIONAL THEATRE seeks to break established formats of performing arts by presenting new genres and trends. We also connect the performing arts to the broader cultural and social context and have worked thematically with series of festivals and programmes over the past 30 years. Metropolis is our key focus point at present and this project covers a decade – culminating in 2017. In all our projects we work to inspire, to connect and to challenge up and coming artists, the general public and our cultural environment. Copenhagen International Theatre was established in 1979 as a non-profit cultural organisation initiated by Trevor Davies and is now an independent organisation primarily funded by the Danish Arts Council Committee for the Performing Arts, the Danish Arts Council and the City of Copenhagen. permanent staff Artistic direction: Trevor Davies and Katrien Verwilt Project management Metropolis: Marie Viltoft Polli Communication: Louise Kaare Jacobsen Administration: Birgitte Curry Production manager: Nils Engelbrecht board members Erik Agergaard (chair), Planning consultant Bjørn Lense-Møller, former Chairman of the Danish Theatre Council Gitte Spies, Head of Secretariat BYFO Kathrine Winkelhorn, Coordinator of the Master Programme in Culture and Media Production, Malmö University Peter Elsass, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Copenhagen Mette Høxbro, Head of Kulturanstalten Vesterbro and Sydhavnen, Copenhagen Katinka Hauxner, Partner Hausenberg Dorte Skot-Hansen, Head of Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, Copenhagen Steen Cold, former Head of Culture, Copenhagen County Council


Image credits


Torben Huss p. 6, 13, 78, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 114, 122, 123, 124, 127, 162, 169, 202


Thomas Seest p. 22, 57, 108, 110, 112, 113, 131, 132, 134, 135, 138, 139, 145, 164, 165, 166, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174 Malcolm Miles p. 34, 36


N55 p. 40


Hausenberg p. 42, 44


Juul|Frost p. 46, 50


Tobias Nørgaard Pedersen p. 52, 56, 58

+ 45 33151564

Rune Noël p. 54, 55


Graig Roussiac, Investa p. 64


Brett Boardman p. 66 Christophe Cornubert p. 68, 71


Jay Pather p. 89


Karoline H. Larsen p. 104, 106


Hello!Earth p. 128, 129 Mikko Seppinen p. 136

ISBN: 978-87-994229-1-3

Jannike Buskbjerg p. 140 ZimmerFrei p. 146, 147


Marie Viltoft Polli p. 150, 151


Claudia Adeath p. 153, 154


Sara Gebran p. 157


Rikke Kjær p. 158, 159 Anders Paulin & Public Eye p. 160, 161


Lola Arias p. 177


Lorena Fernadez p. 179