Performative Urban Design.: How to do Things with the City

  • Unknown Person (Oplægsholder)

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentationForedrag og mundtlige bidrag


The urban is more or less the oeuvre of its citizens instead of imposing itself upon them as a system, as an already closed book.
- Lefebvre 1996:117

Urban design has come to mean many things. From the architectural masterplans to designs of urban plazas and infrastructure to the informal and temporary spaces used in event design and in cultural planning. The paper will focus on three recent performative urban designs and how they do things with the city. In different ways they integrate the engagement of the user as part of the design thus performing within the affective and sensorial regimes of the city.

In the paper, I will define urban design within the framework of the performative city as opposed to the functional city (Samson 2011). Urban design in the context of the performative city does not alone have functional and formal attributes, but take it as the point of departure. They create aesthetical experiences within the functionality of the city and its every day life. However, these urban designs are often created with an intention pointing to the socio-political interest. For instance to attract urban gentrifiers, to offer urban experiences as a commodity or to invite people to invest their sensorial and bodily engagement in the area.

Similar to Lefebvre’s statement above, these urban designs may give you the idea that the urban is the oeuvre of the citizen. In relation to that statement I wish to discuss the degree of openness of these performative urban designs.
Periode28 sep. 2011
BegivenhedstitelThe 10th Nordcode seminar: Design of Space and Performance
PlaceringRoskilde, DanmarkVis på kort


  • High Line
  • Carlsberg City
  • Dennis Design Center
  • Temporary installation
  • Urban design
  • Performative planning
  • urban art
  • Urban studies
  • Metropolis