Instant urbanism and the politics of mobile architecture

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Demands to mobilise architecture and urban space have become increasingly common in recent years, as part of discourses and practices of temporary use and instant urbanism. These approaches put an accent on mobility, flexibility, spontaneity and improvisation. Contemporary commentators and practitioners often acknowledge the influence in this regard of earlier avant-garde architectural experimentation from the 1960s, involving among others Archigram, Yona Friedman, Constant and the situationists. This paper returns to such earlier projects to explore further the implications of their emphasis on mobility and flexibility, and to consider the ways in which their visions of mobile architecture and cities were opposed to dominant spatial structures and imbued with emancipatory intent. However, through engaging with critical debates at the time, including those involving Henri Lefebvre and the group Utopie, it is particularly concerned with problematising the celebration of mobility, flux and flow that some of these visions entail, along with their abstract and universal invocations of the nomadic. The paper asserts the need to attend to the power relations through which mobilities are produced, and to a deeper sense of the contested politics of mobile architecture. Doing so is especially significant in the current era when mobility, flexibility, adaptability and creativity have become central to ideologies of neoliberal urbanism, and when calls for their extension can easily become complicit with processes of neoliberalisation. Rethinking the legacies of earlier avant-garde visions may, in this way, help to sharpen senses of both threats and possibilities within fields of temporary or instant urbanism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Mobility : Architectures, Geographies and Social Space.
EditorsAnne Elisabeth Toft, Magnus Rönn
Number of pages31
PublisherNordic Academic Press of Architectural Research
Publication date1 Jul 2017
Pages13-44
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-983797-1-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
EventUrban Mobility - Architectures, Geographies and Social Space: The 2015 Nordic Architectural Research Symposium - Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden
Duration: 5 Nov 20156 Nov 2015

Symposium

SymposiumUrban Mobility - Architectures, Geographies and Social Space
LocationMalmö University
CountrySweden
CityMalmö
Period05/11/201506/11/2015

Keywords

  • Mobile architecture
  • flexibility
  • nomadism
  • archigram
  • Yona Friedman

Cite this

Pinder, D. (2017). Instant urbanism and the politics of mobile architecture. In A. E. Toft, & M. Rönn (Eds.), Urban Mobility: Architectures, Geographies and Social Space. (pp. 13-44). Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research.
Pinder, David. / Instant urbanism and the politics of mobile architecture. Urban Mobility: Architectures, Geographies and Social Space.. editor / Anne Elisabeth Toft ; Magnus Rönn. Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research, 2017. pp. 13-44
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Pinder, D 2017, Instant urbanism and the politics of mobile architecture. in AE Toft & M Rönn (eds), Urban Mobility: Architectures, Geographies and Social Space.. Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research, pp. 13-44, Urban Mobility - Architectures, Geographies and Social Space, Malmö, Sweden, 05/11/2015.

Instant urbanism and the politics of mobile architecture. / Pinder, David.

Urban Mobility: Architectures, Geographies and Social Space.. ed. / Anne Elisabeth Toft; Magnus Rönn. Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research, 2017. p. 13-44.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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Pinder D. Instant urbanism and the politics of mobile architecture. In Toft AE, Rönn M, editors, Urban Mobility: Architectures, Geographies and Social Space.. Nordic Academic Press of Architectural Research. 2017. p. 13-44