Aesthetic Performativity in Urban Design and Art

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Urban design has come to mean many things – from the master plans, to the architectural design of urban plazas and infrastructure, to the informal or temporary spaces used in event designs and in cultural planning. In a European context, urban design has recently manifested itself in new creative expressions relating to artistic practices, processes of urban development and temporary use. Temporary urban spaces, place-making through the arts, and urban spaces with cultural projects as catalysts for change are but a few of the labels designating those design practices. To put it simply, the field of design is currently mutating. From an understanding of design as material objects and forms placed in urban space, urban de- sign now covers a wide range of activities, acts, performances, temporary installations, etc. These practices work in the urban realm through processes of engagement. I will gather these design practices here under the notion of “performative urban design.”

The article presents three recent examples of urban design in order to illustrate how urban designs do things with the city. Emphasizing the artistic turn in recent urban design, I will analyze how urban designs work, and how they engage the social life in the city. I am particularly interested in how these designs oscillate between what we formerly recognized as categories such as the art installation, urban design, cultural events and architecture.
Translated title of the contributionPerformativt bydesign
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging Spaces : Sites of Performance, Interaction and Reflection
EditorsErik Kristiansen, Olav Harsløf
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherMuseum Tusculanum
Publication date7 Nov 2015
ISBN (Print)978-87-635-4200-5
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2015
EventThe 10th Nordcode seminar: Design of Space and Performance - Roskilde Universitet, Roskilde, Denmark
Duration: 28 Sep 201130 Sep 2011


ConferenceThe 10th Nordcode seminar
LocationRoskilde Universitet

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