Performative Urban Design: How to do things with the city

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Abstract

Urban design has come to mean many things. From the architectural masterplans to the informal urban design in temporary spaces and event designs. The paper will focus on urban designs engaging urban designs. Engaging urban design can broadly be understood as temporary design installations inviting visitors and participants to engage and interact with the city.
Inspired by Lefebvre statement that "the most beautiful cities were those where festivals were not planned in advance” (Lefebvre 1987:36), I will discuss how urban designers can design engaging spaces, where the potentials of the city can unfold. Is it, for instance, the formal aesthetics of the design or rather the socio-cultural codes of the existing urban space that engage people?

The paper engages in three urban performance designs:
1) The 10th Avenue Plaza at the Highline in New York
2) The temporary installations at Boble Plads in the Carlsberg City in Copenhagen and
3) Dennis Design Center's workshop-office-stage-installation during the Metropolis Biennale in Copenhagen in August.
Finally I will discuss whether engagement with the city through design necessarily leads to a more democratic urban space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging Spaces. The 10th Nordcode seminar at Roskilde University
EditorsErik Kristiansen
Publication date2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this

Samson, K. (2011). Performative Urban Design: How to do things with the city. In E. Kristiansen (Ed.), Engaging Spaces. The 10th Nordcode seminar at Roskilde University http://www.nordcode.net/?page_id=672