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Urban Cultures lunch seminars 22/10 – 10/12


Everyone is welcome to join the webinars organised in the frame of the Faculty of Architecture’s ‘Urban Cultures’ engagement. Coordination by Martino Tattara.

All lectures via Zoom. Please find the links below. (Poster, Facebook event)

  • 22 October 2020, 12.00
    JULIO ARROYO (introduction by Martino Tattara & Cecilia Chiappini)
    Contemporary urban processes in Buenos Aires in the context of global investments and emerging urban, environmental, economic and cultural tensions (Zoom link)
    Julio Arroyo is full professor at Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo, Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Santa Fe, Argentina. He teaches architectural design in the graduate programme in Architecture and Urbanism (BA+MA). Parallel to his interest in the theory and criticisms of architecture, he currently leads seminars on contemporary urban processes, architecture and public spaces in Argentinean cities. He is the director of Arquisur Revista and he is constantly invited to give lectures and evaluate projects in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Arroyo holds also his private practice and has worked in the public sector, at Municipality of Santa Fe, for many years equipping him with a multidimensional understanding of urban issues.
    In his lecture, Julio Arroyo will navigate the emerging tensions around the contemporary urban processes of Buenos Aires. His starting point is the current status of Argentinean cities, where urbs, civitas and polis seem to be drifting away from each other. From this, he will explore some of the contradictions, fragments and disjunctions taking place, and outline their impact on the narratives of everyday life, the understanding of public spaces and the definitions of architecture. After a quick overview of recent urban development, anchored in forms, practices and meanings, he will round up his presentation with a series of architectural interventions.

  • 29 October 2020, 12.00
    MANOEL RODRIGUES ALVES (introduction by Cecilia Chiappini)
    The production of cities and public spaces in the context of financial capitalism and global culture (Zoom link)
    Edgar Morin has stated in the ’70s that the notion of complexity, in its scientific and technical foundations, submitted to temporal widening and spatial dilatations and facilitated by technologies, encompasses a new topos: one that implies not only the abandoning of the attempt to reconstruct an organism from fragments of reality and to establish topological connections and analogies, but also the conditioning of the place of things to be understood. This topos, in architectural and urban terms, has been defined since Hegel by its objectual presence within the terms of reality, dedicated since then to symbolise its functioning as a donor of a refuge and as an enclosure. Today, this reading is no longer possible. It is therefore necessary to investigate the kinds of future transformations we will see in urban space, considering the current forms of programmed consumption, the shifting role of the state and of systems of political representation, and methods of discipline and social control that may lead to a significant decline of the urban (public) space and to a dismantling of the foundations of the city and democracy. If we previously considered inclusiveness as the cornerstone of the equitable city and the condition for an egalitarian urban environment, we should now move towards the notion of urban equity. In the city of gentrification processes caused by privately driven urban renewal projects, we observe the emergence of temporary public spaces and flexible space-time contexts designed for the client rather than for the citizen. Failing to consider these emerging aspects will lead to further human alienation in a time of estrangement from the world, an alienation based on the individual experience of dislocation and detachment.

  • 12 November 2020, 12.00
    SOPHIE LEEMANS (introduction by Erik Van Daele)
    Rethinking the dispersed city paradigm by exploring its networks. Insights on the way strategical nodes can shape the next urban constellation (Zoom link)
    In the binary opposition of city and land, spatial dispersion is often considered the unwanted “spillover” effect of urbanisation. However, the dispersed spatial condition of the area stretching from Lille (France) to Rotterdam (The Netherlands), coined as All City/All Land (AC/AL), cannot be categorised as a “peri-urban”. It is an alternative condition of urbanity enabled by an underlying support system of polycentric networks. Although showing interesting relational configurations, AC/AL is reaching a tipping point. In the light of the contemporary sustainability debate, the demand for alternatives to the current approach of symptom management in AC/AL is pressing. The formulation of alternative futures requires rethinking the reciprocal relations between man and land. This doctoral research aims to valorise the inherent potential of dispersed territories by generating insights on the design potential of networks and nodes to shape the next urban constellation. To date, little is known about the architectural and urban design potential of the underlying supportive structures, i.e. the finely meshed physical networks and their nodes. Crossings or nodes serve as a link, addressing both regional logics and local realities. It is at the intermediate scale both the complexity and potential of these physical networks become tangible.

  • 26 November 2020, 12.00
    Dialogues of mapping / mapping of dialogues : Towards critical design approaches for Flemish low-density residential neighbourhoods
    (Zoom link)
    This presentation sets attention to relationships between dialogues and mapping when working and designing for sustainable change in the specific context of Flemish slow-density residential neighbourhoods. Sustainable transition of these neighbourhoods is high on the planning and design agenda, however little happens in practice. One of the reasons can be found in the  distance between different (and often conflicting) perspectives of inhabitants, authorities, organisations, architects, planners and urbanists. Through the production of  a critical design atlas in two Flemish cases, this research wanted to set up design dialogues between these perspectives. We present how atlas-making  together with different professional and nonprofessional  actors involved in these two cases, offered a critical design tool that created a scene for revealing latent possibilities for durable change and developing design principles that seek productive connections between between various everyday life (individual) concerns and broader (collective) societal concerns and challenges.
  • 3 December 2020, 12.00
    Insights on the reconfiguration of Fragile Industrial Waterfronts defined by Climate change and Economic decline
    (Zoom link)
  • 10 December 2020, 11.00

    Provoking public architecture
    (New link)
  • 10 December 2020, 12.00
    Learning from Sonic Urbanism as Critical Spatial Practice: Experiences from two design studios (Zoom link)

The GOING PUBLIC program of the Faculty of Architecture is a series of lectures, exhibitions and publications organized throughout the year highlighting certain themes and topics that are important within each of the 4+1 Engagements: Urban Cultures, Mediating Tactics, Craftsmanship, Legacy and The Brussels Way.