An Afrofuturist Vision

© Jan Dirk van der Burg

Olalekan Jey­i­fous calls his part­ly dystopi­an-look­ing col­lages, which deal with urban trans­for­ma­tion process­es, visu­al con­ver­sa­tions. By exag­ger­at­ing exist­ing sit­u­a­tions, he aims to increase the vis­i­bil­i­ty of those peo­ple and set­tle­ments who often go unheard in plan­ning and fall vic­tim to urban devel­op­ment. He sheds light on the inter­twin­ing of hege­mon­ic struc­tures, shows how archi­tec­ture per­pet­u­ates the pow­er struc­tures of colo­nial­ist ide­olo­gies and then itself becomes ammu­ni­tion in the arse­nal of colo­nial pow­er. These dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives and nar­ra­tive strands are also reflect­ed in this col­lage of the Euro­pean city. After the sys­tem­at­ic exploita­tion of its colonies, it stands here as a col­o­nized enti­ty itself that not only tells of these sys­tems but also of green­er futures and stories.


Project

An Afro­fu­tur­ist Vision


Artist

Olalekan Jey­i­fous


Year

2020


Loca­tion

Brook­lyn, Unit­ed States of America

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Desire Lines

In his work titled Desire Lines, Jan Dirk van der Burg doc­u­ments foot­paths as a sign of civ­il dis­obe­di­ence. Desire Lines, Fotografien, 80×100cm, 2011. © Jan Dirk van der Burg

The work of pho­tog­ra­ph­er and film­mak­er Jan Dirk van der Burg shows trails: nar­row and unpaved paths cre­at­ed by being walked or rid­den over again and again. They fol­low the organ­ic move­ments of peo­ple who move through the world on foot or by bicy­cle. In this way, they call into ques­tion the sharply and clear­ly delin­eat­ed spaces cre­at­ed on the draw­ing board by infra­struc­ture and city plan­ners. Here, trails rep­re­sent resis­tance, small ges­tures of civ­il dis­obe­di­ence. They protest against this will to order and design, which blan­kets every­thing and yet makes no sense in dai­ly life. They appear wher­ev­er the plan­ners of the still car friend­ly world did not reck­on with peo­ple who have a mind of their own.


Project

Desire Lines


Artist

Jan Dirk van der Burg


Year

2011


Loca­tion

Nether­lands

© Jan Dirk van der Burg
© Jan-Dirk van der Burg

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Making Room

Platzpro­jekt is part of the port­fo­lio of places with which the cul­tur­al office of the city admin­is­tra­tion of Hanover is com­pet­ing as a can­di­date for the Euro­pean Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture 2025.

About six­teen years ago, two skaters found a plot of fal­low land in Hanover-Linden’s indus­tri­al area. They start to clean up and build a small skate park. In 2009, they form an asso­ci­a­tion, nego­ti­ate an inter­im use con­tract with the own­er togeth­er with the city council’s sup­port, and reach a lease agree­ment for one euro per year, which is still valid today. In 2013, anoth­er asso­ci­a­tion is cre­at­ed: Platzpro­jekt aims to cre­ate a space for ini­tia­tives, a place for self-help, for mutu­al sup­port offer­ing knowl­edge, tools, and crafts­man­ship. Research funds and state sub­si­dies enable the estab­lish­ment of long-term par­tic­i­pa­tion struc­tures for young peo­ple who want to dis­cuss their cities in self-orga­nized spaces and active­ly shape them.


Project

PlatzPro­jekt


Actors

PlatzPro­jekt e.V., respon­si­ble body; City of Hanover, co-financ­ing, nego­ti­a­tion; Metro Group, land own­er­ship; Fed­er­al Min­istry of the Envi­ron­ment, co-financing


Year

Since 2013, found­ing of the association


Loca­tion

Hanover, Ger­many

© Chi­na Hopson
In 2004, a group of skaters occu­pied an over­grown piece of land in an indus­tri­al area in the west of Han­nover. The city admin­is­tra­tion and the dis­trict may­or Rain­er-Jörg Grube sup­port­ed the project by sign­ing a lease and extend­ing the activ­i­ties to a neigh­bor­ing prop­er­ty. © Philip Robin­son Crusius
© Sam Green

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A City Displaced

In order for the iron ore deposits under the city to be mined, the city is being com­plete­ly relo­cat­ed. Some build­ings are mov­ing with it. Oth­ers will be demol­ished. Places of mem­o­ry will dis­ap­pear as the mine moves. All this will take time. The mas­ter plan pro­vides for about 20 years. There­fore, there will be two cities for a long time. Much is unclear. For exam­ple, whether the new hous­es will be afford­able or whether the city will have to migrate again in the future, because the seam of the ore deposit extends to beneath the new city. © Klaus Thymann

The small town of Kiruna in Swe­den, with a pop­u­la­tion of almost 18,000, is to be moved. The rea­son for this is a mag­netite ore mine. The city could col­lapse if the earth is hol­lowed out. Plans have been devel­oped to part­ly demol­ish and part­ly rebuild the hous­es at a loca­tion about three kilo­me­ters away. This unusu­al move should be com­plet­ed by 2033. Many, includ­ing the city admin­is­tra­tion, see a town devel­oped on the draw­ing board as a poten­tial new begin­ning. How­ev­er, not every­one seems hap­py about the plans, which are close­ly linked to the company’s eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment. What would hap­pen, for exam­ple, if the glob­al mar­ket price for mag­netite ore fell and the relo­ca­tion of Kiruna, which has already begun, could not be ful­ly implemented?


Project

Kiruna Mas­ter­plan


Actors

White Arkitek­ter, Ghi­lar­di + Hell­sten Arkitek­ter, archi­tec­ture office; Luos­savaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebo­lag (LKAB), Kiruna Kom­mun, Tekniska verken i Kiruna, Kirun­a­bostäder, co-financ­ing and orga­ni­za­tion of the relo­ca­tion; Kiruna Kom­mun, commission


Year

Since 2013


Loca­tion

Kiruna, Swe­den

White Archi­tects in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitek­ter won the inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tion for a 20-year mas­ter plan for the grad­ual relo­ca­tion of Kiruna five kilo­me­ters to the east by 2033. The images show aer­i­al views of Kiruna in 2033 and 2100. White Archi­tects and Ghilardi+Hellsten chal­lenged the orig­i­nal brief and ini­ti­at­ed a 100-year per­spec­tive for the mas­ter plan with the goal of cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able mod­el city with a diverse econ­o­my that is less depen­dent on glob­al demand for iron ore. © Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitek­ter and White Arkitekter
© Ghilardi+Hellsten Arkitek­ter and White Arkitekter

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Critical Mass for Freedom and Movement

© Crit­i­cal Mass Berlin

Every last Fri­day of the month, cyclists meet in both large and small cities to take to the streets in con­voy and as sheer mass. The prin­ci­ple of this gath­er­ing uses a rule of the road traf­fic reg­u­la­tions accord­ing to which a group of at least twelve cyclists is con­sid­ered a vehi­cle and can, there­fore, pass through a traf­fic light that turns red. Those who cycle in front decide where to go. The cyclists want to draw atten­tion to the fact that even today, the car-friend­ly city from the last cen­tu­ry is still a real­i­ty in many places. Thus, Crit­i­cal Mass is a peace­ful and sol­idary protest against the hege­mo­ny of motor­ized traf­fic in urban plan­ning worldwide.


Project

Crit­i­cal Mass


Actors

cyclists


Year

Since 1997


Loca­tion

Berlin, Ger­many

© Crit­i­cal Mass Berlin
© Crit­i­cal Mass Berlin
© Crit­i­cal Mass Berlin
© Crit­i­cal Mass Berlin

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All-Around Service for Urban Mobility Needs

© Ste­fan Marx

Whim is a con­cept designed to com­plete­ly rethink mobil­i­ty for the grow­ing Helsin­ki met­ro­pol­i­tan region. It is a result of broad-based coop­er­a­tion between stake­hold­ers from the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, as well as uni­ver­si­ties. The idea: an all-round ser­vice for the com­plex mobil­i­ty needs of every­one who uses the city. The plan: the devel­op­ment of a uni­ver­sal app for smart­phones, designed to make the use of many dif­fer­ent, main­ly shared, or more sus­tain­able trans­port offers eas­i­er, more intu­itive, and cheap­er. The imme­di­ate goal: to make choos­ing and using pub­lic trans­port as attrac­tive as pos­si­ble. In the long term, the tar­get is to abol­ish the pri­vate car.


Project

Whim


Actors

Sam­po Hieta­nen, founder MaaS Fin­land Oy and MaaS Glob­al; Kaj Pyy­htiä, co-founder; Sami Pip­puri, Jon­na Pöllänen, devel­op­ment; MaaS Glob­al, HKL Helsin­gin kaupun­gin liiken­nelaitos, HSL-HRT Helsin­gin seudun liikenne, development


Year

Since 2015


Loca­tion

Helsin­ki, Finland

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How Residential Areas Become Car-Free

The urban plan­ning sys­tem for the expan­sion of Barcelona, con­ceived under the Cata­lan urban plan­ner Ilde­fons Cerdà in the mid-19th cen­tu­ry, envis­aged build­ing on only two edges of the block. But spec­u­la­tion with land, sim­i­lar to Berlin, led to a much high­er den­si­ty of devel­op­ment than planned. Many of Cerdà’s visions remained unful­filled, such as the estab­lish­ment of large green court­yards. The result­ing extreme­ly dense urban fab­ric has been under increas­ing stress in recent years—it was over­loaded. © Iakov Filimonov/123RF.com

In Barcelona, the idea of the superblock—an urban area made up of sev­er­al small­er city blocks and bor­dered by large streets—has been rein­vent­ed in recent years. It promis­es solu­tions for cities with high emis­sion lev­els caused by motor­ized vehi­cles. The reduc­tion of traf­fic means that the val­ue of pub­lic spaces increas­es or that a space becomes tru­ly pub­lic for the first time, and exist­ing uses are increased or new ones made pos­si­ble. Six such superblocks have been real­ized in Barcelona to date. Fears that the retail trade would suf­fer as a result of reduced access for cars have not come true. Instead, the num­ber of trips made on foot or by bicy­cle have gone up and the air qual­i­ty has improved. In recent years, oth­er cities have also begun to imple­ment the mod­el since its poten­tial becomes appar­ent every­where when you look at the city from the per­spec­tive of those who walk instead of drive.


Project

Super­illes, Superblocks


BeteActorsiligte

Sal­vador Rue­da, Direc­tor of BCNe­colo­gia (2000 — 2019), BCNe­colo­gia (Agència d’Ecologia Urbana de Barcelona; Con­sor­tium of Ajun­ta­ment de Barcelona, l’A ea Met­ro­pol­i­tana de Barcelona i la Diputa­ció de Barcelona), superblocks residents


Year

Since 2003, Wirst test superblock in the Grà­cia dis­trict; 2016, inau­gu­ra­tion superblock in the Poble­nou district


Loca­tion

Barcelona, Spain

The var­i­ous prob­lems that had devel­oped due to the immense den­si­ty of the blocks, above all the scarce pub­lic space and the dev­as­tat­ing air qual­i­ty, were to be coun­ter­act­ed with the con­cept of the Superblock. The prin­ci­ple: four to nine blocks are com­bined into one large unit. In addi­tion, the streets are calmed or com­plete­ly closed to through traf­fic. © Ajun­ta­ment de Barcelona
The space freed from car traf­fic can be used in many ways. Addi­tion­al green spaces, sports and play­grounds can be cre­at­ed where motor­ized traf­fic used to dom­i­nate. © Ajun­ta­ment de Barcelona
The upgrad­ing of pub­lic space is man­i­fold and com­plex. Yet many are still skep­ti­cal. Plan­ners are ask­ing where the traf­fic is now that pre­vi­ous­ly rolled over the now calmer streets? And res­i­dents won­der whether the already strong tourist pres­sure on the city could be fur­ther increased by mea­sures that make this quar­ter even more attrac­tive? © Ajun­ta­ment de Barcelona

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City Swings

Tem­po­rary swing­ing places with a view of the Alex or at Pots­damer Platz, using the frame of an over­sized street sign. Here, urban spaces are play­ful­ly con­quered and appro­pri­at­ed, mark­ing a resis­tance to seem­ing­ly uni­ver­sal and accept­ed sets of rules that press every­thing into shape through norms. The Neono­r­ange Cow, Berlin, 2005, SD-Video/Au­dio, 6:30 min © VG Bild- Kun­st, Bonn, 2020

In the works of Matthias Wermke and Mis­cha Leinkauf, every­day sit­u­a­tions, prac­tices, and reg­u­la­tions are play­ful­ly, almost inci­den­tal­ly, ques­tioned. The swing, which appeared at var­i­ous loca­tions in Berlin and then moved on again, hung from street signs, scaf­fold­ing, and struc­tur­al ele­ments. It con­tin­u­ous­ly appro­pri­at­ed small parts of the sur­round­ing com­mer­cial­ized and pri­va­tized city, mak­ing them its own. For just a moment, how­ev­er brief, a new (pub­lic) space came into being—where there pre­vi­ous­ly was none. By occu­py­ing squares, nich­es, sites, and objects that nor­mal­ly serve oth­er func­tions, it recon­quered the city gen­tly and qui­et­ly, but no less emphat­i­cal­ly. Thus, the mobile swing can be read as a warn­ing. Because if pub­lic space dis­ap­peared com­plete­ly, will every­one who wants to swing have to bring their own swing with them?


Project

Die Neono­r­angene Kuh (The Neono­r­ange Cow)


Artists

Matthias Wermke and Mis­cha Leinkauf


Year

2005


Loca­tion

Berlin, Ger­many

Swings under the bridge. Wermke/Leinkauf, Die Neono­r­ange Kuh (The Neono­r­ange Cow), Berlin, 2005, SD-Video/Au­dio, 6:30 min © VG Bild- Kun­st, Bonn, 2020
Swings over the high­way. Wermke/Leinkauf, Die Neono­r­ange Kuh (The Neono­r­ange Cow), Berlin, 2005, SD-Video/Au­dio, 6:30 min © VG Bild- Kun­st, Bonn, 2020

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The City as a Skate Park

Rubén Dario Kleimeer, Imag­i­nary Per­spec­tives V, Archivalprint/dibond/frame, 40×50 cm cm, Rot­ter­dam, 2015 © Cour­tesy of the artist and Con­tour Gallery in Rotterdam

Skate­board­ing is a per­for­ma­tive cri­tique of the con­struct­ed world, some say. This still rel­a­tive­ly young sport, whose main set­tings were and are urban non-places, devel­ops new under­stand­ings and oth­er inter­pre­ta­tions of space. This world—whether gigan­tic infra­struc­tures, side­walks, emp­ty swim­ming pools, enor­mous house-lined streets, tun­nels, or oth­er con­crete deserts of the mod­ern age—is revealed by pho­tog­ra­ph­er and skater Rubén Dario Kleimeer in his images. Kleimeer unlocks mul­ti-lay­ered mean­ings of space through the nav­i­ga­tion and appro­pri­a­tion of built struc­tures. In doing so, he is not look­ing for answers or solu­tions to urban plan­ning or social prob­lems. Instead, he invites us to search with him, ride with him, and then think together—from unfa­mil­iar perspectives—about what the city of the future could look like, what it could be, and how it could be navigated.


Project

Imag­i­nary Perspectives


Artist

Rubén Dario Kleimeer


Year

2018


Loca­tion

Rot­ter­dam, Netherlands

Pic­tures from the pho­to series Imag­i­nary Per­spec­tives by Dutch pho­tog­ra­ph­er Rubén Dario Kleimeer (2012–2019). Urban space from the skateboarder’s per­spec­tive. Rubén Dario Kleimeer, Imag­i­nary Per­spec­tives XI, Archivalprint/dibond/frame, 100×125 cm, Rot­ter­dam, 2018 © Cour­tesy of the artist and Con­tour Gallery in Rotterdam
Rubén Dario Kleimeer, Imag­i­nary Per­spec­tives III, Archivalprint/dibond/frame, 40×50 cm, Rot­ter­dam, 2012 © Cour­tesy of the artist and Con­tour Gallery in Rotterdam
Rubén Dario Kleimeer, Imag­i­nary Per­spec­tives I, Archivalprint/dibond/frame, 40×50 cm, Rot­ter­dam, 2012 © Cour­tesy of the artist and Con­tour Gallery in Rotterdam

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Modified Street Furniture

Lemvig Havn, Den­mark (2017), per­ma­nent instal­la­tion © Jim­mi Sørensen, Cour­tesy of KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, Lon­don, Tokyo, 303 GALLERY, New York, Gal­leri Nico­lai Wall­ner, Copenhagen

Artist Jeppe Hein mod­i­fies con­ven­tion­al park bench­es. As a result, sit­ting, along with all oth­er activ­i­ties that nor­mal­ly take place on park bench­es, is often made almost impos­si­ble. Because the altered park bench­es have kinked sur­faces. Some­times the seat­ing area is miss­ing. Some bench­es have such long legs that you would need a lad­der to sit on them. How­ev­er, oth­ers are usable or even more use­ful than con­ven­tion­al bench­es, for exam­ple, if they enable a con­ver­sa­tion with eye con­tact. Still oth­ers invite com­par­isons to play­ground equip­ment. As a result, the mod­i­fied forms of the ordi­nary park bench insti­gate dis­cus­sions and con­ver­sa­tions about the design of pub­lic space. Also, about for what and for whom pub­lic space is, or should be, designed.


Project

Mod­i­fied Social Benches


Artist

Jeppe Hein


Year

Since 2006


Loca­tions

Var­i­ous

Venedig, Ital­ien (2019), Mod­i­fied Social Bench for Venice #3,#4, 2019, 58th Inter­na­tion­al Art Exhi­bi­tion La Bien­nale di Venezia, May You Live In Inter­est­ing Times, Venice, Italy, 2019. © Stu­dio Jeppe Hein/Jan Strem­peCour­tesy of KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, Lon­don, Tokyo, 303 GALLERY, New York, Gal­leri Nico­lai Wall­ner, Copenhagen
Jerez de la Fron­tera, Spanien (2006). Fun­dación NMAC © Fran­cis Billiet/NMAC, Cour­tesy of KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, Lon­don, Tokyo, 303 GALLERY, New York, Gal­leri Nico­lai Wall­ner, Copenhagen
Lemvig Havn, Den­mark (2017), per­ma­nent instal­la­tion © Anders Sune Berg, Cour­tesy of KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, Lon­don, Tokyo, 303 GALLERY, New York, and Gal­leri Nico­lai Wall­ner, Copenhagen

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