Evening Debate, Afternoon Dialogue, and SKuOR Soirée

A culture of public debate is of fundamental importance to our work on public space and urban-cultural problems and challenges. For this reason, Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space has organized the “SKuOR Evening Debate,” “SKuOR Afternoon Dialogue” and “SKuOR Soirees” since February 2009 in order to develop a dialogue with interested parties in many directions. Initially, in 2009 and 2011, it was about giving the Visiting Professors a forum and to make their work accessible to a wider (professional) audience. Since 2011, with the establishment of the Interdisciplinary SKuOR Soirée + Open Dialogue, we have done away with the strongly hierarchical format of the panel discussion or presentation in order to offer more time and space to the views of interested students, colleagues, and employees as well as the (professional) public in dialogue with the Visiting Professors.

Special Academic Events

These continuous public events are held during the summer semester, while the winter term offers a longer special academic event, which are realized in various formats:

  • 2009 European September Academy. Read more.
  • 2010 European November Conference. Read more.
  • 2012 European February Workshop. Read more.
  • 2013 Symposium “Dialectics between urban imaginaries and urban materialities”. Read more.
  • 2014 International January Symposium.
  • 2014 WWTF International Summerschool 2014 “Designing places of emancipation?” Read more.
  • 2015 PhD Symposium “Public Life – Towards a politics of care. Bodies. Place. Matter”. Read more.
  • 2017 International Conference “Unsettled. Urban Routines, Temporalities and Contestations”. Read more.


Public interventions and student presentations

Within the courses our students’ public interventions are similarly in the foreground. Our students’ final presentations take place in very different locations and involve a variety of actors: from Karlsplatz to the Prechtlsaal to the premises of the Urban Renewal Management Office on Quellenstrasse in Vienna-Favoriten to the work spaces of the architectural student union: discourses and debates about public space need open space, their formulation needs a low threshold, and they need barrier-free physical access. Thus, the places themselves are symbolic of the momentum that we want to bring to urban society using these communication strategies. Our students’ interventions include a flash mob at the Naschmarkt and a provocative staging of non-public behavior in the MuseumsQuartier. In addition to these hip places, the participants in our courses seek the lesser known, yet nevertheless typical, unique local places in the Viennese districts (Grätzel), and thus beyond the tourist mainstream: a book exchange was created in the Kepler Passage, while students transformed Morzinplatz into a short-term open-air television studio. The ORF radio broadcasting center served one group as a space for the acoustic formulation of their planning scenarios for the decentralized spatial restructuring of the media institution. The Reumannplatz was artistically and creatively transformed into a magic triangle, and Favoritenstrasse became a public living room in which students and residents organized a “night of the open living room” together. Through these varied interventions, students and teachers learn that knowledge about local places is within the people living there. This is about ethical professional approaches within participatory action research, reflecting upon their own values, and respect as a method. The goal is the exchange of attitudes and perspectives on pressing issues and normative approaches in urban research, urban design, and urban planning.