Concepts and critique of the production of space

Link: TISS 280.359

SE Seminar / Semester hours: 2.0 / ECTS 4.0

Aim of the course

The seminar course (SE) „Concepts and critique of the production of space“ is part of module 11 “Urban culture, public space” offered by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space. The module puts focus on strategies and practices of the social production of lived space in the range from meaningful experiences in everyday life to scientific insights. It consists of three courses, which in combination cover theoretical approaches to studying public life in the city, methodologies for researching public space and practice-oriented learning. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to take all the three courses of the module, which as a whole paves the way for both a broad understanding of and a conscious engagement in multiple urban publics of the city. The module is entirely taught in English.

The course will be carried out in the format of an excursion to Madrid scheduled from 2 February to 6 February 2015. Under the working title “Growing the seeds of change” the excursion aims towards a critical understanding of the complex historical, political and social conditions that shape public space of cities increasingly influenced by (seemingly contradictory) dominant paradigms of growth and austerity. The participants will be supported to develop informed perspectives on the city‘s counter-publics which cultivate insurgent tactics and strategies of self-instituted public space in their mission to create an alternative to the traditional mechanisms of planning and producing the city.

Subject of the course

Austerity urbanism leaves its delible mark on contemporary cities. Uneven growth accelerates spatial injustice and results in the precarization of bodies, labor, and space. The Madrid excursion will focus on new public spaces counteracting the imposed austerity measures. These public spaces produce conviviality and the coexistence of difference. The excursion focuses on self-instituted public spaces, on feminist ethics of care in architecture, and on issues of the production and reproduction of public space. Activists, architects, cultural producers, and neighbours join forces to counteract the crisis and to produce new public spaces from the bottom up. New forms of planning and of funding are part of emerging strategies to counteract the crisis.

The excursion foregrounds transdisciplinary and transinstitutional approaches, and their aesthetic, economic, and political dimensions. We will tap the rich experiences and knowledge of local architecture collectives. We will visit, amongst others, elii oficina de arquitectura, estudio sic, zuloark, or basurama, and see how urban practices based upon radical participation change the city. We will study places like El Campo de Cebada, Matadero Madrid and La Tabacalera Centro Social Autogestionado with the aim to understand how new alliances between humans and non-humans have begun to reshape and reinvent the city in times of crisis.

Additional Information

The seminar (SE) „Concepts and critique of the production of space“ will be taught during a student excursion to Madrid scheduled from 2 February to 6 February 2015, as part of the module 11 „Urban culture, public space“ of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space. The instructors will be as follows: Prof. Elke Krasny (Academy of Fine Arts/Vienna UT), Ass. Prof. Dr. Sabine Knierbein and Univ.Ass. Tihomir Viderman. The course language is English. We support students’ active participation in debates and interactive teaching formats, and encourage them to bring in and develop their own ideas and critical perspectives.

The course is directed at Master’s students (including final year Bachelor’s and early PhD students too), internationally thinking students as well as students working interdisciplinarily. Participants of this course are strongly encouraged to take other courses of the module 11 too (namely 280.358 and 280.360). Participation in all classes is required for successful completion of the course.

Please register for the Module 11 until 5 October 2014 in the TISS registration system (registration at VO 280.358). Registrations for single courses of the Module 11 (including this excursion) will be possible only in person until 13 October 2014 at the SKuOR office. Please note that due to the limited number of participants, preference will be given to students taking the entire Module 11.

Dates for the Seminar Course Units within the Intensive Teaching Blocks (ITBs) of Module 11:

Monday, 6 October 2014, 9.00 – 10.30 Module Kick off

Thursday, 9 October 2004, 15.15 Excursion Kick off

Tuesday, 9 December, 16.00 Intermezzo Excursion

ITB 4:

Monday, 2 February 2015, from 20.00 to 21.30 (seminar unit 2, Welcome Reception Madrid)

Tuesday, 3 Feburary 2015, from 9.00 to 17.00 (seminar units 3, 4, 5 and 6, Madrid on site)

Wednesday, 4 Feburary 2015, from 9.00 to 17.00 (seminar units 7, 8, 9 and 10, Madrid on site)

Thursday, 5 Feburary 2015, from 9.00 to 15.00 (seminar units 11, 12 and 13, Madrid on site, including closing session)