SE Concepts and Critique of Space Production

Urban Culture and Public Space – Concepts and Critique of Space Production

SE 280.039 by Prof. em. Thomas Sieverts (senior professor), Prof. Dr. Chiara Tornaghi (junior professor)

Downloads: VO 280.039 (M11)


Comment: Dialogue

Groups present their intermediate outputs in both fields of endeavour – spatial research and spatial planning – in four formats (through film, in writing, orally and graphically). Presentations are followed by discussions and workshops, as well as the debating of basic texts and theoretical positions regarding urban culture and public space with an accent on the future potentials of universities as “collective actors“ in the creation of urban environments. Actual analysis will be facilitated in the context of little excursions to those particular areas of interest and on-site discussions.

A lecture on universities as ‘large systems’ and their role in urban environments will provide an overview of different types of systems as well as their relationship with, and respectively their integration into, the urban fabric. Tendencies towards autistic self-isolation as well as the potentials of improved interaction with public spaces are just some of the variety of topics and aspects that will be tackled. This input is followed by a session in which examples of the different types of relationships between university and the city are introduced.

The lecturer’s contributions in the field of spatial research will focus upon and highlight radical experiences and projects involving insurgent practices. The production of public space for activist cultural purposes (guerrilla gardens, utopian urbanism, eco-villages, art factories, etc) is one of the core aspects of teaching this module block. Further seminars will discuss very recent theoretical and conceptual contributions in the field of urban culture and public space.

This dialogically organised theoretical input is followed by instruction and methodical preparation of interviews to be carried out within the context of site visits. Students will experience action research by learning how to realise a guided interview as well as create a documentary.


Analysis as to potentials of urban integration in spatial terms is the main issue, at least as far as spatial planning is concerned. With reference to the scenarios previously developed by the students and with respective supplements provided by the professors, the task shall be to discuss the potentials of urban integration of inner-city campuses.