AG Cultural policy and urban development

Cultural policy and urban development. Views from political theory and spatial filming.

AG 280.049 by Monika Mokre and Philipp Krebs

Link: TUWIS.

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General information

The workshop format course (AG) takes place in the course of module 11 “Urban culture, public space and the state: Politics of public space” which is offered during three three-days block events by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Urban Culture and Public Space (SKuOR). International students as well as students working interdisciplinarily are warmly welcome. This course is held in English language.

Participants of this course are highly recommended to take part in the other courses of module 11 “280.032, 280.038, 280.039, 280.040”.

Registration for module 11 is obligatory (See TUWIS registration VU 280.038 “Group 01”). Registration for just this course can be realized during the Module 11-Kick off Meeting (4th March 2 to 4pm, Karlsgasse 13/1) or personally when visiting the SKuOR office in Karlsgasse 13/2 by subscribing to the participant list.


1st Intensive Teaching Block: 16th – 19th of March 2010

2nd Intensive Teaching Block: 26th – 29th of April 2010

3rd Intensive Teaching Block: 14th – 17th of June 2010

Goals of the course

Within this course, we want to add different disciplinary perspectives on the main theme of the module. Out of the perspective of political science and, in particular, political theory, we shall discuss the relationship between the public sphere and democracy. Public sphere is a very broad term not limited to physical public spaces. After a general introduction into this theme, we shall, however, focus on physical public spaces (above all the central railway station and its surroundings), their function for democratic culture, and their political use. Special attention will be devoted to arts and art politics, e.g.: What are the functions and effects of public art? How do concepts of the cultural heritage impact on the public space?

By changing the spatial perspective to a (film-)camera as a method, new eye-opening processes exploring multidimensional spaces should be enabled. But a continuous self-revelation by (film-)acting in such a complex field should also lead to the question getting an active player in the field of our topic – “intervention-film”.

Students coming from different disciplines and demonstrating a certain disposition and willingness to actively participate are expected to engage with the cross-border and dialog-oriented programme in English as well as in German language. Erasmus students are invited explicitly to join in.


Cultural practices and creativity have become core research interfaces for postfordist urban development. Planners try to understand the potentials creative practices bear for planning, such as informal planning techniques, guerilla gardening or cultural camouflage strategies used by corporates. By observing such changes, planners and architects try to come to terms with changed ways of producing the city and new emphasises regarding their own roles within these processes. But how exactly are creative or novel practices translated into or generated within planning? This course does not merely aim at discussing the appropriate use of planning instruments or the broadening of the wide set of instruments. This question points at the interface between creative or novel approaches to spatial research and spatial planning. Social interactions producing the city and the development of its materiality are considered as one and the same matter, not as two separated goals to achieve. By adopting new tools planners might face challenges that enable them to take different perspectives on space as well as on the way how designers and planners try to steer manifold social processes with all their spatial manifestations.

This rather broad outlook on the themes of the module will deepen the conceptual understanding of public spheres and public spaces in their political dimension.


The different parts of the workshop are related to the overall themes of the module:

Block 1: Politics of public space will be discussed as strategies of space production:

1 Unit: The Political Meaning of the Public Sphere (Mokre)

2 Units: Politics of Public Space. A Viennese Perspective (Mokre)

Task for students to prepare until Block 2:

“Stroll” through the “piece of cake” to find “hotspots”. Map to show the personal way through the area and hotspots

Beginning of a documentation of activities for the AG, ideas, concepts and their development.

Intermezzi between Block 1 and Block 2:

2 Units: The Political Meaning of the Public Sphere (contents to be discussed with students during Block 1) (Mokre)

possible dates: 24th of March, 12.00-13.30 or 12.30-14.00; 14th of April, 15.30-17.00 or 16.00-17.30

4 Units: Introduction to Spatial Filming – technical questions, film expression, interaction with space, media production, media communication (Krebs)

possible dates ???, close to Block 2

Krebs intermezzo has to take place before Block 2, if there are problems with possible dates, we shall postpone Mokre intermezzo

Block 2: Public Art will be presented as concept and, above all, critique of space production

2 Units Preparation of field work (why etc) (Krebs and Mokre)

1 day excursion through the area (Krebs and Mokre)

3 Units: discussion of the excursion, critique/reflexion, development of concept for media work/interaction with space (what to do); preferably about 2 days after excursion to give time for individual conceptualisations (Krebs; Mokre if possible)

Intermezzo between Block 2 and Block 3:

film production by groups of students, supervision Krebs. Coordination with Knierbein/guest professors/Mokre.

Block 3: Tools and paths of space production can be exemplified by showing the functions of the cultural heritage for public space.

Reflexion, presentation (Krebs and Mokre)

theory by Mokre, to be specified – probably cultural heritage


– DVD as a group production (groups of 4 to 5 people)

– a written part of each student, consisting of 3 elements:

1) documentation of the video project (what)

2) reflexion and concept (how) including the interrelation between the video project and theoretical inputs

3) self-reflexion on the development of the project (first ideas, concepts, changes during the process, evaluation)

The written part could be part of the essay written for Ali or a separate paper