public works

public works is a London based art and architecture practice whose members and partners have been collaborating in different constellations since 1998.

public works projects include participatory public realm design schemes, interdisciplinary debate and publications. All public works projects address the question how users of public space are engaging with their environment and how design and programmatic strategies can support and facilitate physical, economical and social infrastructures in the public realm, both in urban and rural settings.

website: www.publicworksgroup.net/

London, England

London, England
1-5 Vyner Street, Bethnal Green, London, Greater London, E2 9DG, United Kingdom
51.5342642 , -0.057134

International Village Shop

A new model for interdisciplinary local cultural production and trans-local and online dissemination.

The International Village Shop (IVS) has been shaped as a collective idea and initiative by four partners since 2004:

  • Artists and Architects collective public works (London, UK)
  • Arts Organisation Grizedale Arts, Lawson Park (Cumbria, UK)
  • Artists group Somewhere (Cumbria, UK and London, UK)
  • Artist initiative myvillages.org (Rotterdam, NL)

The IVS is a shared public platform to develop, produce and exchange cultural produce. It involves individuals and organisations from different cultural backgrounds and addresses a variety of audiences, from local non-art to international art audiences.



R-Urban

R-Urban - constructing new cultures of resilience

« The Earth is not a present from our parents. We only borrowed if from our children»

Indian proverb

 

Why ?

It is perhaps the first time in history that our society develops global awareness and calls for the necessity of collective action to face the challenge of the future: global warming, depletion of fossil fuels and other natural resources, economic recession, population growth, housing and employment crisis, consequential increase of social divide and geo-political conflicts, etc.

The Earth’s population currently consumes two and a half planets. This consumption is mainly located in the urban and suburban areas of the developed countries.  There is an urgent need for efficient new models of ecological living and urban retrofitting.  While governments and organisations seem to take too long to agree and act, many initiatives started at a local scale. 

These initiatives are nevertheless confronted with the difficulty of changing the current economic and social model of society based on increased global consumption. How to construct a socially oriented economy, which does not depend on the global market?  How to initiate progressive practices and sustain ecological lifestyles while acting locally? How to reactivate cultures of collaboration and sharing in a world that promotes individualism and competition?

The R-Urban strategy proposed by atelier d’architecture autogérée explores alternatives to the current models of living, producing and consuming in cities, suburbs and the countryside. It draws on the active involvement of the citizen in creating solidarity networks, closing local cycles between production and consumption, operating changes in lifestyles, acting ecologically at the level of everyday life.

What?

R-Urban proposes a retrofitting of the city through principles following the ecological Rs: Recycle, Reuse, Repair, Re-think, etc.  

R-Urban also aims to explicitly reconnect the Urban with the Rural through new kinds of relations, more complementary and less hierarchical.

As other emerging strategies, it aims to increase the social, urban and cultural Resilience. 
In contrast to ecological resilience,  social, urban and cultural resilience could be adaptive and transformative, inducing change that offers huge potential to rethink assumptions and build new systems.  It is this transformative quality that interests us within the R-Urban approach, which is not only about sustainability but also about change and re-invention. 

In the case of European cities, the resilience capacity should also allow for the preservation of specific democratic and cultural values, local histories and traditions, while adapting to more economic and ecological lifestyles. A city can only become resilient with the active involvement of its inhabitants. To stimulate this commitment, we need tools, knowledge and places to test new practices and citizen initiatives, and to showcase the results and benefits of a resilient transformation of the city.

Strategy

The R-Urban strategy is built upon coordinated actions at different local scales (domestic, neighbourhood, city, region) and complementarities between five fields of activity: 

residential (co-operative ecological housing)
economy (social and local economy)
agriculture (organic urban agriculture)
culture (local cultural production and trans-local dissemination)
mobility (no fossil fuel dependent transport)

These fields cover the essential aspects that define the contemporary urban condition. Flows, networks and cycles of production - consumption are formed across these fields, closing chains of need and supply as locally as possible, but also in as many and as diversified ways as possible. To overcome the current crisis, we must try, as French philosopher A. Gorz states ‘to produce what we consume and consume what we produce’.   R-Urban interprets this chain of production - consumption broadly, well beyond the material aspect, including the cultural, cognitive and affective dimensions.

Where?

The R-Urban strategy could be applied in suburban contexts to deal with the collapse of the modern urban ideals (monotonous urban fabric, obsolete tower blocks, real estate bankruptcy, segregation, social and economic exclusion, land pollution…) and their transformations. Between the urban and the rural, the suburban condition could valorise the potential of both.
R-URBAN strategy could also operate within dense urban contexts, in which the rural is internalised and disseminated through specific practices, economies and lifestyles (i.e. urban agriculture, exchange systems, self-build, waste-recycling, etc.).

Local Mapping

We have started by identifying micro-local practices and interstitial spaces that could immediately be connected and activated (i.e. local skills and ecological practices, active individuals and organisations, underused spaces and urban leftovers, opportunities or gaps in rules and regulations, etc.). Local residents are involved in the setting up and management of the strategy, contributing to its social, environmental and economic sustainability. The project fosters local exchanges and (rural and urban) networks and tests methods of self-management, self-build and self-production.

Prototypes

In order to begin, we have constructed and tested a number of prototypes for urban agriculture (in Paris and Colombes, a suburb in the North West of Paris) and related practices: recycling and cultivating roofs (ECOroof), vertical green walls (aaa office), windows (aaa office), compost toilets (Passage 56), recycling of urban matters and their integration into agricultural soil (Passage 56) etc.

We have also set up social, economic and cultural networks based on existing and emerging local initiatives (AMAP St. Blaise, Jardins d’Audra).

We have conceived and experimented with ecological devices and locally closed cycles: water, energy, waste (Passage 56, Jardins d’Audra). 

We have identified and encouraged local skills necessary to support such initiatives, some of them marginalised or overseen and have invited specialists to contribute to learning and re-skilling processes (workshops Passage 56).

We have elaborated forms of knowledge production and skill exchange (Participative Urban Laboratory-LUP).

These prototypes allowed us to experiment with simple methods of implementation of an ecological approach at the level of everyday life and to generate self-managed collective use and environmental practices. 
 
Cultural resilience; cultures of resilience

In contrast to other initiatives that deal exclusively with issues of sustainability as technological, environmental or social,  R-Urban states the importance of culture. The future is culturally formed as much as the past is, says Arjun Appadurai, and this is because culture deals with ‘the capacity to aspire’.

Within a resilient condition we need to reach an ‘ecosophic’ stage of culture, which considers mental, environmental and social aspects alike. In this respect, R-Urban operates with an extended notion of culture that includes material and immaterial production, skills, mentalities, habits, patterns of inhabitations, etc…  
But how exactly does this relate to the idea of local? Can a resilient culture be localised? These were the questions that R-Urban brought to the agenda of the Rhyzom network. 

Localisation is a term usually discussed in relation to resilience. Rob Hopkins, the founder of Transition Town network, defines it like this: ‘The concept of localisation suggests that the move away from globalised distribution systems is not a choice but an inevitable change in direction for humanity. The rebuilding of local economies offers a response to the challenges presented by peak oil, as well as a tremendous opportunity to rethink and reinvent local economies’.  However, within the contemporary condition, culture can’t be assigned anymore to a geographic location. If we can localise economy we will never be able to fully localise culture. Cultural resilience negotiates between the necessity of rebuilding local economies and keeping us globally connected.

But how can we still be connected in a resilient way? How to associate and empower resilient practices, skills, mentalities, habits, economies at a bigger scale? Maybe ‘from local to local’, through relational institutions which federate heterogeneous components, both cultural and environmental, amateur and professional, civic and educational… In such way, resilient practices could go beyond the sphere of the local and become trans-local, could operate a re-weaving of scales and issues through the construction of a trans-local mode of functioning.

Living practices, deep locals, cultural and social biodiversity

As many other projects within the Rhyzom network, R-Urban addressed also the idea of a deep local, a multilayered local made out of multiple and heterogenous micro-locals.  Such micro-locals are also expressed at the level of everyday life practices, proximity dynamics, domestic habits, neighbourhood relations. They represent specific cultures of living.

In addition to existing local cultures of living, R-Urban proposes new collective forms of these cultures through reinventing and revitalising proximity relations based on solidarities (i.e. ways of being involved and deciding collectively, sharing spaces and group facilities, rules and principles of co-habitation etc.). Urban life styles in neo-liberal societies have abandoned progressively the different forms of solidarity that were perceived as inadequate and outdated. Though, it is exactly these relations of reciprocity which constitute the fundament of social progress. In his analysis of the connections between the economic and the political (inspired by Tarde’s sociology), Lazzarato describes the civilisation of ‘progress’ as ‘a constantly renewed effort to replace the reciprocal possession by the unilateral possession’.  Or, it is exactly these relations of reciprocity and solidarity that are missing in the urban environment today.

In contrast, the dwelling and the living models proposed by R-Urban are based on solidarity relations and implicitly produce sociability and common values and affective relations. They can allow for further emergence of conditions for the production of locality through authentic cultural phenomena, which are fed by their territorial anchoring and their transversal co-operation 

The ‘locality’ is formed as such through a multiplicity of micro-social and cultural phenomena which are embedded in their territories.  Guattari underlined the role of micro-practices in what he called a heterogenesis process: ‘it is essential that micro-political and micro-social practices, new solidarities organise themselves (…) It is not only that these different levels of practicing haven’t been homogenised  (…) , but that they operate in a heterogenesis process’.  It is this kind of heterogenesis process that can produce and preserve local cultural and social biodiversity which is based on sustainable solidarity.

Transformations have to take place at micro-scale with each individual, with each subjectivity and this is what constructs a culture of resilience and at the same time a resilient culture. As Hopkins puts it: ‘Resilience is not just an outer process: it is also an inner one, of becoming more flexible, robust and skilled’ . The culture of resilience includes processes of reskilling, skills-sharing, building social networks, learning from others, learning from other experiences. These micro-social and micro-cultural practices are most of the time related to lifestyles and individual gestures, they prompt attention to details, to singularities, to the capacity of creativity and innovation that operates at the level of everyday life. R-Urban offers a platform for such practices to gain visibility and feel empowered in their singularity while being connected to others through relations of reciprocity. This is a form of cultural resilience.

Pioneering R-Urban

Currently, R-Urban strategy is tested for a first implementation in Colombes, a city of 30 000 inhabitants in the North West suburbs of Paris. The local council and a number of local organisations ( …) have formed the first R-Urban Agency. Available plots have been identified and connections have started to be established between some of them.

An urban agriculture pole has been initiated at the foot of a high-rise building on a plot negotiated for reversible use with the Poste company which owns the land. A social economy cluster and organic food market will be initiated in connection with the cultivation of plots. A Recycling Unit which will process construction materials and a co-operative housing built from these materials will start next year. Seminaries, debates and workshops disseminate knowledge and skills necessary to the process. A trans-local research centre will disseminate cultures of resilience in the region.  The future is R-Urban!


public works log

PROTOTYPING THE CIVIC CITY - PUBLIC PROGRAMME - 14 - 25 JULY - R-URBAN POPLAR & TATE EXCHANGE

Join us for the public programme of our two week Summer School, Prototyping the Civic City. Through a series of field-trips, workshops, talks and events we will be exploring how artist, design and activist practices can empower citizens to remake, rethink and re-imagine the city.

We will be focusing on how 'civic action' can allow participants to develop new skills, strategies and practices to directly affect changes in the city. Core to this is the idea of prototyping open source designs and rethinking organisational structures.

We are inviting you to explore and share prototypes for the Civic City alongside our students. We'll be hands on and building prototypes in support of local actions for environmental change. Transforming the Tate Exchange into a public classroom, bringing together activists and practitioners engaged in civic movements. In this space we're hosting multiple voices through a number of public talks, discussions and workshops, itself prototyping a collective education platform for civic action. Finally we'll be hosting a closing 'Exhibition of Action' at R-Urban Poplar where we try and put all our learning back into place

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PUBLIC PROGRAMME:

FIELD TRIP: EXISTING PROTOTYPES Saturday 14 July, Kings Cross, 11:00-18:00
Join us on the opening Saturday for a walking field trip around Kings Cross London, exploring some of the existing initiatives which are prototyping and re-imaging the city. We will be looking at green prototypes at Calthorpe Project, Arts Catalyst and the King's Cross Skip Garden as well as a organisational prototyping from the Camley Street CLT and Forum. The fieldtrip begins at 11.00 at Calthorpe (WC1X 8LH), RSVP is essential please confirm via email at school@publicworksgroup.net

TESTING PROTOTYPES FOR ACTION
Wednesday 18 July & Thursday 19 July
Tate Exchange, 12:00-18:00
Join us in building, making, testing new prototypes for civic action. We'll be focussing on three different kinds of green infrastructure which address air quality, food waste and off-grid cooking. Come lend a hand or your knowledge.

UK COMMONS ASSEMBLY
Friday 20 July, Tate Exchange, 12:00-18:00
The School of Civic Action in collaboration with Commons Rising are inviting commons initiatives and commoners to come together to initiate a UK wide Commons Assembly. This is an open platform to meet others, exchange knowledge and to see if there is an appetite for an ongoing UK Commons Assembly.
The aim of the day is to put on an exhibition showing the wealth of Commons projects happening in the UK. There will be discussions as well as workshops to inform the public about the commons. It is also an opportunity to vision how the commons might work beyond the individual projects and to set up practical outcomes going forwards.

IDEAS FOR CIVIC ACTION with
SPATIAL ENGAGEMENT NETWORK

Saturday 21 July, Tate Exchange, 12:00-20:00
This one-day symposium curated by Sol Perez-Martinez of the Spatial Engagement Network, will explore ways to engage critically with our urban environment. Throughout three sessions participants will discuss spaces and methods proposed to foster meaningful relations between people and the places where they live. Ideas for Civic Action, will bring together practitioners, researchers and community groups who have worked connecting people with their surroundings in order to share practices and discuss further action. The event will showcase initiatives where architects have been aware of the social and political implications of their work, aiming to encourage a more conscious way of practice which serves community interests. Following the symposium, a final shared event in collaboration with Just Space, public works and Umeå School of Architecture, will discuss current projects where communities across London are taking action over their local areas and will draw conclusions from the day's parallel events.

PEDAGOGIES OF THE TEMPORARY
Sunday 22 July, Tate Exchange, 13:00-15:00
Pedagogies of the temporary. - Archives, Schools and the Temporary City. Join us for an afternoon session drawing a line of thought between archival practices and learning formats inspired by temporary use projects.Four speakers will present ideas, archives or projects opening up a view on the alternative learning spaces offered by temporary use projects and how this learning can be captured, passed on and mobilised in other forums.Taking as a point of departure the School of Civic Actions collaboration with Roskilde Festival, Northern Europe's largest annual music festival and for one week every year, Denmark's fourth largest city.

EXHIBITION OF ACTION
Wednesday 25 July, R-Urban Poplar, 17:00-20:00
Bringing the summer school to a close on site at R-Urban Poplar, we'll be exhibiting all the prototypes built and tested over the previous week. Join our students in celebrating the schools hard work over a collective meal and reflective discussion.
The exhibition starts at 17.00 at R-Urban Poplar (E14 0SP)
RSVP is essential please confirm via email at: school@publicworksgroup.net

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The School of Civic Action is a pedagogical experiment that tests situated modes of learning in support of civic city making, while challenging traditional urban teaching and disciplinary restriction. The School maneuvers across disciplines that complement one another, implementing new ways of knowing and acting. Teaching and learning at the school is symbiotic; by situating its curriculum within live projects, it can mutually provide a support structure back to the local communities, the sites they occupy and for the individuals enrolled.
This outing of the School of Civic Action is with the support of; public works, Umeå School of Architecture, Tate Exchange, Roskilde Festival, R-Urban Poplar, Spatial Engagement Network and Just Space.

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APPLY NOW - SUMMER SCHOOL CALL OUT - PROTOTYPING THE CIVIC CITY


PROTOTYPING THE CIVIC CITY

SCHOOL OF CIVIC ACTION

SUMMER SCHOOL AT R-URBAN POPLAR AND TATE EXCHANGE

FRIDAY 13 JULY TO WEDNESDAY 25 JULY

The School of Civic Action is hosting a two week summer school in London, at Tate Exchange and R-Urban Poplar. Under the theme of 'Prototyping the Civic City' we'll explore how artist, design and activist practices can empower citizens to remake the city.

The schools curriculum is centred around ideas of 'civic action' allowing participants to develop new skills, strategies and practices to directly affect changes in the city. Core to this is the idea of prototyping open source designs and rethinking organisational structures.

The summer school draws on two test sites; firstly at R-Urban Poplar in East London where we will build prototypes in support of local actions for environmental change such as air quality, food waste and sustainable energy production.

In parallel we will transform the space at Tate exchange on the 5th floor of Tate Modern into a public classroom which brings together activists and practitioners engaged in civic movements (UK Commoners Network, Just Space, Spatial Engagement Network, Umeå School of Architecture). The summer school itself prototyping a collective education platform for civic action, through the building of new networks which share situated and expert knowledge with the public.

KEY INFO

We are offering 10 free places for people to join us starting on the 13 July and concluding on the 25 July 2018. The summer school will take place in it's entirety in London, places on the school are for free but food and accomodation is to be organised by school participants.

The invitation is open to all disciplines and backgrounds, professional or amateur we strongly encourage members from voluntary groups across London to apply. The Summer School is free of charge. In return we expect participants to be committed to the full programme and enthusiastic learners.

Teaching on the course will be made up of a mixture of hands on building and making, alongside discursive seminars, workshops and events. Time will be split evenly between our site R-Urban Poplar (E14 0SP) and the Tate Exchange (SE1 9TG).

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply please send no more than a 500-word proposal to public works laying out your specific interest in joining the Summer School and if appropriate relevant samples of previous work (no more than five A4 pages), along with a short CV with key information about yourself.

Please send your application to school@publicworksgroup.net

Deadline for application is 27 June 2018

Applicants will be notified on 29 June 2018

SUPPORTED BY:

School of Civic Action is a pedagogical experiment that tests situated modes of learning in support of civic city making, while challenging traditional urban teaching and disciplinary restriction. The School of Civic Action manoeuvres across disciplines that complement one another, implementing new ways of knowing and acting. Teaching and learning at the school is symbiotic; by situating its curriculum within live projects, it can mutually provide a support structure back to the local communities, the sites they occupy and for the individuals enrolled.

Umeå School of Architecture is part of Umeå University and was established in September 2009 and is a laboratory for experimental architecture where both education and research are conducted. Here future architects are being trained in a unique environment, based on an integrated approach of the artistic, technical and academic fields. It is part of the newly built Umeå Arts Campus together with Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå Institute of Design, HUMlab-X (digital humanities), Bildmuseet (a contemporary art museum), Sliperiet and a library with literature within the fields of art, design and architecture. Umeå School of Architecture distinguishes itself through the integration of scientific, artistic and professional methods and means of study in an international profile. The intermingling of technology, sustainability and art at the Arts Campus encourages development. The education aims to point clearly towards sustainable architecture and integrated design. www.arch.umu.se

R-Urban Poplar is a community facility to support local groups and promote the ethos of re-use and environmental friendly approaches to city living. It offers drop in sessions and expert lead workshops around urban-agriculture, food, wellbeing, local energy production and making.

Tate Exchange is an experiment. A space for everyone to collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life, through art. Whether you are an observer, commentator, researcher, creator, hacker, tweeter or just curious, join artists and organisations to explore the issues of our time. Drop in for a talk, join the conversation, enjoy a chance encounter and learn something new. http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/tate-exchange

Roskilde Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. Every year over 130,000 people come together to create Scandinavia's largest temporary city - more than 30,000 of them are volunteers. The festival is run by the Roskilde Charity Society, a non-profit organisation for development and support of youth culture and humanities. All proceeds from the festival are shared with charitable organisations and initiatives around the globe. In recent years Roskilde has increasingly been invited by municipalities across Denmark to consult on issues of temporary use helping to spread the learnings and applying them to the way we rethink our cities. For 2016-2018, Roskilde Festival has a thematic focus on equality. In 2018 we nuance the focus on economic equality by exploring the current status of economic influence on society. www.roskilde-festival.dk

Just Space is a network of local and London-wide metropolitan groups campaigning on planning issues - housing, transport, services, environment, rights of minorities but especially of working class and low-income groups. Activists and groups support each other in influencing formal plans and policies at scales ranging from metropolitan, through municipal to local. https://justspace.org.uk/

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APPLY NOW - SUMMER SCHOOL CALL OUT - TEMPORARY COMMONS AT ROSKILDE FESTIVAL

'TEMPORARY COMMONS'
THE SHOOL FOR CIVIC ACTION
SUMMER SCHOOL AT ROSKILDE FESTIVAL
MONDAY 25 JUNE 2018
 - WEDNESDAY 4 JULY

The School of Civic Action at Roskilde Festival is a ten-day long summer school hosted by public works with Roskilde Festival which explores ideas around temporary use and the making of the instant city. The school is conceived as a three-year long programme which will lead up to an international conference and publication and critically reflect Roskilde's contribution to the wider discourse on temporary use and city making. This will also conclude and coincide with the 50th anniversary of the festival in 2020.

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The first year of the summer school focuses on the unique knowledge produced by the festival over the last 48 years in constructing and refining the temporary city. Under the theme of 'Temporary Commons' we will bring together students, practitioners and academics to explore shared practices and concerns around the notion of temporary use set against the backdrop of Northern Europe's largest annual music festival. We will explore the festival's capacity to promote new forms of living and examine how temporality can be understood as a strength enabling us to gain new knowledges and methods to help us shape the way we live beyond the duration of the festival.
The School of Civic Action at Roskilde Festival will develop over a three-year cycle:

1 - The first outing of the school is focused on understanding the festival from the inside out.
2 - The second iteration in 2019 will be dedicated to the large international networks created by the festival which carry the culture of temporary use across the globe.
3 - The third and final summer school in 2020, together with the publication and conference will help to reassert temporary use as a positive force to promote the values and ethos of Roskilde Festival at large.

The Summer School will take place on the festival site in the week before doors open to the public, while all the venues for Scandinavia's largest temporary city are being constructed.

Together we will design and construct components for Scandinavia's largest temporary city and host open fabrication workshops during the first three days of the festival. The hands-on workshops will be accompanied by reflective seminars, lectures and discussions exploring the role of temporary use in today's city making through the eyes of various disciplines such as art, engineering, curating, architecture and geography. The result of the workshop will be captured in a contribution to a week long programme hosted by The School of Civic Action at Tate Exchange in London in July 2018.

We are offering 15 places for people to join us starting on the 25 June and concluding on the 4 July 2018. We will live at Roskilde festival where the summer school will run alongside the construction of the festival, culminating in the first three days of the festival before the music starts and the festival reaches its full capacity.

The invitation is open to all disciplines and backgrounds, professional or amateur. The Summer School is free of charge along with tickets to the festival itself. In return we expect participants to become hosts during the three days when the festival gets under way and opens its doors to the wider audience of festival goers. You will need to cover all your travel and food costs and provide your own camping equipment.

HOW TO APPLY:

To apply please send no more than a 500-word proposal to public works laying out your specific interest in joining the Summer School and if appropriate relevant samples of previous work (no more than five A4 pages), along with a short CV with key information about yourself.

Please send you application to school@publicworksgroup.net
Deadline for application is 10 June 2018
Applicants will be notified on 13 June 2018

ABOUT US:

The School of Civic Action is a pedagogical experiment that tests situated modes of learning in support of civic city making, while challenging traditional urban teaching and disciplinary restriction. The School of Civic Action maneuvers across disciplines that complement one another, implementing new ways of knowing and acting. Teaching and learning at the school is symbiotic; by situating its curriculum within live projects, it can mutually provide a support structure back to the local communities, the sites they occupy and for the individuals enrolled.

Roskilde Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. Every year over 130,000 people come together to create Scandinavia's largest temporary city - more than 30,000 of them are volunteers. The festival is run by the Roskilde Charity Society, a non-profit organisation for development and support of youth culture and humanities. All proceeds from the festival are shared with charitable organisations and initiatives around the globe. In recent years Roskilde has increasingly been invited by municipalities across Denmark to consult on issues of temporary use helping to spread the learnings and applying them to the way we rethink our cities. For 2016-2018, Roskilde Festival has a thematic focus on equality. In 2018 we nuance the focus on economic equality by exploring the current status of economic influence on society. www.roskilde-festival.dk

public works is a non-profit critical design practice that occupies the terrain between art, architecture and research. Working with an extended network of interdisciplinary collaborators, public works aims to re-work spatial, social and economic opportunities towards citizen-driven development and improved civic life. The practice, set up in 2004, uses a range of approaches, including public events, campaigns, the development of urban strategies and participatory art and architecture projects across all scales. www.publicworksgroup.net

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The Social Re-Production of Architecture - Symposium and Book Launch


Please join us for a special Friday Session (on a Thursday) at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design for an evening symposium celebrating the launch of 'The Social Re-Production of Architecture'.

Date: 1st March 2018
Time: 6.30PM
Location: LVMH Lecture Theatre E003, Central St Martins, Granary Building, 1 Granary Sq, London N1C 4AA
RSVP: The event is free no RSVP is needed, however seats can be reserved via Eventbrite here, doors open at 6.15PM

The Social (Re)Production of Architecture brings the debates of the 'right to the city' into today's context of ecological, economic and social crises. Building on the 1970s' discussions about the 'production of space', which French sociologist Henri Lefebvre considered a civic right, the authors question who has the right to make space, and explore the kinds of relations that are produced in the process. In the emerging post-capitalist era, this book addresses urgent social and ecological imperatives for change and opens up questions around architecture's engagement with new forms of organization and practice. The book asks what (new) kinds of 'social' can architecture (re)produce, and what kinds of politics, values and actions are needed.
The symposium will see a series of positioning statements by some of the authors reflecting on their contributions to book followed by an open discussion.
Speakers include:

Doina Petrescu & Kim Trogal (Editors) - Introduction to The Social (Re)Production of Architecture.
Kathrin Böhm & Michale Smythe - Phytology National Park - strategies to keep public spaces complex.
Helge Moohshammer & Peter Mortenbock - Tent Cities, peoples kitchens, free universities: The global villages of occupation movements.
Yara Sharif & Naseer Golzari - Cultivating spatial possibilities in Palestine: searching for sub/urban bridges in Beit Iksa, Jerusalem.
Rory Hyde - Ways to be public.

The symposium will be followed by drinks kindly provided by Companies Drinks.
Copies of the book are available on the day along with copies of 'Learn to Act'

Learn To Act: Introducing the Eco Nomadic School - is the third publication in the To Act book series published by aaa/peprav a, following Urban Act (2007) and Trans Local Act (2010). The book documents and explains ten years of the Eco Nomadic School, a network of locally-based projects from across Europe that involved projects, practices,participants from six countries, nine regions, four cities, two towns and six villages. This is the Eco Nomadic School. Edited by: Kathrin Böhm, Tom James and Doina Petrescu

Friday Sessions are informal talks and presentations hosted by public works with invited guests and friends. This Friday Session is co-hosted by Kathrin Böhm, public works and the March in Architecture at Central Saint Martins.

About the Speakers:

Doina Petrescu is Professor of Architecture and Design Activism at the University of Sheffield. She is co-founder, together with Constantin Petcou, of atelier d'architecture autogérée (aaa), a collective platform conducting explorations, actions and research concerning participative architecture, resilience and cities co-produced transformation. Recent projects include R-Urban, a participative strategy for local resilience in the Parisian Region and WikiVillage Factory, a cluster for social and ecological innovation in Paris. These projects have received international recognition and numerous awards across the years including the Innovation in Politics for 'Ecology' EU Award (2017) Zumtobel Award (2012), the Curry Stone Prize (2011) and the European Public Space Prize (2010). Her publications include R-Urban Act: A Participative Strategy of Urban Resilience (2015), Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures (2009), Trans-Local Act: Cultural Politics Within and Beyond (2009), Altering Practices: Feminist Politics and Poetics of Space (2007), Urban/ACT: A Handbook for Alternative Practice (2007) and Architecture and Participation (2005).

Kim Trogal is a lecturer at the Canterbury School of Architecture, University for the Creative Arts. She completed her architectural studies at the University of Sheffield, including a PhD in Architecture (2012) for which she was awarded the RIBA LKE Ozolins Studentship. She was Postdoctoral Researcher at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (2014-2016) and research assistant for the Building Local Resilience platform at the Sheffield School of Architecture (2012-2015), exploring issues of local social and ecological resilience. Kim is currently collaborating with critical management scholar Valeria Graziano on the politics of 'repair and maintenance' across different collective practices. Together they are co-authors of 'The Politics of Collective Repair. Examining object-relations in a Postwork Society,' which appeared in Cultural Studies in March 2017 and co-editors of Repair Matters, a special issue of ephemera - theory & politics in organization (forthcoming).

Kathrin Böhm is a London-based artist with a long-standing interest in the collaborative making and extending of public spaces through methods of collective production, distribution and usage within both urban and rural situations. Kathrin is a founding member of the international artist initiative Myvillages art and architecture collective public works, Barking and Dagenham based arts enterprise Company Drinks and the artist run political action group Keep It Complex - Make It Clear.

Michael Smythe is the Creative Director of Nomad Projects, an independent commissioning foundation. Nomad Projects mission is to develop socially relevant work within the public realm through cross-disciplinary collaboration, experimentation and action-based research. There is no fixed period for a 'commission' to be realised, allowing artists to develop progressive and original contemporary art at a pace determined by the nature of each project. In 2014 Nomad Projects launched 'Phytology', an urban physic garden & cultural institute located within a disused WW2 bomb-site. Phytology is an artist & community-led project exploring the use & value of wildness within urban ecosystems through research in the arts, ecology & education.In addition to Nomad Projects Michael Smythe has worked with a range of organisations such as Bow Arts, Vinyl Factory, The Old Vic Theatre, Artangel, Siobhan Davies Dance, Grizedale Arts & Punchdrunk.
Rory Hyde is the Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the V&A Museum, London, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and author of Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture (Routledge, 2012).

Nasser Golzari and Yara Sharif are practising architects and academics. Both teach at Oxford Brookes University as well as the University of Westminster, London. Having lived and worked in conflict zones, they developed a special interest in the subject of cultural identity, politics and responsive architecture. They mainly look at design as a means to facilitate and empower communities. Combining practice with research, they co-founded the Palestinian Regeneration Team (PART), which aims to explore creative and responsive spatial practices that can heal the fractured landscape of Palestine. Their work, with both their architecture practice NG Architects and with PART, has been published widely, Sharif has been granted the 2013 commendation award - RIBA's President Award for Research for Outstanding PhD Thesis. Their collaborative work with Riwaq on the historic centre of Birzeit won the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, while the revitalisation of the historic centre of Beit Iksa won the 2014 Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction.

Helge Mooshammer is the director of the international research projects, Relational Architecture and Other Markets at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Vienna University of Technology, Austria. He is currently a Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His research is concerned with changing forms of urban sociality arising from the processes of transnationalization, capital movements, informal economies, and newly emerging regimes of governance.

Peter Mörtenböck is Professor of Visual Culture at the Vienna University of Technology, and visiting researcher at Goldsmiths College, University of London, where he has initiated the Networked Cultures project, a platform for global research on collaborative art and architecture practices. His current work explores the interaction of such practices with resource politics, global economies and urban transformation.

Mörtenböck and Mooshammer have published numerous articles on contemporary art, bottom-up urbanism and collaborative forms of spatial production, including in Grey Room, Architectural Research Quarterly and Third Text. Their recent books include Visual Cultures as Opportunity (2016), Informal Market Worlds: The Architecture of Economic Pressure (2015), Space (Re)Solutions: Intervention and Research in Visual Culture (2011), and Networked Cultures: Parallel Architectures and the Politics of Space (2008) (www.thinkarchitecture.net).

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public works joins the Actors of Urban Change programme

Last week public works began a new European programme - Actors of Urban Change (AoUC), funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation and MitOst. Public works is part of one of the ten teams from cities across Europe; Chișinău, Hamburg, Kherson, Lecce, London, Oslo, Rijeka, Timisoara, Valencia and Vilnius to be selected on the programme.

The focus of the funding is around cross sector collaboration with teams being made up of cultural, public and private actors - seeking ways to achieve sustainable and participatory urban development. The programme provides a rich learning opportunity with 5 academy meetings over the next 18 months, visiting some of the emerging projects in the ten selected cities.

AoUC kicked off last week in Berlin with the first 4 day academy, visiting inspiring Berlin based projects (ZK/U, SpreePark, Refugio) as well as plenty of time to get to know about the fund, the other teams and our London team members.

Our London team is made up of two new and interesting partners; Javier Rojo is representing the private sector via his waste management company Quantum Waste, Danny Tompkins is representing the 'public' sector through his work for Poplar Harca, and Andy Belfield is representing public works on behalf of the cultural sector. Over the next 18 months the team will seek to deliver an Anaerobic Digester and community cafe as part of a future community garden in Poplar, East London. The core aim of the project is about finding ways that local organic food waste can be broken down into bio-gas and fertiliser - reducing the amount of food waste going into landfill whilst providing energy to run a small community kitchen. The long term goal is the alter and change attitudes towards waste, and provide new economies to support local groups using the future garden.


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website by dorian moore @ the useful arts organisation