Wednesday, February 17, 2010
DIY Urbanism is the shared experience of designing and participating in the creation of our urban environment. It uses a bottom-up and participatory approach. It includes the tactics of small-scale intervention, experimental and micro-architectures, the temporary, the nomadic and the add-on. It’s a radical urbanism, one that challenges the current dominance of top-down urban planning and capitalist development.
It includes activist strategies and creative resistance to challenge the forces of control that are at work in the city. A spontaneous city should be encouraged, offering up opportunities to experience and experiment in the urban and public sphere. By being playful in the city and street, the functions that are dominant in the program are challenged.
It can be a temporary or new use for a transitional space. Like site specific and research based public art that examines situations occurring in a neighborhood or location, where public interaction is vital. The Zwischennutzing of gaps , terrain vague, wastelands, residual spaces and forgotten or unoccupied territories offer up a myriad of opportunities for creative use or misuse. It’s a chance to hack the city, to manipulate the plan.
We cannot deny the need for more housing in this burgeoning city, but what are the alternative forms we can experiment with? Can the community play a role in housing design and communal living? What kinds of democratic processes are there to participate in for the future city? Planning processes need to open up and made transparent. The community must be involved in building its own city to symbolize the diversity it encapsulates.
In keeping with the worldwide trend in sustainable design, it is obviously clear that any future direction needs to incorporate ecological understanding. But other issues arise. Is it more sustainable to develop new green technologies, or simply reuse and recycle existing buildings and ruins? In an act reeking of Disney’s Imagineering, will the industrial heritage of place like Cockatoo Island be forgotten under man made and picturesque rolling hills?
The city of Sydney is at a turning point. The next decade will see many new large developments built, and the future urban landscape is one in flux.
Now is the time for speculation, inspiration and dreaming.
Monday, February 15, 2010
DIY Urbanism aims to
- Share experiences, skills and tools in defining and building local spaces
- Examine how the dominant system of urban planning can be challenged
- Discuss our local Sydney landscape and create initiatives that may consolidate change
- Create opportunities to research and investigate spatial politics
Robyn Backen (Artist)
Jack Barton (Urban Researcher, Cityfutures)
Nigel Helyer (Artist)
Katie Hepworth (Urban Researcher)
Gilo Holtzman (Architect)
Hugo Moline (Architect)
Joni Taylor (Curator/Researcher)
Zanny Begg and Keg De Souza (Artists/Curators - You Are Here)
"DIY Urbanism" is an informal roundtable discussion happening as part of the Urban Transformations event at ClubHouse. It will take place on the 18 February, 2010 at the Perfomance Space in Carriageworks, Sydney.
The main focus of the event is to bring together a radical and diverse group of architects, designers, artists and urban thinkers to critically engage with each other about the built environment, and to develop creative solutions for our cities. It aims to be a platform where ideas and strategies from a broad spectrum of the creative community can be developed. In particular we hope to present a bottom up approach to urban design.