Designing More-Than-Human Cities

[urban interfaces], Utrecht University

16.03.2020 - 17.03.2020

About the Programme

In this workshop, students from different programs and academies collaborate on an interdisciplinary urban design assignment. The specific focus of the workshop is to develop creative design for more-than-human cities. This deals with the question of how our cities can become more sustainable – both socially and ecologically – by taking into account the diverse interests, stakes, and perspectives from other living organisms and species beside humans. How can we adopt perspectives from insects or birds? How can we imagine urban infrastructures inspired by fungal networks? And how can we collaborate with other species in shaping public space? In this workshop we will use creative methodologies to “design for debate,” under the guidance of design studio Cream on Chrome and scholars from Utrecht University’s research group [urban interfaces]. Here, design is intended to address contemporary urban challenges and translate more abstract ideas about these issues into a tangible design prototype, in order to develop a speculative scenario life in Future Cities. This does not have the intention to offer solutions so much, but rather aims to spark debate about these urban challenges. As students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds are involved, we expect a productive exchange of perspectives, theories, concepts, skills, and interests. You will become familiar with some relevant theoretical perspectives from the humanities as well as more practical and solution-oriented perspectives from creative and design-based disciplines. You will experience working in interdisciplinary teams, and work collaboratively towards the presentation of your design concept. As an added bonus, you will have the opportunity to showcase your team’s design concept in the student exhibition during the Media Architecture Biennale in November 2020, with this year’s theme of #futuresImplied that connects to the design assignment of this workshop. Interested? Send an email before March 1 to to register!

About Us

[urban interfaces] is a platform for a critical investigation of urban interfaces for creative and participatory engagement at the crossing of academic research and cultural practices. Focusing on mobile and situated media, art, and performance, the platform brings together and initiates critical reflections on (and actual interventions in) these socio-spatial activities and their shaping and staging of urban culture. [urban interfaces] is an initiative of the interdisciplinary Department for Media and Culture Studies (MCW) at Utrecht University, and collaborates with an expanding (international) network of academic and cultural partners.