STREETWISE: MAPPING SPATIAL CONFIGURATIONS AND USER BEHAVIOURS FOR URBAN DESIGN.
While most new technologies are being employed to support sustainability with the aim of visualizing and saving energy consumption, little attention is given to designing inherently sustainable structures of urban space, which afford socially, culturally and energetically good usage and occupation. The Computational Design Research group at Aedas [CDR] focuses on the visualization of spatial configurations based on user-experience and behaviours that inform spatial planning. The presentation will demonstrate projects that visualize urban planning discourse, map dynamic spatial usage and simulate urban design processes.
Christan Derix, Director of Computational Design and Research Aedas|R&D
Derix founded the Research & Development group at Aedas architects in 2004. He directs the Computational Design Research group [CDR] which develops computational design applications for generative and analytical design processes in architecture and urban design with an emphasis on spatial configuration and human occupation. Recently, the work of CDR has been shortlisted for various design awards and won honorary mention for the Compasso d’Oro in Italy and the commendation of the President’s Medal for Practice Research of the Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA]. Derix has taught Computing & Design since 2001 at various universities in the UK and Europe and is currently Visiting Professor for Emergent Technologies at the Technical University Munich.
MAKING IT PUBLIC. VISUALIZING URBAN DATA.
Michael Migurski likes to explore the act of maintaining flow “from below”, and the actors and tasks whose continued participation supports it. Viewed from a great distance, our work as data visualizers appears to be riding a smooth current of urban information. Viewed up close, that current is made up of thousands of moments and decisions keeping it in motion. We name those systems and participate in the support of new ones as a way of being thankful for their contributions to a smooth experience.
Stamen partner Michal Migurski leads the technical and research aspects of Stamen’s work, moving comfortably from active participation in Stamen’s design process, designing data, prototyping applications, to creating the dynamic projects that Stamen delivers to clients. Michal Migurski has been building for the web since 1995, specializing in big, exciting datasets and the means to communicate and disseminate them to broad audiences for a variety of clients. He speaks publicly on these and other topics to academic and industry audiences, participates actively in a variety of open source development efforts, maintains an active weblog, and holds a degree in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley.
MAPPING THE URBAN NOW.
In recent years more and more data about the city is digitally collected. This data from sources such as mobile phones, sensors, and location-based services can be visualized to reflect urban activity. Geovisualization stimulates the visual analysis of spatial patterns, relationships, and trends, as well as enables interactive exploration and understanding of location-based information. Usable and approachable visualizations allow casual users and experts alike to make sense of the massive streams of data, to see the city in different perspectives, and to understand their environment. I will talk about the challenges in urban data visualization in regard to user experience and interaction design, as well as showcase multiple projects that demonstrate current approaches to and new thinkings about urban data.
Till Nagel is a research associate at the Interaction Design Lab, and a lecturer for Advanced Media at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. He also is a research affiliate with the MIT Senseable City Lab, and doing his PhD at the Computer Science department at KU Leuven. His research interests focus on geo visualization, information visualization, and tangible interfaces. Till Nagel received a diploma in media and computer science at the University of Applied Sciences Wedel in 2002. Since 2001 he has worked for different media agencies and software companies as leading software engineer and IT consultant for international clients. Since 2006 he had taught courses on creative coding, data visualization, and multitouch interfaces at the Berlin Technical University of Arts (BTK), the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP), and the University Iuav of Venice (IUAV). In 2011 he visited the MIT Senseable City Lab, and worked at the Future Urban Mobility group in Singapore. Links http://tillnagel.com, http://twitter.com/tillnm
GO WITH THE FLOW OR MAP TO KNOW? – SOME THOUGHTS AND IDEAS ON FLOW MAP DESIGN.
This talk will identify some of the design conflicts that arise when mapping flows, consider various possibilities solutions and evaluate some potential designs in which these are used.
It will do so by focusing on some of the recent giCentre work, where visualization is used to map bikes, people and lines of sight.
Prof. Jason Dykes works in visualization at the giCentre at City University London, where he uses techniques from Cartography, Information Visualization, Human Computer Interaction, Computer Science and GIScience to develop novel maps that help generate insights from data and communicate trends. He and giCentre colleagues do so in a number of disciplines and application domains to some acclaim having won the GISRUK best paper prize for four years in succession, with 8 papers presented at IEEE Information Visualization in the last 5 years – 2 of which received honorable mentions and with 3 awards in the IEEE VAST challenge. Recent giCentre work includes: techniques, such as spatially ordered treemaps, ODmaps, the HiVE expression language and BallotMaps; applications such as OACExplorer and HiDE; online demonstrators such as BikeGrid and PlaceSurvey; and code libraries such as the giCentreUtils package for Processing. Jason is co-chair of the ICA Commission on GeoVisualization having edited “Exploring GeoVisualization” and a number of special issues in the domain. A National Teaching Fellow of the HE Academy and a member of the InfoVis organising committee Jason is Papers Co-Chair at InfoVis 2012. Link http://gicentre.org/jad7/
Jutta M. Bott
THE PAIN AND PLEASURE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND CONTINUITY – OR HOW MODERN IS THE HUMAN BEING IN SELF-SELECTED COMMUNITIES?
In a digitally-determined world, we expect information to be available quickly whenever it is required; we demand a range of options for getting together with others and a high degree of flexibility in all aspects of our contact with other people. But what happens to this high-speed lifestyle when people require help or care, or responsibility has to be assumed and continuity ensured? Children; the sick and elderly: these are people that simply require more attention and care, and they cannot, or at least should not, be left to fend for themselves. Such persons often need help in everyday tasks. But their involvement in events in their local district, neighbourhood or city also usually requires the presence of others. Do digital technologies help us here? Do they negate the necessity of a dependable presence? Or do care responsibilities count as one of the “networks of change, of the consistently novel”, given that they are constantly performed by different people? To what extent are we prepared or even able to reorganise the priorities of our high-speed lives, rife with swift change and the endless possibilities offered by work and leisure? When personal continuity is required, who should provide it? Who should be paid for it? And what are we ourselves actually prepared to give? The point here is not to provide definitive answers, make moralistic appeals or set out normative standards for urban living spaces: more important are reflections on our lifestyle and the times in which we live, both of which require scrutiny, dependability, trust and the assumption of responsibility.
Jutta M. Bott has been Professor for Social Work theory, practice and strategy in FH Potsdam’s Social Work Faculty since September 2004. She holds German Diplom degrees in psychology and social pedagogy and is a qualified, state-approved practitioner of psychotherapy and clinical supervision with extensive experience in the psychiatric field. Practice and teaching fields: psychiatry, work with the elderly and cross-generational groups, work in community and socio-spatial fields. Member of the “City Climate Potsdam” interdisciplinary Innovation Institute at FH Potsdam since April 2010. May 2009 – April 2012: Head of the SILQUA Project run by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Social Innovations for Quality of Life for the Elderly) “Gut leben im (HOHEN) Alter” (Good Living in Old Age) – Concepts for socio-spatial support of self-care, personal organisation and networking in the context of demographic change.
TRUST THY NEIGHBOUR: USING ICT TO FACILITATE TRUST GENERATION IN URBAN NEIGHBOURHOODS.
With an increased urban density and anonimization, new methods of interacting with neighbours are emerging. ICT can play an important role in establishing such new social ties and forms of collaboration. However, these technical innovations rely on the establishment of trust, making cooperation possible. To this end, trust generation models were investigated, from both the computer and social sciences. From this, a new, neighbourhood focused model is introduced, comprising the different routes to attitude change, but also the types of trust that lends itself to creation and support in a neighbourhood setting, using ICT.
Peter Conradie works at Creating 010, a newly created research institute at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. The research aim of the institute is to uncover how technology can play a meaningful role in people’s lives and how people can co-create products and services. He is currently researching what the role of released public sector information can be in an urban context. Besides research, he is also a design research lecturer.
SO MUCH FOR A SPACE OF FREEDOM: AFTER THE PROJECT IS BEFORE THE PROJECT! ON THE POLITICAL DYNAMICS OF SOCIO-SPATIAL SUPPORT INITIATIVES.
Manuell Castells’ networked society can now be found – at least semantically – at the local level, embodying an ideal of today’s community social policy and urban development: active neighbourhoods and local district-based networks are the aim of many socio-spatial programmes. However, many of these programmes have the same problem: related activities are (or can be) only realised in project form. The presentation will discuss the political dynamics of social-spatial support initiatives using the example of the developments of the German state.
Fabian Kessl is Professor for Theory and Practice of Social Work at the School of Social Work, University Duisburg-Essen. His basic interest is in the current transformation of welfare and quasi-welfare arrangements since the 1970s. In particular Professor Kessl is interested in the “New Forms of Governance”, the Governmentality of Social Work, the Spatial Formation-Shifts of Social Policy, and Neo-Social Patterns of Life Conduct. This work has been developed through a number of German books and edited volumes. Recent published works include: De- and Reterritorialization of the Social (Special Issue for Social Work & Society, edited with John Clarke, 2008/forthcoming); European Handbook for Social Work (edited with Walter Lorenz, Hans-Uwe Otto, forthcoming 2009); and Territorialisierung des Sozialen (edited with Hans-Uwe Otto, 2007). Professor Kessl is member of the Editorial Board of two leading German Journals in Social Work and Social Policy (Neue Praxis and Widersprüche) and member of the Co-Ordinating Office of “Social Work & Society – Online-Journal for Social Work and Social Policy” (www.socwork.net). Since March of 2008, Professor Kessl has served as a member of the steering committee for the German Association for Educational Science (DGfE) Division of “Social Work”. Prior to coming to the University of Duisburg-Essen, Professor Kessl taught at the Centre for Social Service Studies, Bielefeld University. He received his Diploma in Educational and Political Science at the Heidelberg University, and his PhD at Bielefeld University. In 2007 he was invited as a Visiting Scholar by the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Links http://www.uni-due.de/biwi/kessl, http://www.solidarische-moderne.de/, www.socwork.net
COMMENT: HOW LIVING ENVIRONMENTS AND PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC LIFE AFFAIRS ARE CHANGING
Holds a Master’s degree in political science and romance languages, is active as a freelance journalist and coach with her own practice in Berlin. Birgit Schönberger works as a feature author and commentator for Germany’s ARD radio station and writes on her specialist subjects of psychology, personality development and life philosophy for major magazines. Link http://www.birgit-schoenberger.de/
THE LIBRARY AS UNITING FACTOR IN A SOCIETY OF CHANGE.
The Modern Library has changed from a book container to a space that reflects and supports the needs of the citizens. The building offers opportunity to add a new story about community building and knowledge sharing to the city history. The Library space is an innovative melting pot where man meets the idea. The Library enables citizens to relate to each other, to society and to the rest of the world.
Knud Schulz has been the manager of the Main Library in Aarhus since 1987. He is an educated librarian with a supplementary Masters degree in Public Management (MPM) from 2003.
During the past years, The Main Library in Aarhus has focused on transforming routine library services from being staff driven into carrying a high level of user self-service.
The library development strategy on staff competencies is the support of user processes and development of the interactive library supporting both lifelong- and experience based learning. Currently, the Main Library is working with transforming from the familiar library in the building from 1934 to the Urban Mediaspace, which will be ready by the end of 2014. He is Networks
Chairman for Litteratursiden.dk and Member of the library advisory board at the Danish Agency for Libraries and Media
Board member of ”Mediehus Aarhus”
Halmstadgruppen – Nordic Conference Group
Idea house of the Urban Mediaspace
Masterclass in library building.
THE BERLIN/POTSDAM AREA AS AN INFORMATIONAL REGION.
The lecture explores the extent to which the Berlin/Potsdam region can be viewed as an “informational city”. To this end, the cities of Singapore and Melbourne will be used for comparative purposes and the classic indicators of the “informational city” explained. In terms of its political and economic aspects, the informational city concept is only partially applicable to the region around the German capital, although this does count among the world’s Big Cities. Alongside job polarisation as postulated by Castells and classic cyber-infrastructure, knowledge and science transfer, mobility or the implementation of E-Government all represent significant fields for investigation regarding the determination of Berlin/Potsdam’s degree of informationality. Further key aspects required for more in-depth characterisation of the region against the background of digital development include Castells “informational cities”, and especially the concept of the “creative industries”, the seven basic assertions of Friedmann’s “World City” hypothesis, and the work of Sassen and Wolfgang Stock et al. (2011). The success of an informational city is fundamentally dependent upon the political will to succeed. The lecture is intended to offer an insight into the extent to which the political leaderships in Berlin and Potsdam have already recognised this fact and compare empirical indicators regarding the development of the informational region. In addition, recommendations for action will be reviewed and barriers identified which hinder the development of Berlin/Potsdam’s informationality. Parts of the lecture will be accessible via a touch-screen display in the conference centre foyer.
Hans-Christoph Hobohm, Professor of Library Sciences since 1995 at Fachhochschule Potsdam (University of Applied Science). Head of the Information Science Master’s programme. Longstanding member of the IFLA’s (Int. Fed. of Library Ass. and Institutions) Professional Board. Teaching and research fields: knowledge management, behavioural research relating to information, innovation and creativity research. Has published on strategic information marketing, knowledge & project management, research data management and library sciences. The lecture and accompanying touch-screen presentation were developed in collaboration with a group of Master’s students from FH Potsdam.
COMMENT: HOW MUNICIPAL INSTITUTIONS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS ARE CHANGING
Erik Boekesteijn works in the Science and Innovation Department at DOK, the Library Concept Center in Delft, the Netherlands. His work includes project management, acquisition, marketing, promotion, and innovation. He works with Jaap van der Geer on many DOK Studio productions, and they are also hired as a team by other libraries for consultancy. Erik is a co-founder of the UGame ULearn project. He has a degree in English with a specialization in the area of interpreter/translator. Erik has written articles for international magazines such as Computers in Libraries, Marketing Library Services, and Library Journal.
INFORMATIONAL CITIES AND CITY INNOVATION: (RE)DEFINING THE STRATEGIC FOOTPRINT OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
Nathalie Vallet studied Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp (1985-1989) and finalized her PhD at the University of Nijenrode in the Netherlands (2001). At present she teaches on Management, Organization Management and Strategic Management within several academic (bachelor/master) and post-academic programs of the University of Antwerp. Her major research interest focuses on strategic management and strategy implementation in the public sector. During the last 13 years she has realized several policy related research projects within different types of public and social profit organizations such as local governments, cities, higher education institutions, police organizations, penitentiary institutions, social economy organizations and public libraries. Finally, she is also specialized in qualitative research methods (Grounded Theory). Further information can be found on her webpage of the University of Antwerp. Links http://www.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=nathalie.vallet
THE GLOBAL STREET VS. THE PIAZZA.
The aim is to open up a larger conceptual field to understand the complex interactions between power and powerlessness as they get shaped in urban space. I argue that the city makes visible the limits of superior military power and, most importantly, that cities enable powerlessness to become complex, not simply elementary. In this complexity lies the possibility of making history and remaking the political. The question of public space is central to giving the powerless rhetorical and operational openings. But that public space needs to be distinguished from the concept of public space in the European tradition, a space for ritualized practices and embedded codes. This leads me to the concept of The Global Street, a space for making rather than rituals — where those without access to the formal instruments of power can make space, notably political space.
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University (www.saskiasassen.com). Recent books are “Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages” (Princeton University Press 2008), “A Sociology of Globalization” (W.W.Norton 2007), and the 4th fully updated edition of “Cities in a World” Economy (Sage 2011). “The Global City” came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001. Her books are translated into over twenty languages. She is currently working on “When Territory Exits Existing Frameworks” (Under contract with Harvard University Press). She contributes regularly to www.OpenDemocracy.net and www.HuffingtonPost.com
Stefan M. Seydel
FORM OF UNREST. INTERNET AS A CITY.
The internet as a space in which nothing can be understood, and nothing can be shown.
Stefan M. Seydel holds a Swiss Diplom degree in architectural draftsmanship and Swiss Diplom and MA degrees in social work (from the Berliner Zentrum für postgraduale Studien Sozialer Arbeit, ‘Berlin Centre for Postgraduate Social Studies’). Since 1990 he has been involved in the implementation of pilot and visionary projects related to local communities and social spaces. In 1997 he created spin-off intervention gmbh. Seydel has been blogging daily since 1995 and is known on the scene by his initials «sms». He founded rebell.tv and became http://rocketboom.com’s first field correspondent outside of the USA, as such contributing to a Webby Award nomination in 2006. Seydel is active as an author and cultural commentator on a broad scale, and was a member of the executive committee of the Internationaler Bodensee Club (Head of the Specialist Group for Science), member of the jury for “Next Idea” ars electronica 2010, and since 11/2011 Vice-President of the P.E.N.-Club Liechtenstein. For years he has taught in areas such as project and quality management as well as management for social processes (FHS St. Gallen, University of Applied Sciences), and later in diverse contexts relating to Umgang mit Information auf der Höhe der Zeit (‘Handling Information at the Cutting Edge’) (e.g.: Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences). He has also worked as a specialist examiner for media technology (Thurgau Kanton) and social pedagogy (BFF Bern). Today, Seydel works as head of the residence and member of school board at the Benedictine Grammar School and Monastery, Disentis/Mustér, Switzerland. Links http://dfdu.org, http://twitter.com/sms2sms, http://blog.rebell.tv, http://about.me/sms2sms
FORM OF UNREST. INTERNET AS A CITY.
The internet as a space in which nothing can be understood, and nothing can be shown.
Tina Piazzi, holds Swiss Diplom degrees as a care specialist and social worker, has paralegal training and holds a Master of Science in Clinical Supervision and Coaching from the University of Vienna. Specialist teaching fields as a lecturer and professor for social work at FHS St. Gallen, University of Applied Science (1997-2007): social security, Europe and the Lake Constance region, auxiliary process planning/case management, social resource provision, practical training. Between 2007 and 2010 she worked for rebell.tv AG as Managing Director and was responsible for the conceptualisation and implementation of the trilogy: “Die Form der Unruhe” (‘The Form of the Upheaval’). She has been active as a coach and clinical supervisor for several years (member of the Berufsverband für Supervision, Organisationsberatung und Coaching, BSO – ‘Professional Association for Clinical Supervision, Organisational Consultancy and Coaching’) and likes to employ visualisations by depicting relational structures. Today she works part-time as deputy head of residence and prefect at the Benedictine Grammar School and Monastery, Disentis/Mustér, Switzerland. Links http://rebell.tv/, http://dfdu.org/
COMMENT: HOW THE CONCEPTUALISATION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS IS CHANGING
Michael Daxner Prof. Dr Dr h.c.; has diverse academic and political advisory positions behind him. After studying English, pedagogy, philosophy, social sciences and history in Vienna and Freiburg, he wrote his dissertation on Ernst Bloch in 1972 while working as a civil servant at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research in Vienna. In 1974 he was named Professor for Higher Education Didactics at the University of Osnabrück. From 1986 to 1998 he lead the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, holding the professorship for Sociology and Jewish Studies up until his retirement in March 2011. Daxner’s specialised fields include educational policy, conflict research and intervention analysis. He was active in these fields from 2000-2002 as the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Principal International Officer for Education and Science, becoming a consultant in the UNMIK Office in Belgrade and later an advisor for the Austrian Ministry of Science for the promotion of science and education in southern Europe. He has also worked for the German Federal Foreign Office on rebuilding the higher education system in Afghanistan. Since 2008 he has researched “Governance in areas of limited statehood – new modes of governance?” as guest scientist for the Collaborative Research Centre 700 at the Free University, Berlin. Since 2010 he has also acted as a Senior Fellow with the Berghof Foundation. Michael Daxner is the author of numerous books and academic publications. Alongside publications on intervention culture in Afghanistan and the Balkans, his bibliography comprises work on European higher education and research policy and on the role played by universities in the knowledge society.
THE RITUAL OF PARTICIPATION – THE THRILL OF BREAKING OUT IN PROTEST. CAN PARTICIPATION BE SMART?
Smart technologies do not just change the infrastructure of cities, but also the lifestyles experienced within them. In the modern era, the “automobile-dependent city” is characterised by the relationship between public and private spaces, the connections and/or disconnections between functions, the pace of events, the perceptions of the city and participation in urban life. The digital city will bring with it similarly fundamental changes to urban life, as well as creating new challenges in terms of adaptation, participation and conceptualisation. The cities’ reinvention depends on their citizens’ participation, acceptance and involvement. Smart cities need smart citizens.
The lecture will explore on three current trends in civic participation and evaluate them from the perspective of the smart city concept:
• Citizen participation is becoming an increasingly integral part of community decision-making processes. Methodologically complex and time-consuming participation procedures are utilised in an attempt to introduce objectivity to emotionally charged conflicts. Responsibility for decisions is outsourced away from elected representatives and administrative bodies to participatory arenas: citizens’ forums, workshops, working groups composed of professionals and laypersons with relevant specialist knowledge, referendums. Citizens are integrated into complex decision-making processes requiring the careful consideration of alternatives.
Participation is becoming an instrument of local politics which is employed systematically, and as far as possible pre-emptively, in order to increase the chances of compromises being reached.
• At the same time there are spontaneous civil protests which detract from the systematic nature and rationality of planning processes. Resistance often only emerges after the conclusion of decision-making processes, when the opportunity for official civic participation is no longer available. The angry, protesting citizens do not comply with the rationality of the participation process. The outbreaks of protest are unsystematic and unpredictable in terms of their timing, themes and triggering events. Protests can be sparked by apparently futile causes. The dynamics of such protests are difficult to foresee. It is sometimes possible to ensure involvement in official participation processes retrospectively, or to “invent” a participation procedure suitable for the situation. However, the initially limited concerns of citizen groups can also develop into issues which fundamentally question communal life and for which compromises cannot be easily found.
The third trend in participation is the communities of responsibility. These communities unite the desire for concrete changes to living conditions with the enthusiasm for shaping one’s own living environment, beyond existing rules and routines. These are fundamental topics that can best be located and addressed at a local level. The starting point is constituted by issues affecting quality of life which are best tackled in clearly defined projects with other like-minded individuals who share a common goal, namely the ability to shape their own living circumstances. Themes may revolve around childcare, communal design and use of public space, local informal bartering arrangements and reciprocal help, mobility programmes or communal gardens. Local initiatives are in many cases well connected at a national and international level.
Having studied for a Diplom degree in social sciences in Göttingen and Oldenburg, Hermann Voesgen (born 1951) worked on several research projects at Oldenburg University. He completed his PhD in 1986 with a dissertation on the history of needs theories. Between 1989 and 1993 he led a pilot project centered on novel approaches to rural cultural work in Germany’s East Frisia region. Since 1995, Herman Voesgen has been Professor of theory and practice for project management in the Culture Management programme at Fachhochschule Potsdam (University of Applied Science); his work in project management has involved cooperation with renowned national and international players in the culture sector. From 2001 to 2010 he was head of the Culture Management programme and Vice Dean of the Architecture and Urban Design Faculty; he assumed presidency of the European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres (ENCATC) from June 2005 to June 2007. In this role he organised discussions on the development of international programmes within the context of the Bologna Accords. In his research, Hermann Voesgen is currently focusing on the consequences of climate change for culture. Further specialisations include role concepts for cultural managers and hybrid processes between art and management. In connection with this he is preparing the 2013 Annual Conference of the Fachverband Kulturmanagement (Cultural Management Association) together with the Culture Management study programme. www.fh-potsdam.de / www.kulturarbeit.org
Many European cities are drifting away from each other. Fragmentation and internal divides are eroding cities’ power to integrate. This trend is associated with a degree of alienation on the part of residents from their city, their urban space. Interventionist initiatives – performances, flash mobs, video strolls, open air installations – shake up the relationship between social, physical and art-media elements in our consciousness, and raise questions: how does physical mobility work in the city? What interaction takes place between real and virtual spaces?
Interventions can function as reference points and catalysts through which feelings of identity and connectivity can be given (or given back). The emphasis here is not entertainment, but rather an interference with urban structures which might well result in confusion and provoke strong reactions. The tension which such activities generate is intentional and often part of the projects themselves. “Traps” are deliberately laid in public spaces in order to draw attention to the city’s urban make-up and sensitise individuals’ perceptions of urban reality. Equipped with critical thinking approaches and an arsenal of diverse artistic tools, artists are leaving the autonomous art space and demanding interdisciplinary dialogue. The lecture will explore and analyse examples of artistic interventions in the Berlin-Brandenburg urban region. At the core are questions regarding the social relevance of art and the future potential of subversive strategies and creative networking.
Birgit K. Seemann holds a doctoral degree in History. Her dissertation dealt with cultural and political aspects of museum development from the middle of the 19th century until 1933. Since 2006 she has led the Potsdam administration’s Culture and Museums department. In this position she is responsible for the city’s promotion and financial support of culture, steering cultural developments in the city, cultural marketing and the city’s museums and collections. The culture and creativity quarter Schiffbauergasse is also overseen by her department. Before taking up office in Potsdam she worked in academic and administrative capacities at museums in Hamburg, Braunschweig and Hildesheim, at the Universities of Hamburg and Hildesheim, and at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. She has published on the topics of museum development, museum management and elite research. Her more recent publications focus on the chances for cultural education and on cultural-political issues e.g. The Management of Culture as a Municipal Strategy, in: Orzechowski, Emil et. al. (pub.), Culture Management, bi-annual publication year 3 / issue 3, Krakow 2010 and Kulturelle Bildung in der Landeshauptstadt Potsdam,(‘Cultural Education in the State Capital Potsdam’) in: Bundesvereinigung Kulturelle Kinder- und Jugendbildung (pub.) Her research interests are centred on cultural policy, cultural management and cultural participation.
The lecture is based on experience with participatory projects organised as part of city and community development initiatives. It will reveal that a part of this experience can be transferred to the virtual world. Digital media, social media and virtual networking can within their respective systems be a wonderful means for facilitating participation at a local level. At the moment they are not.
Once the necessary hardware is universally available, participation is no longer a question of technology or communication channels. It is far more a question of the relevance and attractiveness of the content for the potential user. Only if interest and enthusiasm for something can be awakened on the part of diverse stakeholders can participation be broadened beyond the “usual suspects”. In this way groups can be reached who were not previously accessible via conventional approaches. The method employed by SPACEWALK for community work involves developing a third party cultural project together with participants. The projects do not address existing problems directly, but instead become a “neutral training space” within which methods and structures for communication and interaction can be practiced and then transferred into a broader context.
These “training spaces” can also be interpreted as boundary objects: symbolic objects of a material or immaterial nature (a concept developed by the sociologist Susan Leigh Star). These represent communal points of reference that can be interpreted in different ways by different social worlds. At the same time, they possess sufficient concrete content to be perceived as a single unit that is shared by everyone. They are a means of communication and coordination and stand at the interface between different social worlds. Typical examples of boundary objects are the visual mock-ups used in IT development. Examples of attractive boundary objects can be found in on- and offline campaigns from NGOs. For social participation processes, especially those related to the interplay between the virtual and physical world, such boundary objects are necessary as points of reference. This gives rise to a new challenge, above all for artists: defining topics together with stakeholders and telling stories which develop on- and offline relevance across a range of different media and connect virtual actions with real, physical events.
Markus Kissling studied drama at the Bern University of Arts (University of Applied Science). He subsequently took on roles in various theatres, and in German and international film and TV productions. He is the founder and head of SPACEWALK, a network of artists, scientists and teachers from 15 nations that is active across Europe. SPACEWALK employs methods largely taken from performance and visual arts as catalysts for social development. This approach has allowed it to initiate change processes in diverse forms, e.g. improved integration of young people with immigrant backgrounds in the employment market, urban development and civil participation in problem districts.
In recent years, Kissling has made increased use of new media and the internet in his work. He advises programmers on the development of community applications and community bodies/NGOs on the utilisation of social media.
COMMENT: HOW SOCIAL SCULPTURES ARE CHANGING THE CITY
Hanne Seitz Prof. Dr., Dipl. Päd., holds a doctoral degree in art pedagogy; studied in Frankfurt/Main and Darmstadt, extensive freelance activity in the art field, lecturer for training and further studies, colleague at the University of Frankfurt am Main’s Institute for Art Education; since 1994 professor at Fachhochschule Potsdam teaching the theory and practice of aesthetic education; research specialisation: site-specific art and performance, artistic interventions, social impact of the arts; numerous publications, most recently: Unerbetene Gaben. Die Kunst des Einmischens in öffentliche Angelegenheiten. (‘Unsolicited Talents. The Art of Intervention in Public Affairs’). In: Hentschel, Ingrid/Klaus Hoffmann/Una H. Moehrke (pub.): Im Modus der Gabe. Theater, Kunst, Performance in der Gegenwart. Bielefeld 2011. pp. 88-101