The [urban interfaces] graduate seminar 2018-2019

The Right to the City & Urban Commons

Outline for the 2019 [urban interfaces] graduate seminar series at Utrecht University

Dates: 12 & 26 February 2019, 12 March (seminars); 19-20 March 2019 (workshop)
Location: MCW Lab, Kromme Nieuwegracht 20, Utrecht
Organized by: Nanna Verhoeff, Michiel de Lange, Sigrid Merx, and Lotte van der Molen from the [urban interfaces] research group at Utrecht University.
ECTS: 4 EC
More information: See http://urbaninterfaces.sites.uu.nl/
Fee: € 10,00 (partly covering coffee/lunch during workshop), please bring exact change on the first day of the workshop (March 19)
Registration via: RMeS-fgw@uva.nl
Please be sure to specify your master programme, national research school and university

New technologies and datafication in so-called smart cities affect how we interface with the city. Social, economic and technological changes also lead to new urban frictions, and increasingly put strain on collectively shared urban commons and the right to the city. This shifting landscape of urban politics and power dynamics and the role of media, arts, and performance, provides the framework for this seminar series.

In the graduate seminar series The Right to the City & Urban Commons , students participate in three seminar sessions and a 2-day ‘pressure cooker’ workshop. The first seminar will focus on conceptualizing the notions of ‘the right to the city’ and the ‘urban commons’. What are today’s urban commons and how can people claim their right to the city in contemporary shifting urban conditions? The second session is dedicated to current urban common practices, and the imagining of new ones, from the perspective of media, art and performance projects. Several case studies will be discussed and analyzed. The third seminar prepares participants for the two-day pressure cooker workshop, where students will learn how to put their theoretical knowledge into practice through the use of a ‘critical making’ approach.

Students prepare readings for every seminar and write short blog posts to be put on the website of [urban interfaces]. The pressure cooker workshop – organized in collaboration with partners HKU and Creative Coding Utrecht – consists of two days in which hands-on making is combined with in-depth theoretical analyses and inspirational keynote speakers. During these two days, students work in small groups on the design of urban public interventions that depart from Elinor Ostrom’s commons design principles. This critical making workshop trains students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice and to position themselves within the current debates on urban commons and the right to the city.