URBAN FRICTION | the [urban interfaces] graduate seminar 2017-2018

Seminars: 8 November 2017, 31 January, 28 February, 9 May 2018 (15.00-17.00)
Workshop: two-day “pressure cooker” workshop: February 27-28
Venue: Parnassos, Kruisstraat 201, Utrecht.
Organization: Nanna Verhoeff, Michiel de Lange, Sigrid Merx, Hira Sheikh
Registration via: RMeS-fgw@uva.nl
Please be sure to specify your master programme, national research school and university


Urban Friction Flyer
Urban Friction Poster

Urban processes have been impacted by frictions all throughout history. The remarkable pace and dynamics of the current phase of global urbanization in the age of mediatization, datafication, and pervasive connectivity suggest a new age where insular, political boundaries have come to shift radically. Perhaps to a larger extent than before, people are identifying as global citizens. However, as a result of this spatial accumulation social, political and cultural frictions within our cities manifest themselves on a wide scale. In this year’s [urban interfaces] graduate seminar series we open up a forum to debate and inquire about contemporary frictions being experienced in urban cities, namely:

  • Civic Empowerment and “Right to the City”
  • Mobility and Migration
  • Urban Institutions and Smart Platforms

We intent to question these frictions from a critical, yet optimistic perspective. Frictions can be both obstructive and productive and, and we aim to disclose this paradox and approach frictions as a prospect to discuss their positive potential for urban culture and society. This seminar series proposes a framework to think about urban frictions, and about how urban media, art and performance as interventions in our cities’ public spaces can productively address these frictions. In each session, we will focus on the temporality and performativity of media, art and performance, and the ambitions of the design of “frictional” urban interfaces as a form of critical making.

The seminar is open for all. Research Master Students can earn 4 ECTS. The workload consists of:

  • Attending and preparing for the readings before each seminar
  • A final reflection, in one of the following formats: a short exploratory paper, a critical essay, an interview, a reading report or review of an event. Upon review, the reflection can be published on the [urban interfaces] online library.

Please contact the organizers (n.verhoeff@uu.nl  | m.l.delange@uu.nl | s.merx@uu.nl) for further details.