5. Art and design as tools of urban transformation

Kaupunkitutkimuksen päivät Turussa 25.-26.4.2013

Torstai 25.4. klo 13.30-17.00

Jukka Vahlo: Turun kulttuuripääkaupunkiprosessi 2005–2012 ja Cultural Planning

Suvi Aho, Pilvi Kallio ja Päivi Keränen: Muotoilu ja draama kaupunkikehittämisen välineinä

Lieven Ameel: Urban Narratives as Building Blocks for Urban Development. Two Case Studies from the Helsinki Waterfront

Eeva Berglund: Design as policy in Helsinki: the WDC experience

Paulina Nordström: Evental landscapes of light: fleeing light and performativity of glass city

Pekka Tuominen: Urban boundaries and negotiated spaces in contemporary Istanbul: Clash over regulatory policies, informal design practices and value creation

(Alun perin ryhmään kuulunut Teele Pehk on joutunut peruuttamaan esityksensä)


Työryhmän esitelmät ja abstraktit (PDF)


Design, art and culture are becoming influential if vague concepts in urban policy making. We invite pro-fessional, activist, academic and other interlocutors to share their research on urban transformation pro-moted through such cultural projects. We feel that enthusiasm for design and art have impacts on urban decision making and regulation, and that they deserve to be addressed alongside the fashionable trinity of creativity, innovation and participatory decision-making, as consequential tropes in urban policy.

Many of the actors now shaping cities – from authorised experts to urban activists – are influenced by serious environmental and other global concerns. Different kinds of design and art projects promise to address these concerns by reaching across disciplinary boundaries and by addressing the complexities we face as socio-cultural as well as technical problems. Such projects have e.g. aimed to revitalize urban pub-lic space, reduce environmental harms, aestheticize the built environment and enhance the general atmos-phere of cities, and they are usually evaluated according to their assumed benefits to “the” community.

Collaborations between very different institutions are being promoted under rubrics like participation and localism, and these have been widely discussed in the literature. We believe we should also be aware of the impact of art and design interventions on urban change more widely. After all, these new phenome-nona appear to be creating counter-narratives to business-as-usual. In the case of design, the excitement stems largely from the way the design-concept straddles “hard” science and “soft” meanings/humanities, but design’s popularity also stems from less well-known economic and policy drivers. In the case of art, there is even discussion about the general “artification” (taiteistuminen) of society. How are all these new ideas changing the way we define problems? Are they really new? Will they generate desirable changes? And are they really counter-narratives, or are they part of prevailing practices and power structures?

The panel is a step towards rethinking how culture in the city might best be understood, reframing what is negotiable and non-negotiable about urban change. It also offers a platform for developing shared lan-guages and practices. We are therefore interested in design and art both as an empirical feature of urban policy as well as tools for addressing what we know are real urban challenges. We also invite papers on methodological issues, for example on ethnography, which was once primarily associated with anthropology but is now in widespread use in urban research, often as part of design and participatory art projects.

— suomenkieliset esitelmät ovat myös tervetulleita —

Työryhmän puheenjohtajat
  • Pekka Tuominen, Helsingin yliopisto/Antropologia (pekka.tuominen[at]helsinki.fi)
  • Eeva Berglund, Helsingin yliopisto/Ympäristöpolitiikka ja kaupunkitutkimus (eberglund[at]welho.com)
  • Paulina Nordström, Turun yliopisto/Maantiede (paulina.nordstrom[at]utu.fi)