We will identify creative opportunities and innovative solutions to contemporary problems in our cities, such as insufficient civic investment, a lack of transparency and accountability in decision-making, the cost of living or housing shortages. Everyone will have a chance to participate as the project will utilize the creative potential of residents, communities, artists, cultural actors and social scientists. The project aims to catalyze sharing of information, data, experiences, knowledge and smart tools that will improve our cities. In different words we want to activate a ‘creative momentum’ that will increase the quality of life in European cities and create shared, public spaces that inhabitants and communities will love.
The focus of the Department of Architecture in response to this programme is Iconic Ruins – buildings of cultural and social institutions that when built were projected as palaces for the multitude a concept which dictated a distinctive architecture and choice of urban location but today they are in a state of ruin. Through work collaboration with students, a lecture series and workshops, The Department of Architecture is exploring the possibilities of how these complex buildings in prominent urban relationships could be transformed once again into viable buildings without compromising their architectural qualities.
An array of public and professional events will be created by Shared Cities: Creative Momentum, over one hundred and fifty in total, encompassing festivals, films, exhibitions, workshops and artists’ residencies. They will all focus upon the project’s core themes of sharing, cultural development, urban planning and architectural visions. “These exemplary projects combine international experience with local knowledge of the conditions in Central Europe’s cities. This will be a precedent-setting and invaluable prototype for future schemes in international cultural relations, based not on mere projection of one’s ideas and culture, but on a meaningful cooperation and exchange,” added Kamil Pavelka from Czech Centres.
These events will include planning games, where architects and citizens will solve challenges together to design their ideal city. Hacking street furniture will call on artists and the public to devise creative and radical new forms and uses of street furniture. Five large-scale urban design projects will focus on captivating and contemporary issues. For example a new digital map will be created in Katowice, emanating from research about formal and informal actors related to cultural and creative industries. Bratislava will research new strategies for reviving underutilized communist era buildings, and involve public experts to develop the largest square in the Slovak capital, Námestie SNP. Budapest will focus on the development of “shared governances” and test ways that NGOs can embrace the complex process of reinvigorating a former industrial area of Csepel Island, by creating and blending online and offline means for participation. Through events, publications, exhibitions and films the consortium will also debate the merits and downsides of the sharing economy and the role of the free market and new technologies in sharing platforms that influence our daily lives in cities.
Within a curatorial lab professionals and the public will exchange ideas about how to create state-of-the-art new media in architecture and urbanism, utilize data driven design for better public engagement or about using film to convey architecture to the public in new ways. It will also address new ways to publish and display content related to this topic.
In the first quarter of the year 2017 a common web platform will be launched to kick-start this project, in addition to an annual magazine published from 2017 onwards, bringing together our work and progress. At the end of the project, a travelling exhibition and film will share the accomplishments of the four-year adventure throughout all the Partners, the worldwide network of the Goethe-Institut and Czech Centres.