Urban design has come to mean many things – from the master plans, to the architectural design of urban plazas and infrastructure, to the informal or temporary spaces used in event designs and in cultural planning. In a European context, urban design has recently manifested itself in new creative expressions relating to artistic practices, processes of urban development and temporary use. Temporary urban spaces, place-making through the arts, and urban spaces with cultural projects as catalysts for change are but a few of the labels designating those design practices. To put it simply, the field of design is currently mutating. From an understanding of design as material objects and forms placed in urban space, urban de- sign now covers a wide range of activities, acts, performances, temporary installations, etc. These practices work in the urban realm through processes of engagement. I will gather these design practices here under the notion of “performative urban design.” ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼The article presents three recent examples of urban design in order to illustrate how urban designs do things with the city. Emphasizing the artistic turn in recent urban design, I will analyze how urban designs work, and how they engage the social life in the city. I am particularly interested in how these designs oscillate between what we formerly recognized as categories such as the art installation, urban design, cultural events and architecture.
Engaging Spaces: Sites of Performance, Interaction and Reflection, 2015, p. 292-326
Urban space; Art; Urban design; site specific art; engagement; urban scenography; affective urbanism