Transforming urban space part IV
Dwelling

Organizer

  • Christian Pagh, Oslo arkitekturtriennale 
  • Cecilie Sachs Olsen, NIBR, OsloMet

Call for abstract

This subpanel is part of the four-part session “Transforming Urban Space: Design, Democracy, Dwelling and Pandemic Urbanism”. The four-part session argues that attending to the multiple social and ecologically crises the earth is currently facing requires different kinds of relationships between citizens and the spaces we design, construct and inhabit.

This concern is addressed in four subpanels: design, democracy, dwelling and last, but not least, the impact of covid-19 on how we plan and inhabit public space.

This subpanel focuses on the question of dwelling.

Dwelling is the process in which we inhabit urban space through practical engagements with each other and our lived-in-environments. The neighbourhood is a place and horizon for rethinking how we dwell, for example in terms of how we collectively handle challenges and create meaningful frameworks for everyday life.

Neighbourhoods represent the sum of everyday places we share with one another: The streets, squares, bus stops, kindergartens and schools, the places where we shop and meet – when possibilities allow. The neighbourhood is where communal activities take place and where we ask ourselves what it means to be a good neighbour.

This question invites us to think not only of how we share space with other humans, but also of how we can be good neighbours to nature and other living beings. From such a position we may develop relational understandings of dwelling in and for multispieces communities that put a long-term commitment to planetary care as the most important perspective for how we dwell in the 21st century. The question, then, is how can we develop neighbourhoods that promote forms of dwelling that are socially and ecologically just and sustainable?

We invite papers that span multiple perspectives on the transformation of public space in relation to questions of neighbourhoods, from papers advancing theory within the field, to papers focusing on practical perspectives and case-studies, as well as papers critically discussing and reflecting on theories and practices concerning the transformation of public space.

This is one of four sessions under the headline: Transforming Urban Space: Design, Democracy, Dwelling and Pandemic urbanism.

This four-part session argues that attending to the multiple social and ecologically crises the earth is currently facing requires different kinds of relationships between citizens and the spaces we design, construct and inhabit.

Sustainability tends to be about things and products, focusing more on what goes into a building (e.g. materials used) than in monitoring the ongoing and processual relationships with the building’s environment, people, flora and fauna.

Urban design tends to be more about controlling than creating urban life. Perceived “disturbances” are “designed out” through regulations, objects and structures that risk deterring democratic expressions of dissent alongside other activities identified as anti-social behaviour. During the pandemic public spaces have been redesigned to accommodate physical distancing – the antithesis of collective public life.

Accompanying these tendencies is a risk that urban space conditions modes of dwelling that repress acknowledgement of and resist response to certain signs of social and ecological neglect or injustice, and with it our ability to care for each other and the environment.

This presents a key challenge in an age of social and ecological crisis: how can we adapt our ways of designing, regulating and inhabiting urban space so as to question and ultimately transform the power relations, neglects and injustices that are at the root of our socio-ecological predicament?

The session addresses this question from four perspectives/panels: design, democracy, dwelling and last, but not least, the impact of covid-19 on how we plan and inhabit public space.

Submit an abstract

We ask that abstracts limited to 200-300 words be sent directly to the organizers of the different sessions. Please see the session pages for details.

Please share this call with your colleagues or other interested parties. We hope to see you in Oslo come October!

On language

The conference primary language is Norwegian and Nordic languages, but many of our sessions will be conducted in English. All sessions welcome contributions in English, unless explicitly stated otherwise.