Urban Moods

Lecture series curated and moderated by Andreas Ruby,
part of The Design Annual 2006, held at Messe Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, 06-10.05.2006

The notion of “urban” is arguably one of the hot keys of contemporary culture. It’s become the synonym of cool and serves as Zeitgeist indicator of lifestyle, music, food, fashion and design. Yet the precise meaning of “urban” with regard to urbanism and the city has become increasingly vague. Depending on specific geographic, climatic, economic and cultural conditions, there are many, and often radically conflicting, implications of “urban” developments: the hyper dense megalopolis coexists with endless sprawl; traditional street life is echoed by massive web traffic; the hardware of architecture is augmented by the software of the event; high-speed urbanism in China happens simultaneously to shrinking cities and the slow dying-out of small towns in Old Europe. Even the very idea of the city as the result of planning is deeply questioned by the roaring surge of informal favela-style housing settlements, which represent the type of urban condition that more than 50% of the world’s population today call their home. As opposed to the colonial era of 19th century, the term “urban” today no longer refers to a normative cultural concept (such as expressed in the “European City”) but represent a cosmos of an extremely varied set of preferences, often quite personally biased—tell me what is urban for you and I tell you who you are. Along these lines Urban Moods presented a series of discussion events during the 5 days of Design Annual 2006, featuring 10 international architects and artists.

Participants: Bostjan Vuga, Sadar Vuga Arhitekti; Jürgen Mayer H.;Tim Edler,realities:united; Minsuk Cho,Mass Studies; Toyo Ito; Map Office; Bjarke Ingels, PLOT; Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects; Luís Falcon, LOAD; François Roche,R&Sie(n)

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