Here and Nowhere.The Making of Urban Space


  • Jan Verwijnen "University of Art and Design. Helsinki"


Urban Space, Technology, Urban Cultures


My interest is in the conscious role of space and time or of geography and history in contemporary urban development, particularly in the generation of urban projects. Can urban development be seen in relationship to form and thus to urban projects that are shaping and being shaped by contemporary culture? I would like to draw attention to a shift of attitude in a series of urban projects within the field of architecture and urbanism based on a ‘more fluid and kaleidoscopic socio-economic landscape’ that is characterised by programmatic indeterminacy and instability. This parallels a shift in society: The fragmenting of centralised flows of power towards the power of flows induced by networks that become the dominant social morphology (Castells 1996). I then introduce the notion of a material culture based on object form and the production and consumption of form through complex processes of negotiation. This negotiation of form is increasingly a conscious process on the level of configuration, a conceptual and diagrammatic level within the design process between the virtual and the real that allows interaction and participation. This in turn refers to the notion of the deleuzian abstract machines in cultural and historical processes and evolution in general. Geography has created GIS (Geographical Information Systems), a digital tool with which we within the diagrammatic process of configuration can create any map and map anything, an interface for participatory action. What is the historical equivalent of this tool, which are the generative engines of change over time and how are they configured?



How to Cite

Verwijnen, Jan. 2000. “Here and Nowhere.The Making of Urban Space”. On the W@terfront, no. 2 (February):7-12.