Metropolis Laboratory 2014

21, 22, 23 May 2014, Copenhagen


The fifth edition of Metropolis Laboratory is the largest Nordic gathering of engaged urbanists, artists, architects, city management teams, and academics who are involved in the relationship between the city and culture.

PRESENTATIONS for download:

Anne Beate Hovind (NO) Project Manager, Bjørvika Public Art Programme. “How public art investment can drive change and ensure cohesion along the Oslo waterfront”

Arna Mathiesen / April Arkitekter (NO) Architect. “What can the artists teach the public about architecture and the urban condition?”

Asbjørn Skou (DK) Artist. Work in progress installation “An Enemy of Architecture”

Ben Parry / Jump Ship Rat (UK) Artist. “Cultural Hijack: Rethinking Intervention”

Bettina Lamm (DK) Landscape architect and associated professor. “Between landscape and body – site specific art as agent of exploration and transformation”

Britt-Inger Lindqvist (SE) Cultural planner, Borås Municipality

Bureau Detours (DK) Artist/architecture collective

Christian Pagh / UiWE (DK) Cultural designer. “Cultural Planning & Placemaking – quick perspectives in a DK planning / architecture context”

Dagur Eggertsson / Rintala Eggertsson Architects (NO) Architect. “Temporality in urban space”

Dorte Skot-Hansen (DK) Head of Centre, Centre for Cultural Policy Studies, University of Copenhagen. “The performative city – between cultural policy and cultural planning“

Elle-Mie Ejdrup Hansen (DK) Artist, creating radical large scale social sculptures

Erlend Blakstad Haffner (NO) Architect, Fantastic Norway

Franco Bianchini (UK) Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning, School of Cultural Studies and Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology, Leeds Metropolitan University

Gitte Juul / Gitte Juul Architects (DK) “Out of Architecture – 1:1 face to face”

Gro Sandkjær Hanssen (NO) Researcher, Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research

Hella Hernberg / Urban Dream Management (FI) Architect and designer. “Everyman’s City – Tools for engaging people in urban change and development”

Jesper Koefoed-Melson / (DK) Cultural developer. “Creating cultural communities and activities outside the institutional framework“

Kerstin Bergendal (DK) Artist, large-scale public interventions and participatory projects: a presentation of her recent project Park Lek

Lene Ødegård Olsen / Pikene på Broen (NO) Project manager. “Artistic intervention in the arctic”

Lia Ghilardi (UK) Managing director, Noema Culture & Place Mapping

Ólöf Örvarsdóttir (IS) Architect and director, Department of Environment and City Planning, Reykjavik

Peter Bishop (UK) Professor of Urban Design, Bartlett School of Architecture, London

We invited 11 key note speakers, 15 speakers on the 3 plenary panels, and 40 speakers in the 15 workshops. You could choose between 3 neighbourhoods and 2 city tours where you could meet the planners and architects who have been directly involved with the urban and cultural planning.

The setting was perfect for the theme. Refshaleøen was our camp. The former shipyards of B&W – now a hybrid and dynamic urban waterfront landscape with a mix of industrial heritage, new creative pop ups, micro perspective and urban sport. Not at all planned – self planned.

The food was a mix of new Nordic and site specific, do it yourself camp concept by Madeleines – zonen for madkultur.

The Lab’s overall theme was “from cultural planning to artistic interventions and public action”. The trend is clear; artists, cultural initiators and social groups are taking the initiative in their own hands and are literally translating the principles of cultural planning into concrete actions. Doing rather than purely planning.

This year also saw a clear Nordic approach as there is a clear and growing trend to take a more cultural approach to city regeneration, urban development and community creation and on the other hand artists and art institutions are rediscovering the city – and its citizens.

Terms such as pop-up architecture, social sculpture, site-specific performance, temporary urbanism, performative city, experience city, sound walks and soundscapes, cultural acupuncture, the city as a stage and the stage as the city, community creativity, explorative exhibitions, outreach and audience development are all over the place.

The Lab took an overview. Where are we? From the point of view of cultural activists and artists, event makers, explorative architects and planners, managers and administrators in local authorities, scholars and researchers. And where do we want to go?

So is the temporary future permanent? Is activism now good social involvement? Are artists now urban therapists? And how can planning processes incorporate and link to independent actions and initiatives? How does the public space give the (performing) arts new formats and practices?

We balanced presentations each day with analysts and academics, practising artists and architects, independent urban initiatives, and representatives from cities and local authorities.

On day 1 we had a micro perspective looking at urban practices in the context of exploring Refshaleøen.

On day 2 we were in the city and focussed on 4 different areas; City centre with a focus on public spaces, the neighbourhood of Nørrebro looking at urban change and regeneration, plus Ørestad and Nordhavn where challenges of creating communities and sense of place from scratch dominate.

On day 3 we visited Roskilde and Køge to see how a cultural approach to the city is key to a change of identity.

Metropolis Laboratory 2014 is organised by Københavns Internationale Teater in cooperation with the Swedish Network of Cultural Planners and IN SITU – European network for artistic creation in public space.

Metropolis Laboratory 2014 – Nordic Urban Camp is supported by The Nordic Culture Fund, EU Culture, the Danish Arts Foundation and the City Council of Copenhagen.