Informality, which was first categorized and described in the 1970s, is now pervasive — across cities, in the places we live, work, and move through the everyday. For many, the informal is no longer a discrete sector appended to the workings of the “formal” city, but an integral effect of the structuring of cities and landscapes by contemporary economic, political, and technological change. Self-built architectures and urban agglomerations, ambivalent landscapes, nomadic and temporal spatial manifestations of informalized are situationally specific, but globally ubiquitous. Design Tactics and the Informalized City symposium, being put on by Cornell University on April 13-14, brings a discussion of this reality to disciplines that work on the city in material and spatial terms: architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, engineering, media and product design. More information on the event after the break.
Charged with shaping and managing living environments, usually on behalf of instituted powers, these disciplines confront significant questions in encountering the informalized city. Working practices and ways of representing urban phenomena, the appropriate medium and matter of design, even conceptions of agency, constituency and purpose, all come to the fore as matters for critical and creative inquiry. The symposium brings together international practitioners from diverse design fields to explore these questions through discussions of recent, compelling work.
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