Presence and Absence in the City
The overall theme turns on the difference between absence and presence in the city. This difference lies both physically—who is actually on the street?; and perceptually—how are people aware of others, accounting or discounting their presence in urban space? How are those considered invisible or inconsequential enabled to ‘make presence’ in urban space—through their bodies, actions, activities. We want to account the roles of technological, trade, design, and politics in constructing presence and absence; finally, we want to pose questions about how to arouse people to want more engagement with one another, rather than retreat into isolation.
Conference Panels - October 12
Welcome and coffee
THE STATE OF THE STREET: EVICTIONS AND DISPLACEMENTS
This session focuses simply on what makes a street alive or dead: the 'life of the street' is a classic Jane Jacobs trope; what does it mean today? Have the people who once gave streets life left the city, or been removed, or ceased to wish to interact? Has the design of streets prevented people from engaging with one another? One additional key issue is the privatizing of public space.
Chair: Michael Kimmelman
Panelists: Ricky Burdett, Stephen Duncombe, Richard Sennett
A discussion about what new technological tools can do to make people more aware of one another's presence—which means departing from the usual discussions of technological coordination and efficiency in cities. The other side of this is how do technologies constrain the making of publicness.
Chair: Geoff Mulgan
Panelists: Paul Gillieron, Greg Lindsay, Susanne Seitinger
THE GLOBAL STREET
We can think of the global street as a space where those without access to formal instruments of making (making buildings, power,..) can make: a politics, the social, publicness. The global street is not a literal street—it can be a square, an empty space, an ambiguous border zone, a refugee camp. What it is not is the piazza of our European imaginary of public space.
Chair: Edwin Heathcote
Panelists: Teddy Cruz, Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti, Saskia Sassen
3:00pm - 4:15pm
THE TRADE OF IDEAS AND GOODS: FROM ARTIFACTS TO CITIZENSHIP
One critical issue is the active and ideational legacy/impact of old and new imperial modes on today’s urban space. More generally, how cities, and the people in them, are connected to one another, through currents of the present and of the past.
Chair: Mamadou Diouf
Panelists: Clémentine Deliss, Ioanna Theocharopoulou, Sudhir Venkatesh
4:30pm - 6:00pm
This session’s theme is about how streets can be brought to life—but the theme is addressed in a special way: what lessons can urbanists learn from the performing arts, whose business is arousing people, about making more engaging, arousing streets?
Chair: Shamus Khan
Panelists: Daniel Arsham, Jonah Bokaer, Elizabeth Diller, Andrew Todd
Friday, October 12, 2012
Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Columbia University
Free and open to the public
Saturday, October 13, 2012
1:00pm - 3:00pm
La Maison Française - 16 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003
Free, but space is limited. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org