Self-initiated research project 

What if we continue to build like this, similar buildings and architectural styles in all our cities... What does it mean to have a homogeneous reality? What part of the identity gets lost in these projects? What kind of values remain? How do we recognise our cities?

The project was set-up as an exercise, a pilot for collective research, a dialogue with ten people in different ways. We invited eight people from different cities and disciplines a.o. graphic design, social anthropology and philosophy for a dialogue based on photography and short paragraphs, about places that don’t reveal where they are. We focussed on contextually conflicting transformations, where we find discontinuities, contradictions, paradoxes and dualities. Specific moments in the city where past, present and future meet; moments where the layers are encountering (or conflicting). This was very much attached to the topics of materiality, material trade and global formalisation of architecture.

We wrote four scenarios on the topic and experimented with different forms of dialogues.

Scenario 1 ‘Urban transformation as event*’
To observe a building being made, to experience (de)construction, to remember what was there when something is removed, the character of old and new materials, past and future identities. We have a special interest in contextually conflicting transformations, where we find discontinuities, contradictions, paradoxes and/or dualities.  *event: 1) the consequence of anything 2) that which happens

Scenario 2 ‘Materiality’
To recognise somethiing that doesn’t exist anymore in the same way as before. Replacements, traces, overlappings, change of value, change of use.

Scenario 3 “An object tossed from one country to another” (Lawrence Weiner)
If we look at a building we unconsciously believe that its materiality belongs to the place where it has been built. But what we might not have imagined, is that each different part has been released in different parts of the world. 

Scenario 4 ‘Simulation of transformation’
We would like to focus on the simulation of transformation. It refers to all the ways and media needed to help public envisage of one development. How can people understand/imagine the impact of this transformation?
How are the intentions for the development being communicated? 

rotative studio, Zürich - Rotterdam
Lidija Burcak, London
Noortje De Leij, Amsterdam
Ramon Landolt, Zürich
Eulalia Martin, Barcelona
Hannes Rutenfranz, Zürich
Pavle Stamenovic, Belgrade
Ljuba Slavkovic, Belgrade
Simone Trum, Rotterdam

l.t.r Caterina Viguera, Alexandra Sonnemans, Pavle Stamenovic, Simone Trum, Lidija Burcak


The image of promises 2017 
Urban transformation as event 2018
Evidence of the absent 2019

Space in-between 2020

©rotative studio