Vague Urbanisms – Dramaturgies of porous spaces, off-shoots and beyond

Abstract: Decades of formal and informal developments in the wastelands of post-industrialising cities have demonstrated that urban wastelands are crucial for the general development of our cities as well as culture and politics as such. In what we term vague spaces, new burgeoning political and social associations are the living proof of the vitality of otherwise unseen and obscene urban cultures. This lived vitality works as a concrete utopia in relation to the all too often alienating processes of the conventional, formal negotiation concerning the development of our cities.

Taking a vantage point in a specific project in an ‘urban blind spot’ in a Copenhagen suburb – a mobile ‘community toolbox’ (CTB) that transformed urban space into a temporary 1:1 storytelling space – we advance two arguments concerning the realisation of the vague potentials of the city. One argument pursues the character of vague spaces further in relation to their more sensual and bodily moments through the concept of porous space. Another argument concerns general methodological approach in understanding and unfolding the vague potentials of local neighbourhoods, Urban dramaturgy. We show how ever new expressions and perceptions of the urban, that is, new urbanisms, are unfolded through off-shoots in the dynamic play of vagueness and porosity.

Bio:  The SUPERTANKER network: SUPERTANKER originated as a constructive challenge to the ongoing redevelopment of Copenhagen harbour in 2002-2004. Since then they have lived on as a project network working with innovation and urban development. They have developed alternative methods of generating dialogue and ideas, through staged trials, workshops etc. They have developed a broad portfolio of tools aimed at involving people that do not usually take part in the development of the city.