URLab – Urban Reconnaissance Laboratory

URLab – Urban Reconnaissance Laboratory

This module proposes an assessment methodology to comprehend the complexity of factors determining local identities and economies and to prepare ground for action. The Urban Reconnaissance methodology has been designed by the oginoknauss collective as a web based interactive toolset. It provides keys to navigate the multiplicity of analytical approaches, disciplinary perspectives and languages necessary to understand urban territories from a holistic perspective. It is based on a matrix of 64 different definitions of the word city, each one recalling a specific morphological, normative, technological, cultural, political or psychological factor determining any given local identity. Each definition is associated with a related exercise, providing instructions to focus on the specific perspective.

We selected five exercises particularly relevant to understand the specificities of the territory of Mehringplatz – Südliche Friedrichstadt .

  1. City of Commons (October 2016). Dedicated to explore the concept of (urban) commons and to assess existing or potential common resources in the neighbourhood.
  2. Cyber / Market City. (December 2016). This combination of two exercises is dedicated to assess the increasing augmentation of the role of the city as a site of exchange into the mediated digital sphere.
  3. Spontaneous City (January 2017). Enquires the relation between formal / informal, structured / self-managed, official / unofficial, legal / illegal agency and projects etc., in transforming urban space and community.
  4. Contested City (March 2017). Exploring the political discourse and assessing conflicts over the territory, both as issues and potential resources.
  5. Productive -/Commodified City (May 2017) – Will assess existing or potential sustainable entrepreneurial and economic activities and discuss valorization and profit extraction from urban space. We will enquire such aspects as exchange vs. use value, sustainability, speculation, gentrification etc.


Each of the one day workshops is anticipated by a public discussion approaching the theme in general terms.

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