Concurrent Urbanities brings together designers, artists, architects, urbanists, planners, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, civic and community activists, with government representatives and the private sector, in order to explore new roles that artists and designers play in encouraging processes of radical democratization, forms of socio-spatial resistance, as well promoting economic equity and environmental sustainability in the processes of producing urban space.
Concurrent Urbanities features individuals and groups that represent a generation of design activists whose work proposes a radical remapping of the relationships between urban practices and design through broad participatory design processes, bottom-up organizational approaches, innovative networking, as well as through emergent approaches to urban field operations. Finally, the intent has also been to create synergies between emerging, innovative design-led urban practices and the ways in which we begin to rethink design education and urban pedagogy by coding, translating, and framing these types and modes of practice in more formative, more forceful, and more instrumental ways.
This year, Concurrent Urbanities brings together two exceptional urban practitioners, Teddy Cruz (San Diego) and Lorenzo Romito (Rome), in a conversation with Parsons faculty Miguel Robles Duran, Bill Morrish, and Miodrag Mitrasinovic.
Teddy Cruz is the founder and principal of Estudio Teddy Cruz, a research-based architecture practice in San Diego, California. Cruz has been recognized internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana-San Diego border, and in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations such as Casa Familiar, for his work on affordable housing in relationship to an urban policy more inclusive of social and cultural programs for the city. In 1991, he received the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture and in 2005 he was the first recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize, by the Canadian Center of Architecture and the London School of Economics. In 2008, he was selected to represent the United States in the Venice Architecture Bienniale. He is currently an Associate Professor in Public Culture and Urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego.
Lorenzo Romito is a founding member of Stalker, a laboratory of urban art and research on territory, which focuses on the relations between art, architecture, urban social history, and environmental studies. Romito has produced performances, publications, exhibitions, and conferences including the participation in the 2001 Venice Architecture Biennale, the 2001 Manifesta Biennal in Ljubljana, the 2008 Rome Art Quadriennale, and the 2008 Venice Architectural Biennale. He is also the coordinator of the ON/Osservatorio Nomade international network whose main projects include: The Immaginare Corviale, with F. Careri (2003-2005); Egnatia, a path of displaced memories (2002-2005); Campagnaromana (2006), distances, belongings and emergencies in the "beyond- city," Rieres'i'rambles (2007), and GRA Inversione di Marcia (U-Turn) (2009). He is the recipient of the 2000-2001 Prix de Rome in Architecture at the Accademia di Francia in Rome.
Panelists and the moderator:
William Morrish is an urban designer whose practice encompasses inter-disciplinary research on urban housing and infrastructure, collaborative publications on human settlement and community design, educational programs exploring integrated design which are applied to a wide range of innovative community based city projects. He is the author of Civilizing Terrains (1996), and co-author of Building for the Arts (1984), Planning To Stay (2000), and Growing Urban Habitats (2009).
Miguel Robles-Duran is an architect and urbanist, and co-founder of Cohabitation Strategies (Rotterdam/New York), an international non-profit cooperative focused on design processes and urban strategies in uneven urban developments and areas of social urban conflict. He is a co-editor of Urban Asymmetries (2011). Robles Duran is currently directing the MS program in Design and Urban Ecologies at the School of Design Strategies, Parsons the New School for Design.
Miodrag Mitrasinovic is an architect, urbanist and author of Total Landscape, Theme Parks, Public Space (Ashgate 2006), and co-editor of Travel, Space, Architecture (Ashgate 2009). His professional and scholarly work has been published internationally. His research has focused on generative capacity and infrastructural dimensions of public space, specifically at the intersections of public policy, urban and public design, and processes of privatization of public resources.