Visiting Professor Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani will present City Studio/Layered SPURA: Visual Urbanism and Civic Engagement. As part of the university’s Urban Programs, City Studio, taught and developed by Bendiner-Viani, challenges students to engage in archival, ethnographic, visual and participatory research about a contested urban site, in partnership with long-term community partners.
Professor Bendiner-Viani will talk about her continued work at the contested Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) on the Lower East Side, one of the largest underdeveloped city-owned parcels of land in New York. Over four years of City Studio at SPURA, Bendiner-Viani has developed a hybrid approach of pedagogy, art, research, and ongoing community partnerships. Students from across the New School have learned to develop careful and creative methods for researching this contested site. As community efforts to revitalize the space have intensified, City Studio work has sought to encourage further community participation by creating projects exploring SPURA's history, current conditions, and the many visions for its development, presented in yearly public exhibitions of their work.
An exhibition of four years of City Studio work is now on view at the Aronson Gallery, Sheila Johnson Design Center, The New School, until February 25, 2012.