Transgressive Strategies Towards a Utopian Urban Vision for the Conflicted Cities

The utopian vision of the city is a speculative architectural and urban project. It has tried to explore what architecture could possibly generate when faced with extreme cultural and political scenarios like the current housing crisis in the conflicted cities. Under the politic, economic and social conditions, the cities are simply unsustainable. It is by now possible to identify the future urban and architectural scenarios for the conflicted cities as a participatory process of urban foresight involving selected members of professional communities such as academicians and practitioners. The focus is on creative possibilities of conditions of ‘conflicted cities’ design opportunities to address socio-cultural and strategic challenges of future cities, always placing people at the centre. In order to do this, the utopian vision fully claims design as a hybrid approach. This enables us to connect in a fertile process of cross-referencing.

 The adaptation of conceptual scenarios at pro typing level is a means of ‘learning by doing’ while producing the necessary assists for the visual documentation of each concept in the formats of photographic and video recording. In addition, the ‘scenario’ format of futures storytelling has been reconstructed with new hybrid mixes involves presentations, conversations and visualisations, hence co-developing narrative structures with participants. The end result has been concrete prototyping assets. The prototypes will be assembled by the workshop participants themselves, confirming that they are the true protagonists of the idea of ‘creation urban and architectural scenarios’.

 One of the key success factors of the workshop lies in creating networking relationships over time and in the co-creative dialog with through professional experts and leading practitioners of reconstructing territories in crisis in terms of architecture and planning. The participants are asked to interact existing drawings and maps on the panels in a way that goes against their own ideas on under the variation of concepts. The space exercise is expanded in scale to encompass the building. The participants set off to investigate the structure of the workshop, finding ways to approach it that are different to the way in which they habitually navigate it. The participants look for in-between panels or non-spaces, seeking the gaps within the building that offers to opportunities for re-shaping the critical theory of the ‘utopian urban visions’.

 The concepts in this research should be understood as a set of architectural fables, speculating about the seemingly impossible, the actual transformation of the structures of domination. It is thus also, and fundamentally so, an invitation to re-think the problem of political subjectivity The fact that the idea of ‘utopian urban visions on conflicted cities’ is an area of study with particularly long cycles helped in the establishment of this ideal dialog over time. This offers a unique opportunity to both validate and improve where appropriate by means of sharpening those earlier assets. Thus it is possible to build a coherent and consistent stream of the future of our cities.


Bertug Ozarisoy, University of East London