Cities are inextricably linked both to hopeful imaginings of the future, as well as being places of profound inequality. It is a place that materializes societal problems; an ecology of strangers; a place of emotions; myths; and a place where you can stumble upon speculation – and in this Speculative Urban Futures workshop we touched upon all this, and more.
In November 2021 GRIP held the first workshop in the Speculative Urban Futures project, one of the new research projects initiated by GRIP. Speculative Urban Futures aims to probe potential urban futures through experimental and interdisciplinary modes of engagement. The interdisciplinary nature of the project is what makes it stand out, and with participants from the art world, anthropology, architecture, gender studies and more this workshop was as inspiring as it was eye opening.
The two-day workshop started with a deep dive in the idea of monsters, myths and the dark sides of the city, and continued with discussions around issues of memory, ocean- and landscape, waiting, secrets, capitalism, public spaces, ideas of the collapsing city, the multispecies city and much more.
While the participants had very different approaches towards these topics, the idea of the urban was a fruitful starting point that led to several thought-provoking discussions. Cities offer reflections through materialism, and the speculative nature of this project allows us to retain a wide lens to (try to) understand and see “the urban” through. Indeed, the concept of speculation itself, and the power inherit in it, was deeply debated by the participants.
GRIP is thankful to all who participated and shared their ideas, opinions and insights as well as earlier work – Brandon LaBelle, Cecilie Sachs Olsen, Christine Jacobsen, Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Morten Nielsen, Miriam Sentler, Elin T. Sørensen, Randi Gressgård, Anders Rubing, Adam Kraft, Anaïs Florin.
We very much look forward to the next workshop in 2022, as well as the exciting outputs that will come from these workshops.
GRIP is publishing a miniseries in relation to this project, which you can find here: Speculative Urban Futures Miniseries
There is an open call out for the Speculative Urban Futures miniseries, which can be found here: Call for contributions: Speculative Urban Futures