Petit Projects: Vague deviations as urban strategies

Petit Projects: Vague deviations as urban strategies

Submission ID:


This paper aims to study how the use of artistic and architectural interventions in public spaces served as tools to generate new urban dynamics.
Focusing on the last decade, this paper aims to understand how this cultural instruments emerge as an answer to overcome the lack in public investment and the social unrest resulting from the 2008 economic recession.
Starting from the concept of terrain vague (Sola-Morales, 1995) — urban voids, spaces that are absent, ignored or fallen into disuse, alien or surviving to any structural systems of the territory — we propose to analyse a group of works integrated in critical spatial practice (Rendell, 2003), namely forms of practice between art and architecture, that are built in this type of urban setting in the last decade.
In that scenario, we aim to understand the motivations that make this type of work possible and emerging, from the commission point of view to the author’s perspective, and its impact in public space.
For that, at first, this paper is centered on assaying the selected case-studies over their contexts and circumstances, identifying the main steps of the process. After that we propose to analyse the before and after of the places and identify the fragilities and benefits inherent to these practices.
In conclusion, we intend to understand how artistic and architectural interventions in the public space have been used as instruments and/or agents of urban change.

Corresponding Author

Hugo Reis

ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa

Author #1:

Rita Negrão

Instituto Superior Técnico

Author #2:

Author #3:

Author #4:

Preferred Track

3. Terrain vague redevelopments

Second Preferred Track

8. The role of artists and urban art