Matthew Passmore, “User-generated Urbanism”

In recent years, the technocratic urban planning establishment has begun to recognize that small-scale, creative, temporary, tactical urban interventions are a powerful instrument for spatial research and experimentation. New collaborative strategies between artists, designers and city agencies have emerged, resulting in urban spaces that are iterative, modular, flexible and designed, in part and over time, by the people who use them. This talk explores recent developments in this trend, known as “user-generated urbanism,” and examines the role of the artist and tactical designer in contributing to the quality and character of urban public spaces. Also discussed is how these participatory forms of citymaking may ultimately change the relationship between citizens and the structures of power that give rise to urban spatial forms.

Matthew Passmore is an artist and a principal at Rebar, an art and design studio based in San Francisco. His principal areas of interest include the relationship between forms of codified and customary regulations and how those regulations are deployed to organize, categorize and valuate elements of the physical and cultural landscape. As at principal at Rebar, Matthew has exhibited work and lectured worldwide, including at the Venice Architecture Biennale, ExperimentaDesign Amsterdam, ISEA 2009 Dublin, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the American Institute of Architects, the Canadian Center for Architecture, the Harvard GSD, Parsons School of Design, U.C. Berkeley, the Univ. of Michigan, the Univ. of Mass. Amherst and many others. He is the recipient of a 2010 Creative Work Fund Grant.

More information can be found at www.rebargroup.org