Test_Lab: The Invisible City
This edition of Test_Lab features a selection of freshly graduated artists, architects, and designers from European art and design academies whose projects explore the invisible aspects of our contemporary urban environments.
Opening: Theo Deutinger (AT/NL), TD Architects
Demonstrations: Selena Savic (SRB), Piet Zwart Institute | David Benque (FR), Royal College of Art | Michael Dotolo (US), Frank Mohr Institute | Renee Hulshoff (NL), Royal Art Academy | Gabriel Vanegas (CO), Academy of Media Arts Cologne | Oliver Goodhall (UK), Royal College of Art
Performance: Joram Kroon, a.k.a. Prace (NL), Utrecht School of the Arts
As Italo Calvino illustrates in his classic novel Invisible Cities, the notion of ‘city’ extends far beyond its visible physical architecture. A city is characterized as much by the ways in which its urban life is organized, the problems and threats it faces and the memories, desires and fears of its inhabitants, as by the buildings and spaces that define its physical form. Due to the rapid and ongoing process of urbanization - resulting in half of humanity now living in urban environments - we are forced to radically rethink our cities. While we can see our physical urban environments transforming at a rapid pace however, who is rethinking the ‘invisible’ counterparts that Calvino wrote about almost forty years ago?
Artists, architects, and designers play an important role in revealing ‘invisible’ aspects of cities, often providing new insights into how our cities function and develop. To rethink the ‘invisible city’ under the pressure of rapid urbanization, this edition of Test_Lab featured a selection of freshly graduated artists, architects, and designers from European art and design academies whose projects explore the invisible aspects of our contemporary urban environments. The selected projects range from artistic representations of invisible cities, to simulations of urban economy and concrete scenarios for urban production and energy development. As it is custom to the Test_Lab event series, the audience forms the critical test panel for the demonstrated works and was invited to examine each graduation project 'hands-on'.
The evening kicked off with an introduction by the Rotterdam-based urban mapping expert Theo Deutinger, featured a special opening of Disrupting Systems (see inset), and closed with a live music set about one of the world’s most conflict-ridden places.