NORMAL x 4 - publication forthcoming May 2020
NORMAL x 4
Direct Urbanism in Graz
The Cultural Year Graz 2020 is an exceptional opportunity to address relevant issues of urban development at the periphery, in "peri-urban" spaces, which - although the majority of the population lives in such spaces - are hardly in the interest of planning. For many years, these areas have been transformed by unrestrained building activity, without being based on urban development concepts. As a result, there is a lack of identifiable identities - apart from the notion of the unspectacular, if not of "boredom". These peri-urban areas in Graz have been developing an image similar to many other cities in Europe.
What is "normal"?
Normality from the perspective of artists and urban practitioners can mean something quite different from what it means for
those parts of the population marked by increasing fear of career disadvantages due to deviant behaviour or simply resentment or envy from their neighbors. When these different normalities collide, they can be given space through special artistic settings thus creating a productive force that breaks up the dominant form of normality.
What is normal is particularly defined by the feedback of our fellow human beings. Who do we ask for an assessment? Whose opinion do we find relevant? What is perceived as normal is in motion; it changes over time according to the development of society.
NORMAL addresses the „majority of the unspectacular“
Graz has - also internationally - an outstanding reputation for architecture, while at the same time the city is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation. As the city experiencing the highest percentage of growth in Austria, it is therefore all the more important to deal with these less noticed districts on the outskirts of the city.
How can innovative artistic-urbanistic methods contribute to producing a new "centrality" (Lefebvre) and identity of these peri-urban areas, which inspite of showing similar phenomena are all very different? This is all the more urgent since the established district centres with their social structures are now under threat. These "peri-urban" areas are marked by an enormous consumption of space by supermarkets and shopping centres with their individual parking lots, and by densification. These lack qualities of public space, instead extinguishing still existing social (infra)structures.
Research in 4 peri-urban districts: Andritz, Waltendorf, Liebenau, Wetzelsdorf
Direct urbanism and related "other urbanisms“
Direct urbanism is a method transparadiso has developed and continuously refined to respond to current social challenges of urban planning. In doing so, artistic-ubanistic strategies for a socially committed urban planning is developed, which is integrated into a longer-term urban planning process. Direct urbanism connects planning and action. Although many urbanisms committed to the common good and social issues (performative urbanism, instant urbanism, etc.) have emerged since the mid/late 1990s, they have hardly found their way into being commissioned by urban planning departments to date.
transparadiso invited three international urban practitioners (architects/ artist teams) to realize a project for NORMAL.
The fourth project will be realized by transparadiso.
Four urban interventions in 4 districts:
Andritz (North): public works (London, UK)
Waltendorf (East): transparadiso (Vienna/ Graz, A)
Liebenau (South): orizzontale (Rome, I)
Wetzelsdorf (West): Georg Winter (Stuttgart/ Saarbrücken, D)
As a starting point, transparadiso provides research on the history and possible topics for engagement. The projects will be realized in cooperation with local organisations and considered as essential impulses for the longer term development of the districts.
By furthering an exchange among the teams and discussing their specific methods throughout the whole process transparadiso aims at creating more visibility for these practices – based on the projects created for the specific sites.
NORMAL takes the topic of the Culture Year Graz 2020 „HOW WE WANT TO LIVE TOGETHER“ and their quest for asking for visions seriously: The process and results of NORMAL will be discussed on an ongoing basis with the districts and the authorities of the City of Graz.
NORMAL is a project of the
Culture Year GRAZ 2020:
Partner of transparadiso:
Michael Petrowitsch (Graz, A)
public works (London, GB)
orizzontale (Rome, I)
Georg Winter (Stuttgart/ Saarbrücken, D)
HdA Graz/ House of Architecture
Media partner: dérive
In collaboration with:
The Graz Districts: Andritz, Waltendorf, Liebenau, Wetzelsdorf
and local organizations in the districts
(due to Covid 19 the program will be rescheduled: new dates will be announced)
HdA/ House of Architecture, Graz
April 30- May 29, 2020
> rescheduled to:
Dec.2 2020 – 20 Jan. 2021
Realization of the projects in the
June 2020 - August 2021
Urban periphery hikes:
Sept. 26 and Sept.27, 2020
Oct. 3 and Oct. 4, 2020:
Due to rescheduling of the project we will introduce the projects on site on these dates.
The hikes will take place in fall 2021:
connecting the 4 districts at the periphery and conceiving a new hike trail.
Forum Stadtpark, Graz
Oct. 24–Nov. 3, 2020
Barbara Holub/ Paul Rajakovics. Die Normalität des Unspektakulären, in: dérive 79, p.50-52
article for download:
Bettina Landl. Experimentelle Handlungsweisen