Panel 1: Reconstructing the Agency of Form
Panelists: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Neyran Turan
Moderator: Charles Waldheim
Introduction by Mohsen Mostafavi
Re]FORM: New Investigations in Urban Form aims to reposition the discourse of urban form within contemporary urban theory. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s seminal text Urban Form (1970), this conference aspires to provoke new investigations and debates on urban form and its relevance in contemporary urbanizations. Specifically, by acknowledging the fluctuating conditions of political, economic, and technological contexts and practices, this conference interrogates the meanings of “form” and its role in contemporary urbanization through the agency of the design disciplines, and gauges such discourses against the debates on urban theory situated within contemporary urban conditions and transitions.
Almost half a century has passed since the publication of Urban Form by Henri Lefebvre, the urban, as he avers, is — “a place of encounter, assembly, simultaneity” — which constitutes a logical form and embodies a kind of knowledge, has been vastly defined through geographical, political and economic substances and practices ever since. Particularly in the past three decades, emerging technologies have drastically challenged the idea of urban and its form ranging in scale from the planetary to the individual. The unprecedented urban complex generally prioritizes the practices over its agencies and thus obscures the logics of the urban upon which it operates. The process of contemporary urbanization produces radical phenomena and urban objects, yet prioritizing urban form as a key instrument for contemporary urbanization remains an elusive notion. Recovering the epistemological agency of urban form is a pressing matter.