Expand your critical views on architectures of pandemic(s). Question politics of bodies in urban space in times of crises. Analyze the role of public space in absence of private “safe” spaces. How does COVID-19 affect social proximity in the city?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, people living in metropolitan areas have been among the worst hit and vulnerable: unprepared healthcare networks, overwhelmed governments, collapsing economies, the exploitation of so-called “frontline workers” and unfit urban infrastructures. The long-term impacts of the crisis on cities are difficult to predict. Epidemics and crises in general have been hugely influential in shaping our cities, history shows. Cities represent continuity and transformation after all – they endure, adapt and grow. Perhaps COVID-19 will accelerate changes that have been brewing in cities for a long time, putting more resilient concepts at the core of their post COVID-19 plans: Milan, for instance, led the way by announcing the conversion of 35km of streets into areas for cycling and pedestrians, and limiting the speed of cars to 30kmph. Paris revealed that they will introduce 650km of bike lanes taking away space from cars, while Bogotá introduced 76km of temporary cycleways to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Learning from the tragic experience of the Ebola outbreak in the past, the city of Freetown in Sierra Leone has been promoting local food production during COVID-19. Montreal recently reopened their community gardens, encouraging people to start farming this summer. In Brazil, the city of Maricá more than doubled their existing basic income to offer extra support to low income, and Barcelona decided that the 12,000 tenants of the properties managed by the municipality would not pay rent for three months. One might ask: is all of this just a drop in the ocean or an emerging tendency? What measures are just temporary and what might stay and become permanent changes contributing to the reshaping of the Post-COVID City? What might make our cities more livable and what consequences of the pandemic might they suffer from? Either way, it is a powerful act to start imagining what kind of city we might be living in when this pandemic slows down. In this experimental seminar we will therefore reflect on recent developments, speculate about the future and imagine the (Post)COVID City yet to come. This seminar will tap into landscapes of resistance within the city. These landscapes include protest culture, reclamation of spaces by

marginalized communities, queer visibility in public space, alliances, solidarity networks, resilient practices…etc.

Fluid Academic level. Anyone with an interest in the urban research , public space, archiving, audiovisual storytelling, queer urban visibility, inclusive spaces, and urban solidarity networks.

* preferably (but not required - due to the flexibility of group format ): basic skills and/or interest in audio-visual editing and storytelling.

Poligonal Office for Urban Communication

1) Lead supervisor | Nancy Naser AL Deen

2) Second supervisor(s) | Lukas Staudinger + Christian Haid

Nancy Naser Al Deen is a Lebanese- Egyptian urbanist based in Berlin with a MA in Urban Management from Technical University Berlin and a BS in Architecture from the American University in Cairo. She took part in projects with different collectives in Cairo, Beirut and Berlin including CLUSTER, Ashkal Alwan, Public Works Studio, Raumlaborberlin and Poligonal Office for Urban Communication. Nancy’s collaboration-based interdisciplinary practice utilizes tools of architecture, visual design, spatial research and the body; to witness, archive, protest, and investigate politics of (non-conforming) bodies in public space.

Lukas Staudinger is co-founder of POLIGONAL Office for Urban Communication Berlin. He studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, the Berlin University of the Arts and he holds an MA in Sociology from Goldsmiths, University of London. In his work as an urban communicator, curator and university lecturer he focuses on historic and contemporary urban planning, post-war housing, and queer urban everyday life. With POLIGONAL he provokes new ways to observe, reflect on and experience how we live together in cities and stimulates discussions on alternative urban futures.

Dr. Christian Haid is co-founder of POLIGONAL Office for Urban Communication Berlin and senior researcher at Habitat Unit (Technical University Berlin). Christian holds a PhD in urban sociology (Humboldt University Berlin) and is trained in urban studies (UCL London) and architecture (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna). With POLIGONAL he develops communication formats at the intersection of urban practice, art and architecture. At Habitat Unit Christian writes about, researches, and teaches in international urbanism. Urban Informality, transformative city planning, postcolonial urbanism, and the politics of public space are his main interests.



The course took place in 2022.


The course language is English.