Urban Practice

Urban Practice is at its best when holding the complexity of the city. A practice of transformation and in constant renegotiation, deeply rooted in the arts, Urban Practice works to intersect the spheres of the socio-political, the spatio-cultural, the ecological and the pedagogical. It can be understood as a transversal approach enacting urban transformation. We see Urban Practice to engage with the following dimensions:

Practices / Disciplines / Approaches / Processes

Not necessarily a fixed set of tools, Urban Practice plays with all transgressions of disciplinarity: inter / multi / trans / extra / anti and non-disciplinarity as they are applied to forms of making and thinking. Drawing on complex and relational definitions such as Critical Spatial Practice (Rendell), Social Practice or Socially-based Art (Bishop), Urban Practice is comfortable being associated with most artistic fields in relation to the city.

Site / Scale / Ecology / Labour / Material 

Urban Practice is always grounded on a site, and on a growing expanded notion of site-ness. A site is more than its geo-location and its material reality. A site acts on a multitude of scales: objects, bodies, buildings, cities; the human, the urban and the planetary. Sites have affect and agency on practices and practitioners. The process of being on a site, and working with a site, is the process at the heart of urban practice.

Collectivity / Publics / Values / Forms

Urban Practice is convivial and collective. It provides a public stage for communities to encounter, collaborate, debate and negotiate differences. Without the public, Urban Practice remains speculative. Urban Practice engages the public through solidarity networks, investments in long-lasting relationships and commons-based, peer-to-peer exchange.

Concepts / Theories / Discourse / Critical Thinking 

Urban Practice builds upon multiple lineages of critical thinking and applies these to the making process. This thinking-making relay is supported by theories of ethics of care; right to the city, right to repair, decolonial studies, post-human thinking, ecological awareness, the commons, critical spatial practice and institutional transformation, among others. Urban practice dismantles knowledge hierarchies by equally embracing embodied, situated, applied and site-specific ways of knowing.

Context / Situation / Relation / Imaginaries 

Often, Urban Practice challenges rigid hegemonic narratives. Operating as a critical mode of practice, building on contextual, relational and situational logics, Urban Practice creates alternative imaginaries for a place, a community, a city or a society. This requires that urban practitioners recognise visible and invisible dynamics, intervene in material and immaterial conditions, navigating between the private, the public and the commons.

Urban-Practitioners-in-Residence Programme

Curated by Gilly Karjevsky and Rosario Talevi

Floating e.V. invites berlin-based practitioners to apply for an action-research residency at the Floating University Berlin. We welcome proposals that engage directly with the site of the Floating University and with the city of Berlin at large while they question, challenge and expand the notion of urban practice. Applicants are encouraged to consider hybrid modes of thought, research and practice. We favour experimental formats and forms of expression that transcend disciplinary boundaries. Proposals can range from performance to walks, urban games to sculpture, installations to projections, texts to podcasts, research-based, process-based, perhaps open to participation, perhaps facing the public on site. Selected practitioners are expected to develop their proposal within the period March to October 2021. The practice based research period culminates with a public presentation. Throughout the residency period, practitioners are invited to work on site and follow the ethos of Floating e.V. that is a self organised space and group, where practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds meet to collaborate, co-create and imaginatively work towards futures.

On February 18th 2021 Floating e.V held a public jury session where the five finalists presented their project proposals with an open Q&A from the expert jury and the wider public. 


Bostjan Bugaric, Christina Serifi, Elian Stefa
with UAU! Urban Activation Unit

Nina Fischer, Maroan El Sani
with Art, Activism, Splitting Communities

Zoe Claire Miller, Marco Schmitt 
with Exorcier-Raku

Kavita Meelu
with Berlin as a Diasporic Foodscape

Maternal Fantasies
with Pflegen,Reime, Feigen: On Caring Coexistences

Jury members

Dorothee Halbrock
Board member and head of projects HALLO: Verein zur Förderung raumöffnender Kultur e.V.and PARKS

Aljoscha Hofmann
Architect. Tempelhof Projekt GmbH. Think Berl!n. Initiative StadtNeudenken

Dr. Sabine Kroner
Project manager Berlin Mondiale. Member Rat für die Künste

María Inés Plaza Lazo
Art historian and curator. Founder of Arts for the Working Class and L’Union des Refusés, a global organization for art workers commons

Dr. Tatjana Schneider
Architect and academic. Head of the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture and the City at TU Braunschweig

Dr. Sumugan Sivanesan
Anti-disciplinary artist-researcher, writer and broadcaster. Produces Fugitive Radio: anti-colonial media and music, and organizes with Black Earth climate justice collective

Moderation by Jennifer Aksu
Urbanist and Cultural manager. Co-founder and artistic director Invisible Playground

in-Residence announced!

Kavita Meelu

»Berlin as a Diasporic Foodscape«

Zoë Claire Miller and Marco Schmitt