It is difficult to make a distinction between Temporary, Tactical, Do It Yourself, Guerrilla Urbanism and other current forms of transformation in towns and cities. They address similar challenges, but each of them offers different perspectives and tactics. This exhibition showcases the common grounds between them with a specific focus on cities and towns in a post 2008 financial crisis. How have these places reacted to this crisis, especially in the short term with low cost, bottom-up, community led and sometimes radical or unsolicited forms of (alternative) urban transformation?
It builds on various teaching and research activities developed since 2015. It includes field trips, design workshops, research symposia and conferences, all of which relate directly or indirectly to the exploration of key concepts in current practices of urbanism and urban design.
As such, it is also an exhibition journey of precedents and case studies around the world, including those in developing countries and the Global South. Projects include activities recently delivered in Bologna, a medium sized Italian city well renowned for its innovative policies on urban commons. Staff and students from Huddersfield actively engaged in a live project co-delivered by the City Council in Bologna and the University: a small open-air pavilion for students and citizens to freely use.
The exhibition also poses a question about Huddersfield and to offer documents and reflections on its town centre. In light of the design focus for the project it looks at the future potential for positive transformations. Open to multiple options and tactics for the wider public to reflect on as part of a collective exercise, the work on display embraces a bottom-up approach to urban change.