Situationens urbanisme


  • Jan Lilliendahl Larsen
  • Martin Severin Frandsen



urbanism, participation, activism, avantgarde art, Copenhagen, urban oeuvres, Henri Lefebvre, vague space, production of space


This article attempts to unfold a conception of an ‘urbanism of the situation’. We show how the development of this alternative form of urbanism, which counters the reductive dominance of contemporary, disciplinary urbanism, has been underway for some decades through collaborations between avantgarde art groups, urban social movements and critical urban intellectuals. Its focus is the rediscovery of the intimate relations between bodies, society and space. The development of this peculiar urbanism is traced, firstly, in the historical avantgardes, the situationists and their collaboration with Henri Lefebvre in particular, through to contemporary ‘urbanists of the situation’, where spatial and temporal urban oeuvres are shown to be the essential aims as well as means of a political and aesthetic rediscovery of participation in the development of cities; secondly, in the recent subcultural history of Copenhagen, which shows both how relatively autonomous ‘urbanisms of the situation’ develop and how their culture and oeuvres can be co-opted by disciplinary urbanism. The article is concluded with a discussion on the necessities and possibilities of a current urbanism of the situation where we argue that for the rediscovered, vague and intimate relations between bodies, society and space to unfold into full blown productions of space, the cultural resonance of spatial and temporal urban oeuvres are crucial.





Larsen, J. L., & Frandsen, M. S. (2014). Situationens urbanisme. K&K - Kultur Og Klasse, 42(118), 155–174.