Staging urban life

6th Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium
April 29-31, 1999, Monte Verità, Ascona

Theoreticians, researchers and decision-makers from France and Switzerland gathered at the Monte Verità centre for the 6th Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium on the theme Staging Urban Life.  During the last years urban municipalities have made important efforts in order to value their public spaces.  It’s an effort towards the inhabitants but also in order to give a favourable image of local urban life towards the outside world in order to attract new inhabitants, new employers and visitors.  Thus it seems appropriate to talk about staging urban life.  These efforts are not only directed towards the spatial decorum but do also concern lighting, sound-effects, etc.  The staging touches the inhabitant of cities as he or she is by necessity an actor as a daily user of urban spaces and at the same time it allows for an ordering of political or recreational manifestations. The Colloquium, organized by Kaj Noschis, Lecturer at the Department of Architecture, in collaboration with the Institute for Reseaarch on the Built Environment of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and with the support of the Canton of Ticino and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, brought together a small group of sociologists,psychologists, specialists of design, lightening, “creation of urban events” and administration in cities.  Presentations were followed by very interdisciplinary discussions that examinated the contemporary challenges for public urban space. Several of the conference papers are published (in French) in the 4/99 issue of the Revue économique et sociale.Participants :  Michel Bassand (Institut de Recherche sur l’Environnement Construit, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Maurice Blanc (Université de Nancy II); Sandra Fiori (Cresson, Grenoble); Bertrand Nobs (Service d’urbanisme de la Ville de Lausanne); Ricardo Basualdo (Merveilleux Urbain, Paris); Anne Compagnon (Institut de Recherche sur l’Environnement Construit, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Yvette Jaggi (Presidente de l’Union des villes suisses); Dominique Joye  (Institut de Recherche sur l’Environnement Construit, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Kaj Noschis (Department d’Architecture, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne); Laurent Reynes (Ecole d’Architecture, Strasbourg).