Faces of a City

In his book 'Sharp Tongues, Loose Lips, Open Eyes, Ears to the Ground', the curator and prolific author Hans-Ulrich Obrist, reflects on the term 'city' after having co-curated several “Cities on the Move” exhibitions in the late nineties. Obrist and co-curator Hou Hanrou doubt if we should still use the word 'city' at all to represent present day and future urban conditions. The curators didn't so far come up with a new term but started to compile an A to Z list of adjectives attached to the word 'city'.

By selecting a few types of cities from Obrist's book, the workshop 'Faces of a City' uses these adjectives as lenses through which a city, town, neighbourhood is investigated by the participants through means of photography, cartography and ethnography. Using artistic and quasi scientific methods a rich and multi-layered portrait of present day urban conditions arise that sheds a clear light on the way how people live, work and move through our built environment.

For whom?

This workshop is for spatial practitioners and students who want to gain a thorough understanding of a local urban condition whether it is a city, town or neighbourhood.


In this workshop we use photographic, cartographic and ethnographic methods to map and spatially research a contemporary urban condition.


The output of the workshop is a book with each chapter representing one type of city. The chapters include texts, interviews, portraits, essays, drawings and photos.


Irma Földényi

Pomme van Hoof


Interested? Get in touch with us here


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Previous Workshops

– Mapping Cần Thạnh (VN), February 2017