Jan 27–Feb 24, 2021


direct urbanism x4
Mariahilferstrasse 2, Graz 8020 Map
Tue–Sun 10 am–6 pm

How can you define sustainable and future-oriented urban development?
“NORMAL – direct urbanism x 4”, initiated by transparadiso, focusses on four districts on the outskirts of Graz. The HDA is accompanying the project with an exhibition held as part of Graz Year of Culture 2020.

Responding to current social challenges in urban development, transparadiso developed the method of direct urbanism to facilitate socially-engaged urban planning combining direct action and planning. Urban practitioners orizzontale (I), public works (GB) and Georg Winter (D) were invited to work with transparadiso in four Graz districts: Andritz (north), Waltendorf (east), Liebenau (south), and Wetzelsdorf (west).

Between spring 2020 and summer 2021, artists and architects will work together with local residents and organisations to realise artistic urban interventions based on transparadiso’s research. These will prioritise collective qualities and the appropriation of public spaces free from pressure to consume. The projects aim to provide a starting point for further discussion on socially committed urban development in Graz.

Cities particularly grow at the edges. Agricultural land is being re-zoned, dense housing is being built without integration into an urban development concept, village structures are disappearing and the soil is being permanently sealed – despite known effects on the climate. These developments are accompanied by a lack of collective, public spaces where people can meet without pressure to consume.

But is this “normal” in the sense of natural or inevitable? How can we counteract this development and become active in our own environment? Which new processes and methods are needed to weigh up self-interest against qualities for collective living? How can we use innovative artistic-urbanistic methods to create new “centrality” (Lefebvre) and an identity informed by the common good in peri-urban areas? Despite showing similar phenomena the selected districts are very different.

In order to address current social challenges of urban planning, transparadiso (Barbara Holub / Paul Rajakovics) developed the method of direct urbanism for socially committed urban planning, intertwining direct action (action through artistic interventions) and planning. Implemented in the context of Graz Year of Culture 2020, the project NORMAL explores a new “normal” that also gives space to deviation from the norm and the seemingly impossible. For NORMAL ­– direct urbanism x 4, transparadiso invited three other international artists and architects (urban practitioners) to focus on the rapid transformation process at the fringes of Graz – currently the fastest growing city in Austria.

Due to the extended lockdown, the exhibition will initially be on view via our "display" to Südtirolerplatz/Mariahilferstraße.