Th 26 Nov 09
Open City Lecture and Debate - AbdouMalig Simone
The urbanist AbdouMaliq Simone will examine the informal developments that can arise within the existing infrastructure of a city in his keynote lecture on 26 November. This lecture will be introduced by Stephen Cairns, head of architecture at the University of Edinburgh. The lecture is part of the Open City Event Program, which will be devoted to the theme of Reciprocity between 25 and 29 November.
The exhibition Reciprocity
Transactions for a City in Flux (curated by Stephen Cairns and Daliana Suryawinata) examines the influence of urban strategies of reciprocity on the city and its architecture. These informal mechanisms have both an economic and a social component. For instance, a large part of the traditional Indonesian economy is based on the principle of reciprocity: take services that are provided in exchange for products, or tasks that are collectively carried out by the population. This system functions without being imposed top-down and derives its strength from a tight social cohesion. It is estimated that three-quarters of the economy in developing countries is based on reciprocity.
The urbanist and sociologist AbdouMaliq Simone will argue in his lecture that systems like these are the key to a properly functioning city with a healthy socio-economic infrastructure for all strata of the population. Small and larger systems of social and commercial activity can help a city to find a good way of dealing with growth. According to Simone, this aspect is often ignored in discussions of urban development in which large-scale architectural projects or problem neighbourhoods regularly feature. In his vision, it is not just a few groups consisting of the very rich or the very poor that stand to gain from new initiatives, but the majority of the population who all have their role to play in the economy of the big city.
Simone’s lecture will be introduced by Stephen Cairns, head of architecture at the University of Edinburgh and curator of the IABR exhibition Reciprocity. Transactions for a City in Flux. The exhibition is part of Open City: Designing Co-existence in the NAI.
AbdouMaliq Simone is an urbanist who is particularly interested in emerging forms of social and economic intersections between different change trajectories for cities in the South. He is currently Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Honorary Professor of Urban Studies at the Centre for African Cities, University of Cape Town. His aim is to generate new theoretical insights based on a broad range of urban practices by integrating cities in Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
Stephen Cairns is Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design and Theory at the University of Edinburgh. He concentrates on contemporary architecture and urbanism, often within the context of postcolonial criticism, cross-cultural and transnational studies, with a specific empirical focus on South-East Asia.
€ 5 / 3 / IABR PP