Cohabitation Strategies 2019: Contradictions of a Radical Urban Practice for Today
Miguel Robles-Duran Associate Profesor, Parsons School of Design
Since the early 2000’s I have been trying to layout out theoretical, conceptual and practical principles for a new kind of urban practice, whose main intent is to transgress the capitalist dictates of traditional urban fields and the positivist norms that they have inscribed in the dominant academic, design, policy and practice circles. I base this attempt, not only on the theoretical influences that Marx, Luxembourg, Benjamin, Debord, Lefebvre, Harvey and others have had on me, but even more so, on years of critical reflections on the knowledge and experience that I acquired from trying to collectively build a radically different urban practice with Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra), a cooperative for socio-spatial development that I co-founded in the city of Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 2008. Since then, I have had the privilege of researching, designing and developing over twenty urban projects across Europe, Asia, North and South America; working with diverse social movements, organized communities, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, cultural spaces and government agencies at all scales. At Cohabitation Strategies, my partners and I have been attempting to translate into direct material practice many of the difficult to grasp theories that Marx and a handful of his followers developed in relation to capitalism and the production of space. My talk will present a selection of projects that emphasize the contradictions of our translation attempts to ground Marxian thought and construct a radical urban practice for today.
The Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS) is an initiative of the Urban Planning program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.