Europe: Informal City

Different experiences and observation methods

Participating in longterm projects like CaracasCase, The Culture of the Informal (The Informal City) or Differentiated Neighborhoods of New Belgrade we experienced the supposed multi-, inter- or transdisciplinary methodology of research and analysis as considerable frameworks for a first-step of knowlegdge production and of sharing it. For further developments the discipline-based approach reveals its constraints and limitations. A „scientific distance“ is kept between subject and subjects of research and observeration while at the same time productive conflicts between disciplines are smoothed out through the consent of interdisciplinarity.
In our recent projects like „We Declare“: Spaces of Housing, Vancouver, or collaboratively organized projects like Vancouver Flying University, we shifted from the methodology of observation to a practical engagement. The concept of building alliances between different forms of knowledge enhances agency and engagement, to elaborate the issues (ie problematics of failed housing politics), which are at stake.
Short excerpts of the videos „Living Megastructures“ and „We Declare“ will illustrate the above.
Sabine Bitter/Helmut Weber, January 2009