Hayward Gallery Lecture Theatre
Professor Richard Sennett joins artist Marjetica Potrč for a discussion exploring different versions of the future city and the possible role of the artist within these.
Potrč discusses her major projects addressing the future city in locations around the world, including Caracas, Venezuela, Anyang, South Korea and a modernist neighbourhood redevelopment in Amsterdam.
The speakers investigate how cities can become more liveable as networks of neighbourhoods and explore different forms of shared space and collective architecture, including the role of rural culture and architecture as catalysts for social change.
Marjetica Potrč (b. 1953, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Marjetica Potrč's art and architecture focus on how to make life on earth more sustainable, while accommodating humanity's need for shelter, well-being and community. Believing that 'citizens are the ones who make the city', she involves communities in participatory projects in which situations or structures are adapted in order to improve their living conditions. She has worked throughout Europe as well as in places as dissimilar as Rajasthan and Detroit. Speaking of her practice, which involves people from different disciplines and backgrounds working together, she says: 'There are many reasons why the sharing of knowledge is necessary, but perhaps the most important is that, still haunted by the lost promises of modernism, we feel the world must be reconstructed. In my work, art's role is to mediate and help envision a project that articulates a new culture of living.' Marjetica Potrč is currently a professor at the University of Fine Arts (HfBK) in Hamburg.
Richard Sennett (b.1943, Chicago, USA)
The eminent and highly influential sociologist Richard Sennett, who is a professor at both New York University and the London School of Economics, explores the ways in which people in urban societies can learn to survive and co-exist in an increasingly overcrowded world. He writes about the cities in which we live and the work that we do, emphasising the value of craftsmanship and co-operation, which is itself a craft. His most recent book, Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation, published this year, is the second instalment in a planned trilogy about 'the skills people need to sustain everyday life.' The first volume, The Craftsman, examined the basic human impulse to do a thing well for its own sake, whether that be the work of a computer programmer, doctor, parent, or citizen. This idea is extended in Together, where he argues that living with people who differ is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today.