Staged Urbanism

Mona El Khafif

Staged Urbanism

Type: Book publication of dissertation research “Inszenierter Urbanismus. Urbaner Raum fuer Kunst, Kultur und Konsum im Zeitalter der Erlebnisgesellschaft”, M. El Khafif, engl. “Staged Urbanism. Urban Space for Art, Culture and Consumption in the Age of Leisure Society”, VDM Publisher, Saarbrücken, 2009, 588 p., ISBN 978-3-639-15730-7

Date: Published published 2009, Notes: The book is published in German.


Staged Urbanism. Urban Space for Art, Culture, and Consumption in the Age of the Event Society articulates the thesis of an expanded reading of space interpreting built space, programmatic use, and the spaces of organization and communication as hardware, software, orgware, and brandware respectively.  Through different case studies which focus on museums and cultural sites, an analytical frame was developed which supports the thesis of the multilayered space and captures the relationship between its different layers as well as their complex second order spatial production.  Further, at the center of this theoretical discourse are the effects of the economization of culture as well as those produced by the acculturation of the economy on the public space at these cultural sites, as they are influenced by the event society at the end of the 20th century. This investigation of space, culture and marketing and the analysis of cultural sites through the concepts of hardware, software, orgware and brandware, thematize the initiation of cultural urbanisms and the idea of public space as a stage of social interaction. The strategies being analyzed are interpreted as staging for the event society, bringing with it the threat of the instrumentalization of public space, as well as the opportunities provided by the reinvention of the void as an urban attractor.