The Right to the City

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

The Right to The City is an exhibition and publishing project, cosponsored by Tin Sheds Gallery and Architectural Theory Review, bringing together a series of artistic, theoretical and philosophical escape plans. These escape plans range from the whimsical to the more serious, and present real or imagined ways of reinventing life in our cities. The project will explore the challenge of “putting foundations” under these “castles in the air” – seeking connections between art, architecture, philosophy and action.

In thinking through those connections, The Right to the City takes as its starting point David Harvey’s famous article that redefined urban existence as a contested part of modern democracy: “The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights”.  Given the perilous environmental predicament we find ourselves in, coupled with our intensifying urbanisation, many artists, activists, planners and architects are seeking ways to “remake” the city in more socially connected and sustainable ways. These activities are often concerned with negotiating the increasing fragmentation and complexity of the contemporary city; developing critical spatial practices that engage in micro-political actions. The Right to the City will bring together an ambitious collection of artistic and written works that explore these urban interventions – opening up a space in which possibilities for reimagining life in the city can be discussed.

The exhibition will be at Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, and will bring together an important group of Australian and international artists whose work is engaged with critical spatial practice.  It will combine a gallery show with offsite projects in the grounds of Sydney University and in the local area.

Participating artists:
Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro (Australia)
atelier d’architecture autogérée (France)
David Rogers (NZ/Australia)
Tessa Zettel & Karl Khoe (Australia)
SquatSpace (Australia)
Milkcrate Urbanism (Australia)
Temporary Services (USA)
Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley (UK)
Marjetica Potrč (Slovenia)
Bababa International (Australia)

Urban Farm:
During the course of the exhibition the courtyard outside Tin Sheds Gallery will be transformed into a temporary urban farm that will be designed and established by students in the Urban Architecture Research Studio. Produce from the urban farm will be given away free to staff, students and gallery visitors.

A public symposium sponsored by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. An evening keynote lecture by Margaret Crawford will be followed by a one-day seminar, featuring a combination of invited speakers and presentations selected through an open call.

For more information click here.

The Right to the City has been
generously funded by:


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