This paper reports and reflects upon the 2017 IMAGINE Mobilities Design Studio at Aalborg University’s Urban Design program. The studio involves approx. 25 master students with backgrounds in architecture, urban design and urban planning from several countries in Europe. It is carried out on the background of a conceptualization of the urban as an intensity of functional, technical, cultural and aesthetic (trans-)formations happening in networks of mobilities. The studio explores large- and small scale infrastructures - systems, networks, sites and structures - of the urban territory of the city of Aalborg, Denmark. It aims to give designerly input to open agendas for the urban mobile future. Positioned within a lineage of critical, speculative, inventive urban mobilities imaginaries, the studio investigates how existing infrastructural systems in Aalborg – designed for the 20th Century (and in some cases currently on the edge of maximum capacity and collapse) – might be modified and mobilized to address the probable, possible and preferable needs and desires of the 21st Century and beyond. The studio cultivates a utopian energy in exploring the articulation of matters of concern, critical challenges and opportunities, working with, e.g., power and inequalities, access, climate change, and technologies, and with the designerly analysis of and responses to these challenges. The reflection will seek to discuss key concerns related to the studio work. For example, how design imaginaries can contribute to articulating and communicating issues by giving form to problematic or unknown situations? How they can work as organizers and orchestrators of disparate, sometimes conflicting, components and activities? How they can explore the gap between what is and what could be? And how they may be (fruitful) matters of contestation themselves?
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventMobile Utopia Conference - centre for mobilities research - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Nov 20175 Mar 2018


ConferenceMobile Utopia Conference
Locationcentre for mobilities research - Lancaster University
CountryUnited Kingdom
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