Urban Panorama Workshop | Macau TIMC09

THIS IS MY CITY 09 poster (click to enlarge) | Macau, 3-5 July 2009

Between July 3 and 5, 2009, MovingCities was invited by Macau’s Culture Association +853 to participate in this year THIS IS MY CITY 我的城市!!! event.


TIMC09 我的城市!!!

Urbanism, music & video from Macau/Hong Kong/Beijing for a three days’ event

The Albergue da Santa Casa da Misericórdia [澳門仁慈堂婆仔屋] held, on July 3 to 5, 2009, this year’s edition of the multidisciplinary event This Is My City [TIMC], which is an initiative from the Cultural Association +853, co-organized by Albergue and with the institutional support of the MSAR Cultural Institute and the Institute of European Studies of Macau.

The event, which has the aim of explore new ways of feeling the city, is divided in three moments: a workshop about urbanism, a round table to debate the questions to be raised throughout the workshop, and also a performance that includes music and video art.

Similarly to what happened last year, the main moments of TIMC occurred at Albergue, in São Lázaro Neighbourhood. And once again, artists and cultural agents from Macau and China got together. The 2009 edition of TIMC  also counted with the presence of an artist living in Hong Kong.

The Cultural Association +853 invited the project MovingCities, based in Beijing, to coordinate the URBAN PANORAMA workshop, which was held during the three days of the event. Conceived by the architects Mónica Carriço and Bert de Muynck, with the local assistance of the architect Nuno Soares, the URBAN PANORAMA explores Macau’s urban landscape by investigating the relation between the cultural/media imaginaries and the concrete conditions of the everyday.

this is my city, this is my skyline!

On the first day of the workshop, the participants did a research about the characteristics of the city on Macau’s rooftops and sightseeing spots. The collected material was then to be analyzed and prepared in order to create an exhibition, which was inaugurated on July 4, in the conference room of Albergue.

On July 5, there was a round table discussion that sat together the architects who held the workshop and several individualities experienced in urban management and design. All those interested in the subject were welcomed in the debate. The URBAN PANORAMA workshop is for people who want hands-on experiment and experience of the urban reality and that have some design and analytical skills: students, architects, urban planners, designers, artists, photographers, film-makers, practitioners, writers and all interested in debating the city.

TIMC is an invitation to feel and enjoy the city. Therefore, on the evening of July 4 there was a performance in Albergue with artists from Macau, Hong Kong and Beijing – co-produced by 86/33 LINK [now Kaiguan], a cultural association from the Chinese capital.

The performance started with the opening of the exhibition URBAN PANORAMA. Then, Cedric Maridet was supposed to present his work, focused on field recordings, soundscape compositions, audio-vision and the construction of altered sonorous spaces. The French artist, who is living in Hong Kong, brought to TIMC09 his approach about the Philippine community living in HKSAR…. but then it started to rain!

Afterwords, DEAD J was to show what is being done in China in the electronic sounds’ field. Coming from Beijing, DEAD J is considered as one of the most interesting artists in the Chinese electronic music scene. During his performance, Chen Xiongwei, a VJ also from the Chinese metropolis, would manipulate images produced by the participants on the workshop URBAN PANORAMA. None of this happen due to heavy rains… but there was a party nonetheless!


Macau Skyline Architectural Research

Workshop by MovingCities [Mónica Carriço+Bert de Muynck] & Nuno Soares

Main organizer: Cultural Association +853
Co-organizer: Albergue SCM
Event co-producer: 86/33 LINK Kaiguan

THIS IS MY CITY, this is my skyline!

In the Urban Panorama Workshop, part of THIS IS MY CITY 09 three-days event, MovingCities collaborated with Nuno Soares, and explored Macau’s urban landscape by investigating the relation between the cultural/media imaginaries and the concrete conditions of the everyday. In order to do so we hoped from rooftop to rooftop, scanning Macau’s skyline.

Workshop Main Objective

A two-day workshop explored Macau’s urban landscape by investigating the relation between the visual quality and the mental image of the city which is held by its citizens. Using strategies of experimental and empirical field research along Macau’s rooftops and sightseeing spots, a parcour formed the set-up for an intensified collaborative design workshop. By reading Macau “from within” its territory, landmarks and new building geographies were to be identified, laying focus on three components of the city’s skyline (character, structure, and meaning).

Through research and design this workshop’s main objective was to understand the potentialities of bringing new types of architectural approaches onto its territory, by reading and interpreting the current state and by projecting speculative designs, so to transform, strengthen and discuss its urban features. The expected outcome took the shape of a “what if” scenario based on a series of optical transformations of Macau’s skyline.

Workshop Approach

Contrary to common belief, a city does not have one fixed and single skyline, as the urban environment is not a stable entity that can be solely understood from one viewpoint only. A myriad of perspectives determines its image.

By exploring Macau from a unique set of locations, from atop rooftops to other vista points, the workshop investigated what a series of skylines can tell about Macau’s urban complexion.

What can be read in its horizon, not from outside the city, but from within, and how does this shape the understanding of the city?
How do singled-out architectures dominate the view and act as point of references?

The analysis and effects of physical and perceptible architectural constructions are one of the foundations for city design. The workshop uncovers the role of form in the creation of the city’s image. Investigating in research and design the shifting perception of architectural forms, the participants will bring their findings and speculation in relation with the future development of Macau.

Workshop Day Plan

PART I [Friday, July 03 | 09:30 – 20:00]

The first day of the workshop focuses on the visual quality of Macau. A tour along several rooftops, which aren’t commonly accessible, will offer a multi-perspective view from which design parameters will be distilled. Eight elevated outlooks, in the different boroughs of Macau Island, will form the locations to engage with Macau’s complex urban landscape. Impressions were to be registered in the form of photography, video, sounds and sketching.

PART II [Saturday, July 04 | 10:00 – 18:00]

The second day concentrates on the analysis and design exercise.
Starting with a discussion amongst the participants about their experience, an initial analysis was to be made by processing the collected material. The afternoon was reserved to make a sharper reading and analysis of the state of affairs of Macau and to test a speculative architectural approach to the skyline, focusing on the relation between background and foreground, notions of singularity, form simplicity, dominance, directional differentiation, visual scope and meaning.
During the evening’s THIS IS MY CITY09, organization selected works (only) from the participants were included in the Urban Panorama Workshop exhibition. Furthermore, the works were also to be also included in a live event [co-produced by 86/33 LINK, now called Kaiguan], which (if not because of the heavy rain…) were to be handed over to Beijing sound-artist DEAD J and visual jockey Chen Xiongwei, who’s remix were to explore additional interactive skyline scenario’s.

PART III [Sunday, July 05 | 16:00 – 18:30]

The workshop culminated on a third day encompassing a roundtable discussion with invited guests – including local architects, municipality actors, city-planners, artists – that are deeply intertwined with Macau’s future urban developments.
In this debate, formal dialogues amongst people that participate on the design of the city were confronted and contrasted with the views and projections done by the workshop participants. The purpose was to trigger a creative debate about the contemporary image of Macau, based on uncovering future scenarios – stemming from empirical rooftop research and the new skyline scenarios developed during the workshop.

All attendees were awarded a certificate of participation on this workshop officiated by +853 Cultural Association, MovingCities and Albergue SCM. [see below/ download the application form]

TIMC09 Urban Panorama Workshop (click to download pdf) | Macau, 3-5 July 2009

Workshop Updates

Relevant links

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