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Activating the Publicscape. The case of Urban Gorillas

Abstract

Urban Gorillas, a Cyprus based NGO, emerged at the aftermath of the 2013 socio-economic crisis where the notion of publicness was deeply shaken. A cross-examination of the public sphere has led the team to coin the term publicscape and identify working methodologies within this context. Urban Gorillas took on the role of a catalyst between underused public spaces and the society’s uneasy relationship with the notion of publicness. The work, spontaneous in nature, temporarily transforms spaces while creating permanent human networks. The recurring temporariness that characterises the actions revokes activism in the social structure, revitalising physical spaces and inspiring an urban culture of participation.

Published:
Pages:87 to 116
Section: Art and Activism
How to Cite
Antoniou, V., Carraz, R., Hadjichristou, Y. and Tourvas, T. (2019) “Activating the Publicscape. The case of Urban Gorillas”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(3), pp. 87-116. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v4i3.1223.

Author Biographies

Veronika Antoniou is the co-founder and managing director of Urban Gorillas. She’s a licensed architect and holds a master's degree in urban studies. Her work spans many aspects, and includes the practice of architecture, curation of socially-engaged art projects and research on sustainable city development. She currently lives in Tokyo, having constant work exchanges with Cyprus.

Urban Gorillas
Cyprus Cyprus

René Carraz is a Lecturer at Toyo University, Japan. He holds a PhD in economics and teaches and researches on science, technology and innovation; creative cities and urban design. His recent work focuses on science and technology policy, public space design and urban creativity. He has been a board member for Urban Gorillas since its creation.

Yiorgos Hadjichristou is a professor of architecture at the University of Nicosia and a board member at Urban Gorillas. At the same time, he runs an architecture practice in Nicosia exploring notions of in-between spatial conditions and fluidity of architectural and urban qualities. He is the recipient of a number of national and international awards. He co-curated the Cyprus’ Pavilions of the 2016 Milan Triennale and the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Urban Gorillas
Cyprus Cyprus

Teresa Tourvas is a practising architect and teaching faculty at the University of Cyprus and Frederick University. Her work focuses on the notion of collaboration and urban dynamics in relation to the design and understanding of public space. Projects she has been involved in, focus on the role of public space and social sustainability. She has been an active part of Urban Gorillas since 2016.

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