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Exploring the Work of Artists and Activists to Translate Research into Action and Foster Public Space Culture

Abstract

In November 2018 The Journal of Public Space published the special issue ‘Art and Activism in Public Space’, that was launched in Barcelona at RMIT Europe headquarters, during the SkypeLab Sympolab (http://www.skypelab.org/), and was introduced by Estanislau Roca Blanch, Vice Rector for Infrastructure and Architecture at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
The issue collected a selection of projects of invited artists and activists, from Italy, Spain, Germany, United States, South America, Africa and Australia, and was the result of a collaboration between City Space Architecture and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
The issue received an overwhelming success: according to our data and statistics, it gave a significant boost to the journal, so we decided to start a series on this topic. The Journal of Public Space is interested to embed artists and activists’ research work in the discussion on public space, highlighting the importance of on-the-ground observations and human-oriented thinking for the future of cities.

Published:
Pages:1 to 2
Section: Editorial
How to Cite
Bravo, L., McCormick, M. and Hillary, F. (2019) “Exploring the Work of Artists and Activists to Translate Research into Action and Foster Public Space Culture”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(3), pp. 1-2. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v4i3.1230.

Author Biographies

Luisa Bravo is a global academic scholar and educator, a social entrepreneur and a passionate public space activist. After completing her PhD, with a thesis on contemporary urbanism, at University of Bologna in Italy (2008), she has been researching, teaching and lecturing in several Universities, in Italy and Europe, the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Visiting scholar at IURD - Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California Berkeley (USA, 2012), Adjunct Professor in Urban Design at University of Florence (Italy, 2013-current), Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture and Design at the Lebanese American University (Lebanon, 2015), Endeavour Executive Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia, 2018), Instructor for the Advanced Urbanism Studio at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden, 2018), Luisa is Founding Member and President of City Space Architecture,a non-profit organization based in Italy with a mission to studying, making, spreading and sharing public space culture, through an interdisciplinary approach, involving art and architecture. She is Founding Editor, Journal Manager and Editor in chief of ‘The Journal of Public Space’, established by City Space Architecture in partnership with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. 
Luisa is a renowned speaker at major UN-Habitat global summits, such as Habitat III conference in Quito (Ecuador, 2016), 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, 2018), 2nd Saudi Urban Forum in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia, 2018) and the 1st UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi (Africa, 2019). She was also selected and invited to attend the 26th UN-Habitat Governing Council in Nairobi (May 2017), the High Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York (September 2017) and the Expert Group Meeting on public space promoted by Ax:son Johnson Foundation and UN-Habitat in Angelsberg (Sweden, 2018). Luisa’s lecture ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ - www.standupforpublicspace.org - has been included in the UN Habitat Global Urban Lectures series (season 4 - 2017), one of the UN-Habitat’s most publicly shared online outreach initiatives. 

RMIT University
Australia Australia

Maggie McCormick is a practicing artist, curator, writer and researcher who has exhibited, curated and undertaken research projects, presentations and publications in Australia, Europe, Asia and South America. Dr. McCormick is Adjunct Professor and recent Head of Master of Arts (Art in Public Space) at the School of Art, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia and Professor at Reutlingen University, Germany. She is on the Strategic Advisory Board of The Journal of Public Space. McCormick’s research focus is on the impact of urbanisation and digitalisation on urban consciousness, the public sphere and contemporary cultural concepts. Her most recent research, SkypeLab (2012-2019), is a German/Australian initiative, networking universities in Australia, Germany, China, Brazil, Colombia and Spain with its final iteration taking place at the Baden Wüttemberg Embassy, Berlin in November 2019. SkypeLab investigates how contemporary art practice, mediated by digital screens, maps the emergence of a new consciousness that informs cultural readings of the urban phenomenon.

RMIT University
Australia Australia

Fiona Hillary is a lecturer and Industry Fellow in the Master of Arts - Art in Public Space at the School of Art, RMIT University, Australia. Fiona curates the Urban Laboratory for RMIT University’s Contemporary Art and Social Transformation CAST research group. The Urban Laboratory uses live test sites of practice to explore urban contexts engaging art practices in a research and project delivery model in partnership with local government. She is a practicing public artist, collaborating on a range of temporary and permanent investigative projects. Her most recent work 37°57'02.5"S 144°38'02.0"E marks the beginning of a creative cartography for the future. Fiona's research interests are in collaborative practice, the use of socially-engaged art practice as research methodology in public spaces with a specific focus on temporary installations. Fiona is a PhD Candidate at Deakin University exploring the role of public practice in re-imaging futures. With Shanti Sumartojo she co-authored the paper Empty-Nursery Blue: On atmosphere, meaning and methodology in Melbourne street art published in Public Art Dialogue (2014: 4: 2 :201-220).

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2206-9658