Urban Practice

Urban Practice is at its best when holding the complexity of the city. A practice of transformation and in constant renegotiation, deeply rooted in the arts, Urban Practice works to intersect the spheres of the socio-political, the spatio-cultural, the ecological and the pedagogical. It can be understood as a transversal approach enacting urban transformation.

The Urban Practice programme is curated by Gilly Karjevsky and Rosario Talevi.

The Urban-Practitioners-in-Residence announced!

Thank you to the five finalists and the jury members for their participation and enthusiasm!
We had a fantastic public session and learned so much about these practices and projects.
Details about the selected projects and their realisation at the Floating University will follow in March.



Open Call: Public Jury Session
February 18th 2021

To the online event: Floating University Livestream

ON FEB 18th 2021, 6-9 PM, Floating e.V will hold a public jury session, as part of our open call for urban practitioners. During the session, five finalists will present their project proposals for the site of the Floating University Berlin, with open Q&A from the expert jury and the wider public. We hope you will join us and the jury members to further question, challenge and expand the notion of urban practice during this event.

The five finalists are:

Bostjan Bugaric, Christina Serifi, Elian Stefa with UAU! Urban Activation Unit

Nina Fischer, Maroan El Sani with Art, Activism, Splitting Communities

Zoe Claire Miller, Marco Schmitt  with Exorcier-Raku

Kavita Meelu with Berlin as a Diasporic Foodscape

Maternal Fantasies with Pflegen,Reime, Feigen: On Caring Coexistences

Jury members

Dorothee Halbrock. Board member and head of projects HALLO: Verein zur Förderung raumöffnender Kultur e.V.and PARKS

Aljoscha Hofmann. Architect. Tempelhof Projekt GmbH. Think Berl!n. Initiative StadtNeudenken

Dr. Sabine Kroner. Project manager Berlin Mondiale. Member Rat für die Künste

María Inés Plaza Lazo. Art historian and curator. Founder of Arts for the Working Class and L’Union des Refusés, a global organization for art workers commons

Dr. Tatjana Schneider. Architect and academic. Head of the Institute for History and Theory of Architecture and the City at TU Braunschweig

Dr. Sumugan Sivanesan. Anti-disciplinary artist-researcher, writer and broadcaster. Produces Fugitive Radio: anti-colonial media and music, and organizes with Black Earth climate justice collective

The session on February 18th 6pm (CET) will be moderated by

Jennifer Aksu. Urbanist and Cultural manager. Co-founder and artistic director Invisible Playground

To the online event: Floating University Livestream

URBAN PRACTICE – a working definition

Urban Practice is at its best when holding the complexity of the city. A practice of transformation and in constant renegotiation, deeply rooted in the arts, Urban Practice works to intersect the spheres of the socio-political, the spatio-cultural, the ecological and the pedagogical. It can be understood as a transversal approach enacting urban transformation.

We see Urban Practice to engage with the following dimensions:

Practices / Disciplines / Approaches / Processes

Not necessarily a fixed set of tools, Urban Practice plays with all transgressions of disciplinarity: inter / multi / trans / extra / anti and non-disciplinarity as they are applied to forms of making and thinking. Drawing on complex and relational definitions such as Critical Spatial Practice (Rendell), Social Practice or Socially-based Art (Bishop), Urban Practice is comfortable being associated with most artistic fields in relation to the city.

Site / Scale / Ecology / Labour / Material 

Urban Practice is always grounded on a site, and on a growing expanded notion of site-ness. A site is more than its geo-location and its material reality. A site acts on a multitude of scales: objects, bodies, buildings, cities; the human, the urban and the planetary. Sites have affect and agency on practices and practitioners. The process of being on a site, and working with a site, is the process at the heart of urban practice.

Collectivity / Publics / Values / Forms

Urban Practice is convivial and collective. It provides a public stage for communities to encounter, collaborate, debate and negotiate differences. Without the public, Urban Practice remains speculative. Urban Practice engages the public through solidarity networks, investments in long-lasting relationships and commons-based, peer-to-peer exchange.

Concepts / Theories / Discourse / Critical Thinking 

Urban Practice builds upon multiple lineages of critical thinking and applies these to the making process. This thinking-making relay is supported by theories of ethics of care; right to the city, right to repair, decolonial studies, post-human thinking, ecological awareness, the commons, critical spatial practice and institutional transformation, among others. Urban practice dismantles knowledge hierarchies by equally embracing embodied, situated, applied and site-specific ways of knowing.

Context / Situation / Relation / Imaginaries 

Often, Urban Practice challenges rigid hegemonic narratives. Operating as a critical mode of practice, building on contextual, relational and situational logics, Urban Practice creates alternative imaginaries for a place, a community, a city or a society. This requires that urban practitioners recognise visible and invisible dynamics, intervene in material and immaterial conditions, navigating between the private, the public and the commons.



Urban-Practitioner-in-Residence at Floating University

Deadline: January 15th, 2021

Floating e.V. is pleased to announce the 2021 open call for Urban Practice. We invite berlin-based practitioners to apply for an action-research residency at the Floating University Berlin. We welcome proposals that engage directly with the site of the Floating University and with the city of Berlin at large while they question, challenge and expand the notion of urban practice. Applicants are encouraged to consider hybrid modes of thought, research and practice. We favour experimental formats and forms of expression that transcend disciplinary boundaries. Proposals can range from performance to walks, urban games to sculpture, installations to projections, texts to podcasts, research-based, process-based, perhaps open to participation, perhaps facing the public on site.

Selected practitioners are expected to develop their proposal within the period March to October 2021. The practice-based-research period culminates with a public presentation. Throughout the residency period, practitioners are invited to work on site and follow the ethos of Floating e.V. that is a self organised space and group, where practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds meet to collaborate, co-create and imaginatively work towards futures. Residents will have full access to the site of the Floating University, curatorial guidance and production support depending on needs and availability. Each proposal is awarded with a 6.000€ grant that covers fees and production costs.

Floating e.V. does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, abelism, national origin. We are actively taking steps to meet our commitment to diversity and to building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages. We especially encourage members of historically underrepresented communities to apply, including FLINT*, BIPoC, LGBTQIA+ people and people with diverse abilities.


How to Apply

The selection process is two-tiered: Applicants submit proposals online. A short-list of five proposals will be selected by an internal committee from the Floating e.V. Finalists receive 250€  to further develop their ideas for public presentation at an online jury session. In this public session, an international jury in debate with members of the public will decide upon two winning entries. The public session is envisioned as a space for dialogue designed to enrich, nurture exchange and continue to build on what Urban Practice is, should be or strive to do.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria: their relevance to the site of the Floating University – both to the character of the water basin and relation to the host association; the contribution of the proposed project to the field of urban practice; and on its aesthetic merit – either as a form of knowledge or aspect of design.

The public jury event will take place ONLINE on February 18th.

Find the full dossier open call here

Phase 1: Short-list nomination
Deadline January 15th, 2021

  • A written description detailing your planned research/work (max. 500 words)
  • CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Portfolio (max. 10 pages – 5MB)

The application process is entirely online. Short-listed proposals will be informed on February 1st, 2021


Phase 2: Jury session (online)
February 18th, 2021 6pm (CET)

The five finalists are invited to elaborate their planned proposal in an online public jury session. Each finalist is remunerated 250€ (Brutto) for their presentation.

Phase 3: Residency
March-December 2021, dates negotiable

The two selected residents receive a one time prize of 6000€ (Brutto) for the duration of the residency to cover fees and production costs.

For further questions about this open call, please inquire via email



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