Excited and honored to be awarded a Marie-Curie Global Fellowship this year. Can’t wait to join the Georg-Simmel Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and visit the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University during the out-going phase to work on the project on urban innovations & politics of designing poverty in Colombia & Czechia.
The SURBANIN (Surface for Urban Innovation: Politics of Designing Poverty in Colombia and Czechia) project explores the global operation of social innovations that tackle urban poverty through architecture, art or design (AAD). These innovations have played an increasingly important role alongside more established global and national social policies. However, regardless of their positive or negative impacts, they are very often locally decontextualised and isolated from the urban and cultural politics that make poverty. As a result, such innovations may not eliminate poverty, but rather redesign it. The project will focus on a number of heterogeneous social innovations - from cable cars and macro-murals in cities of Colombia to small-scale architectonic improvements and design innovations in homeless encampments in cities of Czechia - to establish a novel understanding of how innovations globally emerge and travel, how they are locally implemented and with what impact. Rather than fully embracing or rejecting AAD innovations, the project inquires why they are adopted and whether the context of adoption determines their outcomes.