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November 2021 marks one decade since the birth of Tesserae Urban Social Research. Ten years ago Tesserae started as a simple alliance between Laura Colini and Lorenzo Tripodi – a space to share ideas, reflections and expertise on urban policy with friends and collaborators. Starting from a deep interest in urban studies, deriving from both founders having backgrounds in architecture and urban planning,Tesserae expanded into an international multidisciplinary organisation, working on themes of social inclusion and innovation, migration, housing, education, participatory practice, media, culture and much more besides.

LEARNING FROM CONTEXT - Conference and workshop - Berlin
LEARNING FROM CONTEXT – Conference and workshop – Berlin

From its outset, Tesserae has developed its own unique field of work, combining policy making with grassroots activism and academic research with art and creative approaches. Along the way we have had the good fortune to come into contact with an amazing array of peers and collaborators engaged in reclaiming a just vision of collective urban life. We have partnered with numerous organisations and initiatives over the years, sharing ideas on contemporary urban reality, learning from each other and exchanging practices along the way. Today, many of these enthusiastic collaborators and travel companions have come to form the backbone of Tesserae. We currently count a team of 12 people from 4 different countries among our full and part time staff, in addition to a flexible pool of international specialists who come on board when needed.

Workshop with student in Latina
UPPER Project – Latina

Over the past two years we have gradually begun a process of restructuring our organisation in order to continue innovating and responding effectively to new challenges and opportunities. This process, aimed at consolidating our core practices and expanding into new ventures and territories, has seen us open a new office in Firenze, create partnerships with sister organisations in Italy and elsewhere in the EU and begin on building a new non-profit association in Germany through which to continue our work. In addition, we are also currently redesigning our website with a totally new interface, featuring a new articles section, events listings and improvements to our engagement atlas.

Co-creation project. Rio de Janeiro. interviews
Interviews from Co-creation project. Rio de Janeiro.

Tesserae Dialogues

To celebrate ten years of Tesserae, and to look forward into the next decade of our work, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new ‘Tesserae Dialogues’ web series. Starting in December 2021, Laura Colini and Lorenzo Tripodi will host a series of monthly online conversations with ten activists, researchers and policy experts who have served as essential reference points for Tesserae’s work. Together, they will explore some of the inspirations, struggles and strategies that have marked Tesserae’s ten year journey, whilst also discussing the state of international urban policies and politics in the present and beyond.

The series will be kicked-off with the launch of Tesserae Dialogue #0 on Friday November 26th. The inaugural episode will feature an online conversation between Laura, Lorenzo and Tesserae contributor Ben Sassen to discuss Tesserae’s history, international urban research and to present the programme of the ten upcoming dialogues.


You can follow our ten year anniversary celebrations and events via our twitter hashtag #TSR10

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