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Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance

Exercises in Urban Reconnaissance is a methodology  developed during over twenty year of activity by the oginoknauss media collective and produced by Tesserae.

It is a toolbox for  disentangling urban complexities. The online device takes the form of a collection of sixty-four different definitions of the word “city”, each based on a diverse aspect or disciplinary approach. The sixty-four keywords arranged and displayed as a circle encompass the urban field, delineating a cognitive territory open to exploration and discussion.  Each definition is coupled with a related exercise for a spatial/conceptual exploration of urbanised territories. The exercises challenge the reader to observe, assess and represent the urban context from a specific perspective, and to single out particular elements, rhythms or systems concurring in the production of the overall urban identity.

Since its first publication on the web, the interactive platform has been used as a tool for leading workshops (URLab), seminars and specific research projects, many of them documented in the related Urban Reconnaissance blog. Employed in different contexts, ranging from Northern European metropolises to sprawling territories of Southern Mediterranean coasts or small towns in the Caribbean islands, it demonstrated a great flexibility in encompassing both the common denominators of urbanisation processes at planetary scale and the specificities emerging in each given local territory. It revealed substantial capacity to include and stimulate discussion among groups with diverse profiles, overcoming specific scholarly/academic publics and serving as a dialogical basis for users of any culture, education and age background.

Tesserae provide expertise and facilitation to apply the methodology and coordinate URLabs for mulktiple purposes of urban analysis, stakeholders involvement and project assessment.

Download workshop documentation