Creative Urban Methods


Exploring Presence

Utrecht University, Lustrum 2021

Exercise 6: Nothing happens here

Introduction: walking the borders of the research area

The city of Utrecht is both a city of the past and the future. Being one of the oldest cities of the Netherlands, Utrecht and its architecture remind us daily of earlier times. At the same time Utrecht presents itself as a city of the future: working towards ‘healthy urban living’, focusing on innovation, health economy and infrastructure. Scholars of Utrecht University are actively involved in research about the past and the future of the city. But what about the present?

In this workshop we’ll research the concept of ‘the present’ by creatively mapping the here and now of the city with all our senses: we will be drawing and writing, using photography, soundscapes and our bodies to capture the multiple presences in the city at this particular moment: humans, non-humans, actions, interactions, mobilities, images, sounds, smells, energies, ideas and fantasies. We will use our findings to collectively discuss what the presence might entail.

Sheet with exercises