Group – Copenhagen, Denmark
Supertanker is a Copenhagen based close-knit network of urban-social entrepreneurs working on the borders between action research, process design and urban development, led by architect Jens Brandt, sociologist Martin Frandsen and urban geographer, Jan Lilliendahl Larsen, process designer Anders Hagedorn and artist Martin Rosenkreutz Madsen mostly based at Roskilde University. From its founding Supertanker has collaborated with diverse groups of citizens including residents, urban developers, planners, politicians, grassroots organisations and artists. The network first unfolded as a civic urban laboratory in an otherwise antagonistic political climate surrounding the redevelopment of the Copenhagen harbour in 2003. Their aim was to act as impartial mediators and In the following two years, they have experimented with different means of public dialogue and generation of ideas gradually focusing on the unnoticed and unacknowledged potentials of the urban community.
Similar to the work of muf, Supertanker try to design situations and events that reveal the diverse claims to a space and to design processes that can include marginal voices. Through organising a series of conferences (2004, 2005 and 2006), public events and contributing to academic publications, they have developed a methodology for harnessing the creative and social potentials of urban wastelands. The focus has resulted in several techniques for political deliberation (‘Free Trial!’), citizens’ involvement (‘Urban Process’), user driven spatial design (‘Urban Workshop’), as well as social innovation (‘Minority Design’). Supertanker has now established itself as an association and limited company and is funded through various social, arts and research grants.
Jens Brandt and others, ‘Supertanker: In Search of Urbanity’, Arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 12 (2008): 173-181; http://supertankerinfo.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/supertanker-in-search-of-urbanity.pdf
Jan Lilliendahl Larsen, ‘Vague spaces – recognizing Other urbanities in the city’, Micronomics exhibition contribution (Bruxelles: City Mine(d), January 2010); http://supertankerinfo.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/jan-lilliendahl-larsen-supertanker-vague-spaces-recognizing-other-urbanities-in-the-city.pdf
“A central aspect of our take on urbanity is therefore that it should embody an open, equal and respectful form of interaction between people. As we saw (and still do), the life of the city and its ability to renew itself depends on new ideas, networks and other entities that emerge from this urban encounter between different people.”
– Jens Brandt and others, ‘Supertanker: In Search of Urbanity’, Arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 12 (2008):174.
Created with Raphaël
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