Six sites reflection

Beyond models

Coordination: Olivier Boucheron, Monica Coralli

The origin of this proposal comes from the reflections on contemporary cities, further to several detours required from the study of non-european territories, where western urban models (and architectural) are apprehended from abroad and, especially in african and asian case studies were received / imported at a precise time and act again in their original forms or already transformed, although they are no longer the only referent.
Therefore, this project will address the rapidly changing cities where data can quickly become obsolete. The Hic et nunc urban environment is investigated on a space that is often very heterogeneous, determined by the model that generated it and that still makes sense, and by others, who are daily renewing it organizing the informal and (re)-arranging what is formal.
In anthropology, the use of the term model refers to the use of the concept of model in science, meaning the possibility of passing from empirical data to what can be abstract. In the case of spatial patterns, concreteness and identification of objects of study allow this modelling.
However, as for any object of anthropology, reality escapes (Izard).
To reduce these models only to their geometric and functional dimensions neglecting others (historical, political, economic, social...), prevent to see the process that is in place. Therefore on one hand, we wish to question the model in terms of its formalization in order to make explicit the source assumption and the processes of imposition and melting pot and, on the other hand in term of mental representations (reception from those who live there). Our favourite field of investigation will be the everyday life, where models are separated into fragments and traces, both relics of past changes and evidences of inventions in progress.
This project is a continuation of ten years works on non-western contexts regarding the different ways of making the city, which are combined, juxtaposed or superposed, operating within the same urban space, "as the announcement effect of same number of possible cities" (Coralli, Palumbo), that can coexist on the same territory.