Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale/Milano will run two Experiment Labs to involve visitors, citizens and the representatives of the 11 partners to “challenge the city scale”.

The first Experiment Lab will take place at BASE during the exhibition of Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale/Milano starting from the design experience of the Masterclass “Temporary Urban Solutions”. Two of the best actions developed by the students and the local associations will be put on place: how to upcycle second hand objects into an urban setting and how to hack abandoned public space with acupunctural playgrounds.

The second Experiment Lab will take place @LaPiana. It will involve all the representative of the 11 partners in several activities in direct contact with the local associations and the public space of La Piana. It will be the chance to get in touch with the theatre, the neighbourhood, to explore the context and to experiment this local urban reality in Milan.

(How) can we transform a transition space into a common space, where people like to stay and to meet without being forced to consume?

Inhabitants of the area will meet at Jakomini quarter to conquer the space. As a result of the experimentation lab Graz the artists/ carpenters of “brauchst” developed some seats which will be given to the public. On Saturday they start with 100 benches. The idea is to spread them until every citizen of Graz owns ONE bench and provides it for the use in public space.

A survey on emerging convivial design in a human scale city

During the European programme Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale, the Cité du design, lead partner,  has chosen to put the spotlight on different projects undertaken by the inhabitants of its own city.Human Cities programme, which by the end of its survey, was no longer questioning the effects of scale leading to interactions between the actors, but a form that was gradually revealed as the survey progressed: the mesh.

The book “Maillages” (Meshes) consists of a review of experiences and experiments . It is a survey made by the designer Magalie Rastello who interviewes the collectives that were active in Saint-Étienne during the Human Cities project. Her work is completed by structuring commentaries by the heads of the programme at the Cité du Design (Josyane Franc, Camille Vilain, Olivier Peyricot and Nathalie Arnould), all of which has been editorialised by Victoria Calligaro, with the unwavering support of the associations and collectives and, finally, some reflective contributions from Raymond Vasselon.

Since 2014, the Human Cities network has been working on Challenging the City Scale to question the urban scale and investigate cocreation in cities. The Human Cities partners have carried out urban experimentations in 11 European cities empowering citizens to rethink the spaces in which they live, work and spend their leisure time.

Challenging the City Scale, journeys  in People-Centred Design is the final book of the project. Through conversations with people involved, the book examines how bottom-up processes and their design, tools and instruments generate new ideas to reinvent the city. It offers inspiration and insights to everyone, from practitioners and politicians to designers and active citizens, eager to try out new ways to produce more human cities together.

Title : Challenging the City Scale, Journeys in People-Centred Design

Collective book co-edited by: Olivier Peyricot, Josyane Franc, Frank Van Hasselt
Authors: Josyane Franc, Olivier Peyricot, John Thackara, Alice Holmberg, Côme Bastin, Fleur Weinberg, Anya Sirota,  Frank Van Hasselt, Robin Houterman
Graphic design: Audrey Templier, Isabelle Daëron Language: English Publisher and distributor: Birkhäuser, Basel
Co editors : Cité du design (Saint-Etienne) et Clear Village (Londres) ISBN: 978-3-0356-1796-2 Format : 21,5 x 26 cm (vertical)– 176 p Price: 39.95 € Available in partner’s  bookshops and bookshop distributed by Birkhäuser Open access digital version:

In Graz, Human Cities works on innovative solutions to encourage informal meeting and life on public space in Jakomini district using specific survey and observation methodologies and a strong measurement phase.

March 2016: beginning of survey phase by and with students of Master Exhibition Design and Bachelor Information Design.
May 2016: experimentation labs/ Interventions and development of prototypes with local and international artists and experts.
May-July 2016: implementation and testing of prototypes.
August-October 2016: evaluation.

The experimentations in Cieszyn aim to improve an old part of the city as an opportunity for economic and cultural development with its various stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Hypermatière pluridisciplinary group, born from  C.H.O.S.E in Saint-Etienne  holds an experimentation lab called “Hyperactivité( “hyperactivity”) in , Cret de Roch district, rue Neyron from 12th to 16th October 2016.

Designed as an open laboratory, Hyperactivité shares the spirit of transformation performed by  Hypermatière group in this micro-area since March 2016. The ephemeral laboratory space situated  25 rue Neyron will be open to the public. People will be invited to discover the temporary installations made with designers, artists, gardeners, children, and residents to give more life and colours on the façades and stairs of rue Neyron and La Fontaine passage through the hill of Cret de Roch. Free laboratories of making and repairing will be proposed to neighbours and citizens. Open discussions are organized to share ideas and thoughts about the future of this district under renewal, to collect inhabitants uses, wishes, and visions.



**Wednesday 12th October 2016 – 14.00-18.00**
Ceramics lab – Capturing the print of Cret de Roch vegetation on ceramic tiles – by Magalie Rastello et Yai Acosta
Repair lab – houshold appliances – by John
TEA-SNACK TIME at 16.30 !

**Thursday 13th October 2016 – 14.00 – 17.00**
Open discussion on the reconversion of vacant shops – by Rues du Développement Durable association
Repair lab – bicycle – by Ocivélo association

**Friday  14th October 2016 -15.00 – 18.00**
Repair lab – furniture – by Captain Ludd design studio
Repair lab – houshold appliances – by John
DRINK at 18.00!

**Saturday 15th October 2016 –  10.00 – 16.00***
Ceramics lab – Capturing the print of Cret de Roch vegetation on ceramic tiles – by Magalie Rastello et Yai Acosta
Co-constrution workshop : building an information board for the district – by Captain Ludd design studio
Repair lab – bicycle – by Ocivélo association
BARBECUE between 12.00 and 14.00 !





Belgrade Design Week welcomes its partners from eleven European cities to a unique international creative event “HUMAN CITIES/ SHARING CLOUD – Kragujevac 2017”, inviting the broadest public, citizens and citizens initiatives, architects, urban planers, the creative community, artists, economists, municipal administrations, media, academia and students from Serbia and the entire region, to join us on Friday, February 17th in Kragujevac.

The program is made of leading European case studies with easily understandable, concrete, hands-on “How to-” lectures, from cities committed to use design as a tool for changing their urban and public spaces and transforming their public authorities’ mindsets.

Entry is free, places are limited by the hall capacity, lectures are provided with simultaneous translation from English to Serbian and vice versa. The organiser reserves the right to change the program without prior information.

Present Kragujevac to the World, present the World to Kragujevac!

Kragujavac is privileged to be the host of this phase of the Human Cities/ project, right after Sent Etienne, London and Milan, and just before Ljubljana, Graz, Cieszyn, Helsinki, Bilbao, Tallinn and Brussels. BDW has chosen Kragujevac to be the topic of its HUMAN CITIES/ focus, because of the city’s important historical urban planing and industrial heritage in the heartland of Serbia, as well as current challenging historical crossroads between a postindustrial town and key regional university centre, with 20.000 students.

The initiative “Creative Grand Park of Kragujevac” is BDW’s contribution to the “HUMAN CITIES/ Challenging the City Scale 2014-2018” project, co-financed by the EU program Creative Europe, as part of BDW’s ongoing strictly non-profit action to develop “100 creative playgrounds for children in Serbia”, made possible by the donation of the Foundation Dragica Nikolić to the City of Kragujevac.

Belgrade Design Week and the City of Kragujevac, Serbia, are honoured to invite you to the “HUMAN CITIES/ SHARING CLOUD – Kragujevac 2017” event, on February 17th 2017 in the First Gymnasium of Kragujevac. Next to a strong line up of local speakers showcasing the urban development of Kragujevac, the conference will present extraordinary lectures from eleven European cities gathered around the Human Cities/ project, all closely related to urban realities in Serbia and the region. The HUMAN CITIES/ project is a crucial pan-european platform for sharing best practices in finding innovative solutions for living in cities today, and BDW’s conference offers a great opportunity for Serbia to present its own findings and developments to a broad European audience, and vice-versa, which is why we named the project THE SHARING CLOUD. 

Present Kragujevac to the World, present the World to Kragujevac!

Kragujavac has the honour to be the host of this phase of the Human Cities/ project, right after Saint-Etienne, London and Milan, and just before Ljubljana, Graz, CieszynHelsinki, Bilbao, Tallinn and Brussels. BDW has chosen Kragujevac to be the topic of its HUMAN CITIES/ focus, because of the city’s important historical urban planing and industrial heritage in the heartland of Serbia, as well as current challenging historical crossroads between a postindustrial town and key regional university centre, with 20.000 students.

The initiative “Creative Grand Park of Kragujevac” is BDW’s contribution to the “HUMAN CITIES/ Challenging the City Scale 2014-2018” project, co-financed by the EU program Creative Europe, as part of BDW’s ongoing strictly non-profit action to develop “100 creative playgrounds for children in Serbia”, made possible by the donation of the Foundation Dragica Nikolić to the City of Kragujevac.


Event Program:

The “HUMAN CITIES/ SHARING CLOUD – Kragujevac 2017”  program consists of an inspirational creative conference searching for proposals for design-thinking and participative-urbanism in Serbia and Europe today, as well as an exhibition of works of all eleven partners of the “Human Cities/ Challenging the City Scale 2014-2018” project. One of the presented projects is BDW’s “Creative Grand Park” development, developed as part of the Human Cities/ project and built as the first private / public partnership of its kind, between the Foundation Dragica Nikolić and the City of Kragujevac.

The conference”HUMAN CITIES/ SHARING CLOUD – Kragujevac 2017” ” presents a unique opportunity for engaged citizens and citizen’s initiatives, municipal administrations, universities, urban planers, architects, artists, economists, government, media and students from all vocations, to get introduced to the latest European developments about exploring the way in which the inhabitants reclaim the constantly evolving contemporary city (especially through experiments in the urban space) and ways of (re)inventing city life, as sources of wellbeing and quality of life. These structural changes are impacting both people and places like shops, public squares, parks, or streets in town and city centres.

Conference HUMAN CITIES/ SHARING CLOUD Kragujevac 2017 Program: 

– Welcome Note: Mayor of Kragujevac Radomir Nikolić

– Introductory Note: Belgrade Design Week Jovan Jelovac – 14:00h  – 15:30h


– History of unique urban planing in Kragujevac: 

The Šumarice Complex / Making of the Memorial Park. Jelena Davidović, Curator of the Museum 21. October, Kragujevac, Serbia

– Development of industrial heritage in Kragujevac: Converting the first armory in Serbia (The Arsenal) into a centar for the creative industry. Marko Grković and Đorđe Milovanović, Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments in Kragujevac, Serbia

– Case Study Grand Park in Kragujevac I:

How to return the Grand Park in Kragujevac to its citizens with support of private/public partnerships, using participative urban planing and collaboration with leading Serbian and global practices in design and innovation? Belgrade Design Week, Jovan Jelovac, Belgrade, Serbia

– Case Study Grand Park in Kragujevac II:

How to revitalise a neglected city park in Kragujevac into a central creative zone, with intention to provoke and inspire all stakeholders to jointly search for standards of a possible development scheme for the city’s green zones? Prof. Aleksandru Vuja, Studio DVA, Belgrade, Serbia

– Case Study “THINKtent”: 

How to use the international experience of moderating an exchange of thoughts for the wellbeing of the development of Kragujevac? Nataša Čiča,, Hobbart, Australia

15:30 PM – 16:00 PM Coffee Break

Participation in the THINKtent experimentation / Nataša Čiča (First session in English – no translation)

16:00 PM – 17:30 PM 



– Case Study Brussels / “Pro Materia”: 

How to start a grassroots initiative as a citizens association about better living in our cities, which then gets an European dimension and significance? Louisa Vermoere, Pro Materia, Brussels, Belgium

– Case Study London / “Makers Mile”: 

How to connect innovative ideas of your neighbours as a citizens association, and in the process invent a whole new creative quarter in London? Frank Van Hasselt, Clear Village, London, Great Britain

– Case Study Sent Etienne / “Banc d’essai”:

How to decorate and animate our public spaces? How to forge stronger ties between generations and to give shape to the appropriation of space for all? Where needs are expressed, practices are created. Uses becoming clearer: siting, eating, reading, playing, working, learning, calling or just looking around. Camille Vilain, Cite du Design, Sent Etienne, France

– Case Study Milano / “La Piana”:

How to continue the legacy of activating the community and improving the public space in combination with the all-encompassing initiatives of Teatro Ringhiera, and you will see the scope of public space challenged. Davide Fassi, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

– Case Study Helsinki /  “School as a Service”:

How to experiment with optimising the use of their own buildings at the Aalto’s Espoo Campus over the next couple of years. Think opening the space to the community, think life long learning, think school as a service! Marc Goodwin, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

– Case Study Graz / “Jakominiviertel”:

How can we transform a neglected part of Graz, a transition space, into a common space, where people like to stay and to meet without being forced to consume, with special focus on settling the creative industries with its specific economics there? Erika Thummel, FH Joanneum, Graz, Austria

– Case Study Ljubljana / “Skupaj na ploščad!”:

How to find new approaches and make the participation processes more attractive and playful? Nowadays the participation processes exists in Slovenia as part of the top-town urban planning procedures, but are rather superficial and people tend to reject them. Damjana Zaviršek Hudnik, Skupaj na ploščad! Intiative, Ljubljana, Slovenia

17:30 PM – 18:00 PM Coffee Break

Participation in the THINKtent  experimentation / Nataša Čiča (Second session in English – no translation)

18:00 PM – 19:00 PM 


– Case Study Sent Etienne / “Cite du Design”: 

How to use a once in a lifetime opportunity and convert a post-industrial town from a ruined historical armoury centre of France, into a national hub for design and creativity? Parallels of Sent Etienne with Kragujevac, connecting two important European cities with an astonishingly similar industrial past, but with an astonishingly different reality today.

Josyane Franc, Cite du Design, Sent Etienne, France

19:00 PM Vernissage / Opening of the Human Cities/ SHARING CLOUD exhibition in the First Gymnasium of Kragujevac


Participation in the THINKtent experimentation / Nataša Čiča (Third session in English – no translation)

The experimentations in Belgrade aim to improve the liveability of public spaces in their city. In May 2016 a series of experiments will be held in collaboration with THINKtent, Mjehur na Mrezi, and Belgrade Design Week Team. Sessions will take place with experts and inhabitants in three different locations to open a discussion on Belgrade public spaces and how to improve them.

Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale/Graz will run Experimentation Labs to involve citizens, local actors and some representatives of the 11 partners to “challenge the city scale”.

In Graz the first steps have already taken place in March 2016. Students of Exhibition Design and Information Design have started a community survey and public space observation by using Jan Gehl´s research methods, such as counting, mapping, tracing, … In addition there have been made interviews with passers-by.

Step two will be an experimentation week in May starting with a symposion followed by three experimentations/ workshops. The national and international experts zweintopf, osa-office for subversive architecture and interACT will explore the experimentation labs question:

(How) can we transform a transition space into a common space, where people like to stay and to meet without being forced to consume?

Some of the concepts of the workshops will be realised and tested in the following weeks.

Co-School. Experimentation Labs. Rethinking Learning
Jarmo Suominen, Antti Ahlava, Pekka Tynkkynen, Fernando Nieto

Co-creation process with schoolchildren and teachers, two studio courses, one design workshop and a concrete building and renewal project

In collaboration with RCA Service Design and Tongji University

Human Cities_Challenging the City Scale 2014-2018. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

Video credits
Reporter and editor: Eini Nyman
Camera: Silja Ylitalo, Eini Nyman
Music: Setuniman @


The co-briefing session is about getting knowledge about the spatial and social context for the masterclass and experimentation lab by focusing on a place called “La Piana”, a 6000mq empty square in front of an independent and sparkling theatre in the south part Milan, Teatro Ringhiera.


The Ringhiera theatre is run by an association called Atir that has been very interactive with neighbourhood in the last years organizing a lot of community engagement activities in the public spaces in front of the theatre main entrance.

Since “Atir” began to manage the theatre in 2007, a strong dialogue started with the neighborhood, the local associations and the administration in order to activate and to open up the public space of the theatre to the city. There are hidden spaces, not because hidden from the public, but as they relate to historical memory and are no longer traced to contemporary places: this is the case of the Boifava neighbourhood, located on the edge of the attractive area of the Navigli – a dense urban one – and the Parco Agricolo Sud – a protected rural area in the south of Milan.

How to make La Piana the point of connection between these two typical Milan peculiarities? How to activate this place through services and actions? How to “put on stage” the citizens stories related to La Piana?

Since 2014, the theatre – thanks to its Social Program – organized the Street Art Festival, asking international artist to re-design the “piazzale” through temporary works of art, performances and installations. The artistic process involves citizens and the local community in a sort of “composition game”, starting from collecting inhabitants needs and desires until co-construction phases, with the collaboration of institutions and administration.

The collaboration between the theatre and the research team at Politecnico was established to enhance the relationship between the citizens and the space by using design approach, tools and output.

Co-briefing session

On October 14th and 15th, a co-briefing session was done coordinate by Alice Holmberg and with the participation of Davide Fassi (Associate Professor- Politecnico di Milano), Laura Galluzzo (Fellow researcher, Politecnico di Milano), Daniela Selloni (Fellow Researcher, Politecnico di Milano), Annalinda De Rosa (PhD candidate, Politecnico di Milano), Maria Spazzi (ATIR association), Nina Bassoli (ATIR association). The session was divided in two parts:

Day 1, 14.10.2015 at Teatro Ringhiera, Milan

During the first day two main activities were done: in-the field visit of the area and “indoor interviews” to the participants to frame the works to be done. We also discussed the measuring element and that in terms if Human Cities, it would be relevant to streamline the methods for monitoring and evaluation.

Day 2, 15.10.2015 at POLIMI DESIS Lab, Design Department, Politecnico di Milano

The second day was more aimed at defining some milestones to build a brief on. According to the “indoor interviews” done, we focused the attention to “tools” and “legacy”, or how to share some tools to be used even by other partners and how to be effective in long term after the experimentation lab end, creating legacy in between the lab results and the future of the space.

> Challenges, potential and possible scope for the experimentation: Use optimization of the built environment through the project “School as a Service” at Aalto University’s campus in Otaniemi, Espoo (Finland). It consists of the creation of a new temporary school in Otaniemi for those schoolchildren whose own school is under reparation, based on service design thinking rather than product design

> Aesthetic context:
– Helsinki School of Architecture’s positioning in relation to Helsinki School of Photography and their distinctively Nordic ambience
– Cultural consciousness, in contrary to the often built-in visual obsolescence of ex. pop-up graphics
– Traditional Nordic design values and Aalto’s values of affordable, high quality good design, promoting democratic access to good value

> Partners:
– City of Espoo
– Design Factory – Startup Sauna – Urban Mill
– Aalto ARTS

> Main topics:
– Holistic approach to building
– Diversity of uses
– Sustainability statement
– Definition of Nordic ambience

> Theoretical work:
– Critical assessment of the terminology around “human”. What is the concept “human” in Human Cities?
– Paper “Happy together vs melancholy of loneliness. Disruptive practices on community and privacy”

> Discussion:
– Prototype the service operator: create accessibility to space and redefine the space ecosystem
– Access in service design
– Define overlapping spaces and overlapping uses of spaces
– Reach out to possible new stakeholders
– Create an OS (operating system) for optimised spaces
– Branding and aesthetics, benchmarks are local adaptation – reacting to context, durable design, meaningful, inspiring, creating interactions, colourful, sustainable, furniture ownership by the users, turn the uses inside-out
– Hosting + reception + interaction = adaptive business model

> Attendees: Alice Holmberg, Antti Ahlava, Jarmo Suominen, Fernando Nieto, Pekka Tynkkynen, Mia Hertsberg

The Cité du Design will lead  various experimentations on Saint-Etienne territory in 2015-2017. One of the topics is to tackle the retails and street level spaces. In the contemporary urban context, the classic city, with its town center and its suburbs, disappears to make way for a world of networks, connections, of multi- polarity. The flows of traffic – carried by land, sea or digital routes, take over from places. These structural evolutions are impacting both people and spaces , like the shops in the city centres. How to invent innovative proposals to activate these spaces and scales ?



The first action of C.H.O.S.E is to launch a call for initiatives for local actors in order to establish an experimental program in 2016 – 2017 (see calendar below)

The result of this call for initiatives was very rich: 4 local actors came forward and presented their initiatives.

  • Dynamic Boutic ! : investing vacant commercial spaces with local competences to test activities responding to social and economic issues in the Beaubrun district.
  • Mutability : actions  accompanying the renovation period of Crêt de Roc  district, favouring a changeable, adaptable and user-quality centred vision of urban project
  • IRD sensitive  Lab  : narrating the challenging scales, perceptions and movements of a city under transformation
  • Mynalab : documenting the process and fostering the capacity building of bottom-up processes of urban experimentations through the competences of Saint-Etienne and Lyon third places

Recent updates:

We have met these four groups of actors collectively and individually which was the opportunity for them to present themselves, their initiatives but also their visions and goals.

During those meetings we discussed the details of their initiatives and we debated and reflected upon ways to mix their know-hows and cross-disciplinary approaches to challenge the urban transformations in Saint-Etienne!


Our next meeting is planned for the end of April and the goal is to see how exactly the experimentations will take place!


“Ici Bientôt” ( = “Coming soon”) is the first workshop of Saint-Etienne experimentation lab C.H.O.S.E Beaubrun (Collective Humancitizens Office of StEtienne Experimentations)

C.H.O.S.E Beaubrun aims at giving to Beaubrun district a new dynamism. This popular area of Saint-Etienne is living a transformation phase with urban renovations and changes of activities. C.H.O.S.E Beaubrun wants to activate its streets and challenge the phenomena of vacant shops. From April 2016 to April 2017, the experimentation lab will gather the communities of the district to use vacant shops as a resource to test the future activities in the area : highlighting the existing shops and shopkeepers, creating a collective reflection to imagine how vacant shops can have a new life. Launched by the Cité du design, CHOSE Beaubrun experimentation lab is led by a collective of associations, designers, artists, community groups, to give the citizens empowerment, and act collectively for their district.

The first workshop of experimentation lab will take place from 7th to 9th June 2016 around “Rue de la ville” street. A vacant shop lent by its owner for the experimentation will welcome a temporary boutique of projects. Participants will enter in immersion in the street, listen to the shopkeepers and passers-by, transform the shop spaces, organize collective brainstormings and question the local authorities, draw new projects with the inhabitants, in order to settle this new dynamic and find how to continue !

Everyday 10.00 – 12.00 // 15.00 – 17.00

7th June 2016: Shared inventory of the situation.
Where are the empty shops ? Which are the stakes here ? Which specificities of vacancy in this district ? Which future ?

8th June 2016: Ideas and wills ?
Do you have a business or activity set-in project ? You would like to imagine a future for the empty shops of the city ? Do you think there are not enough community shops ? services? Come and let discuss it.

9th June 2016: Act!
How to act collectively ? Who is doing what ? How to communicate properly ? Do we keep the temporary shop ? Ho to federate ? Which are the next steps ?

Blog of the workshop :

The Saint-Etienne HumanCitizens of C.H.O.S.E Beaubrun:
– Association Carton Plein : a collective of architects, designers, sociologists, artists… which lead research-actions on urban planning and dynamisations. They were the animators of Human Cities workshop “Crossroads” in 2015 and want to develop in Saint-Etienne a work on vacant shops.
– CRFAD Loire : a community and training association. They coordinate the project with their expertise in solidarity economy, education and community building
– TYPOTOPY (Costanza Matteucc, Kaksi Design studio) : graphic designers with a project about shop windows and signs
– Collectif X : a theatre company which just made a residence in and about the disrict
– La Louce : video and photo artists, graphic designers
– La Maison de quartier Babet : community centre
– CIDIFF : community association for the rights of women and families
– L’Ecole de l’oralité: an association organizing traditional musics workshops in the district
– ZOOMMACOM and Openfactory : fablab, crossmedia, maker workshops
and many others : shopkeepers, artists, architects, residents…