Urban Alternatives: A Blueprint for Successful Resistance
NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join us for a discussion with the organizers and editors of The Next Helsinki competition and the new book The Helsinki Effect. Presenters include Terike Haapoja, Miguel Robles-Durán, Andrew Ross, Michael Sorkin, and Sharon Zukin.
Helsinki was the chosen site for the Guggenheim Museum’s latest effort to replicate the much-contested “Bilbao Effect.” But in 2015, advocates of better methods for fusing the arts and urbanism had a different idea. They launched an alternative design competition, The Next Helsinki, which amplified a public debate about the role of culture in economic development that has consequences far beyond the Finnish case-study. The Helsinki Effect archives the hundreds of entries submitted to the competition and includes essays by leading urbanists, artists, and architects about its significance. It is a blueprint for successful resistance: in 2016, the Guggenheim lost its bid to build the museum.
Terike Haapoja is a Finnish visual artist based in Berlin and New York. Her work investigates the existential and political boundaries of our world. Haapoja’s recent projects include Closed Circuit— Open Duration (2008/2013), last seen in the 55th Venice Biennale. She also represented Finland in the Venice Biennale in 2013 with a solo show in the Nordic Pavilion. Her work has been awarded the Dukaatti Prize (2008), Säde prize (2009), and Finland’s Festival’s artist of the year—honorary mention (2007). Haapoja was nominated for Ars Fennica (2011). Haapoja is a member of the Finnish Bioart Society, and founded the Ecology, Ethics, and Art program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Finland.
Miguel Robles-Durán is Director of the Program in Urban Ecologies at The New School in New York, Senior fellow at ‘Civic City’, a post-graduate design/research program based at the Haute École d’Art et de Design (HEAD) Geneva, Switzerland, and co-founder of ‘Cohabitation Strategies’, an international non-profit cooperative for socio-spatial development based in New York and Rotterdam. He is co-director of the National Strategy Center for the Right to the Territory (CENEDET) of the Republic of Ecuador, and has extensive international experience in the coordination of trans-disciplinary urban projects, tactical design strategies and civic engagement platforms.
Andrew Ross is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. A contributor to The Guardian, The New York Times, The Nation, and Al Jazeera, he is the author of many books, including Bird On Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City, and The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town. He is a founding member of the Gulf Labor Coalition, an international group of artists, curators, and writers focused on improving labor conditions at the Guggenheim’s Abu Dhabi museum.
Michael Sorkin is Principal of Michael Sorkin Studio and Distinguished Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at The City College of New York. He also leads a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and intervention in issues of urban morphology, sustainability, equity, and community planning, called Terreform, and its publishing imprint, Urban Research. Sorkin is an architecture critic for The Nation, contributing editor at Architectural Record, and is the author or editor of over twenty books including Variation on a Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, All Over the Map, and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan.
Sharon Zukin is Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places, which won the Jane Jacobs Award for Urban Communication; Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, which won the C. Wright Mills Award; and Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change. She is working on a new project on New York’s creative ecosystem on an ARC fellowship at the CUNY Graduate Center.