ISSN 1973-9702

S.M.U.R. Exhibition

Self Made Urbanism Rome

Informal Common Grounds of a Metropolitan Area

14 September – 3 November 2013 (open daily 12-19h, Thu-Sa 12-20h) nGbK (neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst) Oranienstraße 25, 10999 Berlin

A project of nGbK (neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst) Berlin, in cooperation with metroZones – Center for Urban Affairs (Berlin) and SMU-research (Rom/Aarau).

Self Made Urbanism Rome is an exhibition exploring the Via Casilina, an arterial road in Rome running south-east from the central Porta Maggiore to the city’s borders and beyond. The area fascinated Romantic artists who viewed this urban- rural landscape as complementing the historical and cultural densification with classical temples and inner city palazzi. The artists taking part in the S.M.U.R. project apply contemporary methods to investigate this historical terrain. In this process, they are continuing art history in a new way. In an exchange with scholars and city activists, they explore the self-built and self-organised city expanding here over the last hundred years.

Between formal and informal: Bairro Prenda

Joana Venâncio 

Although when observing the city of Luanda one usually distinguishes its formal and urbanized areas from its musseques (informal settlements), it is necessary to see beyond this simplistic dichotomy in order to truly understand its urban process. Without any previous formal city plan, the capital of Angola has always been growing in a spontaneous way, mostly due to micro-scale social and economic dynamics. The attempts to “formalize” some areas usually resulted in social and economic segregation, as the poor people living near the centre are expropriated and pushed towards the periphery. The present text focuses on Bairro Prenda, particularly on the subject housing, as a closer approach to the city’s urban process. From farmland to musseque, from musseque to modern new neighborhood and then to now: the houses, streets and infrastructures that survived forty years of war, a melting pot of formal and informal urban and architectural processes.


Joana Venâncio: Integrated Master Student, Faculty of Architecture of Oporto University