Happy Summer!

Sol_gigante_Francesc_Macia (c) Greenpeace - Pedro Armestre

Barcelona woke up today greeting the summer with a giant sun on the Francesc Macià Square, painted by Greenpeace activists using eco paints. Intended to support the use of renewable energy and to express protest against the so called “sun tax” for energy self-supply, this act reclaims the educational role of public space and joins the latest technologies and concerns with the ancient worship of the summer solstice.

But the 21st of June is also the World Music Day, and Barcelona goes into the first summer night celebrating its public spaces with a sunset concert on San Sebastian Beach, courtesy of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC).


And there is more to come, with midsummer bonfires and other Saint John’s Eve rituals that honour nature and fertility, city and community.



City of Museums on the UAB’s International Master in Landscape Intervention and Heritage Management

Landscape intervention and heritage management

Museum clusters and networks,
the new generation of culture-led urban strategies
and cultural resilience
are the themes of Mila Nikolić’s seminar and open discussion
in the International Master in
Landscape Intervention and Heritage Management Program
at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

If you are in Barcelona and wish to contribute to the debate,
you are welcome on
Friday, 16 June 2017, 17:15-21:00 h
in the Museu d’Historia de Barcelona – MUHBA,
Baixada de la Llibreteria, 7.

City of Museums at the Primer congreso iberoamericano de historia urbana


Jordi Oliveras Samitier and Mila Nikolić are presenting their research on “Replicas al ‘efecto Bilbao’: La nueva generación global (Aftershocks of the ‘Bilbao Effect’: The New Global generation” at the First Iberoamerican Congress of Urban History in Santiago de Chile, 23-25 November 2016. The City of Museums keeps growing and developing, confirming the inevitability of museum clustering and routing in the contemporary city, and opening new directions in the intersection of urban planning, art market and real estate market.

Abstract: The “Bilbao effect” has been one of the most used concepts and one of the most discussed phenomena in urban history of the last two decades. This paper questions what the proliferation of the replicas of the effect, imitated innumerable times in other cities wishing for a similar success, has meant for the disciplines of architecture and urbanism and for the system of cultural infrastructure.

We analyze those urban strategies that use museum buildings as triggers and catalysts for growth or physical, functional or symbolic regeneration, focusing on cases of newly created neighborhoods (Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; West Kowloon, Hong Kong; Nuevo Polanco, Mexico City), and those that disseminate the cultural industry in art studios, galleries and museums to dynamize urban centers or re-qualify old industrial and port areas (Wynwood, Design District and Museum Park, Miami; West Bund, Shanghai) and examining the nuances, intentions and contexts, the general validity of the model and the causes of the diverse results. The sacred barriers between museums and business, if ever existed, have fallen, hence we pay special attention to the process of developing cultural mega-projects and their search for a satisfactory model even with many different actors involved.

We demonstrate that the content, the container and their surrounding do not lose importance in the cultural and tourist offer and in the educational project of the new global generation of cultural projects, but that the expectations move from an isolated building towards an ensemble, from architecture to urbanism, from one function to synergy, from the “Bilbao effect” to the cluster effect, from urban regeneration to global reposition.

Keywords: museum, urban art, urban culture, urban regeneration, new urban strategies.

Conference proceedings:
Full paper:

The Best Structures of Burning Man 2016 (ArchDaily)

Patrick Lynch. “The Best Structures of Burning Man 2016” 31 Aug 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed 15 Sep 2016. <http://www.archdaily.com/794424/the-best-structures-of-burning-man-2016/&gt;

Burning Man 2016 is underway in the temporary city of Black Rock CityNevada – meaning for one week, thousands of festival goers will romp through the desert taking pictures of the hundreds of art and architectural installations constructed for the event. This year’s theme is “DaVinci’s Workshop,” inspiring sculptures based off the artist’s famous inventions and artworks, including a large-scale interpretation of the Vitruvian Man on a circular frame.

Read on to see some of the best structures and installations found at Burning Man 2016.

#industwetrust #burningman #blackrockcity #burningman2016 #playa

A post shared by Bethany Gingerich (@the_bethness) on

#CatacombOfVeils at #BurningMan #blackrockcity #burningman2016 #sunset #panorama #panoramic

A post shared by Michael Holden (@michael.holden.photographer) on

@hybycozo – artists enjoying their art at sunrise 👌 #burningman2016

A post shared by lindali (@lml89) on

#burningman #burningman2016 #burningmanart #brc #temple #davidbesttemple

A post shared by Doug Dodd (@dougdoddphoto) on

Tangential dreams 👌🏻

A post shared by Hamish Macpherson (@hmacpherson77) on

Burningman 2016. photo by Zhangzhuo. #burningman2016

A post shared by 许群 (@uncle_sven) on

#burningman #burningman2016 #burningmanart #brc

A post shared by Doug Dodd (@dougdoddphoto) on

#art #burningman2016 #burningman

A post shared by Tatyana Kanzaveli (@tkanzaveli) on

#burningman #burningman2016 #burningmanart #brc #lighthouse

A post shared by Doug Dodd (@dougdoddphoto) on

Mad props to @lavictrola #burningman2016 #burningman #lavictrola2016 #art #steampunk

A post shared by Michael Holden (@michael.holden.photographer) on

See the best structures from Burning Man 2015 here.

Year of Aravena

In the world of architecture, this year promises to be the Year of Alejandro Aravena. Not only the radical Chilean architect, executive director of the Santiago-based “Do Tank” ELEMENTAL, curates the Venice Biennale 2016, but today he has been announced as the laureate of the 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize, reminding of the crucial purposes of architecture – public interest and social impact.

Radical Spaces of Museum Clusters


International Interdisciplinary Conference
was organised by
SCEN – Centre for Scene Design, Architecture and Technology,
Department of Architecture and Urbanism,
Faculty of Technical SciencesUniversity of Novi Sad (UNS)
in Novi Sad, September 21-23, 2015,
“seeking a debate on space as a radical, original, fundamental, extreme,
yet overwhelming transdisciplinary phenomenon”
along three leading lines:
Spatial Design, Theoretical Perspective, and Technological Approach.

Radical Space Conference Proceedings e-publication
has been uploaded on December 31, 2015, on the conference website,
including the article
“Radical Spaces of Museum Clusters: Education between Museums” by Mila Nikolić.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The abstract states:

The role of space in the 21st century and in the society we would like to regard as “knowledge-based” is one of essential questions, to which different fields of knowledge are trying to answer. Museum clusters are a spatial phenomenon very present in contemporary cities, but not as much in the contemporary research. Yet, in these spaces in and between museums is the place “in between disciplines” where all the activities and ideas of spatial design, and the changes in the approach to reading, understanding and designing of space are manifested. This article points to the intertwining of different spatial disciplines in radical projects related to museum and other cultural clusters, through which they become a manifesto of spatial design, demonstrating the ultimate role of public space – education.

The rest you can read at:

http://radicalspaceconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/RSC15-Conference-Proceedings.pdf (proceedings);
https://www.academia.edu/20267389/Radical_Spaces_of_Museum_Clusters_Education_between_Museums (full paper on Academia);
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290435467_Radical_Spaces_of_Museum_Clusters_Education_between_Museums (full paper on Research Gate).

Remembering Edward Soja (1940-2015)


Sad news that Edward Soja, urban planner and geographer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the UCLA, passed away found me in the middle of writing an article, quoting his idea of spatial capital. The City of Museums project thanks this kind and modest giant, laureate of this year’s Vautrin Lud Prize (“geography’s Nobel”), for inspiration, help and support, and generosity with which he shared his knowledge and ideas. In 2007 he coined the term “urban postmodernization of museum” to define this research, which we discussed in Barcelona meeting periodically on conferences about cities. His Postmodern Geographies, Third Space, Postmetropolis and Seeking Spatial Justice, as well as his wonderful lectures, remain a valuable source and obligatory reading for everyone dealing with city and space.

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