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Redefining the concept of the city

Registrations are open for the Bogota Platform Residency - Medialab Matadero in Madrid, Spain.
Black and white image of a building under construction.

Streets, asphalt, vehicles, noise, movement, buildings. These elements are usually the most frequently associated with the “city” concept. Their definition, however, is not always the same and may be different depending on the source or study areas from which these concepts are approached.

So, what is a city? 

The word city has been in circulation for hundreds of years. Its first use can be traced back to about 1200 with the Old French word cite. Etymologically, however, its origin is in the Latin term civitas, which in turn derives from civis, referring to a citizen. Its definition has changed throughout history and remains an open concept. 

The Línea de Arte, Ciencia y Tecnología (Art, Science and Technology Line) belonging to Instituto Distrital de las Artes - Idartes, through the 2022 City Incentive Portfolio, opens registrations for the Plataforma Bogotá (Bogota Platform) – Medialab Matadero Residency, aimed at redefining the city concept based on terms such as hybrid ecosystems, infrastructural design, new energy models, radical urbanism and the material science. 

The residency invites people to reflect on how cities can deem the relationship between the artificial, understood as the man-made, and the natural from different notions. 

Medialab Matadero and Bogota Platform introduce different concepts to be taken into account for the residency for this occasion. Among these concepts, for example: hybrid ecosystems, understood as a meeting point where a city built by humans coexists and intertwines with different ecologies, urban design, natural resources, derived and mixed biodiversity or the interposition and fluctuation in species and ecosystems found in a specific geographic space. 

The new energy model applications, infrastructural design and radical urbanism will also be analyzed, referring to a series of approaches joining together the city actors’ requirements and needs and their ecologies. 

The Bogota PlatformMedialab Matadero Residency proposes a space for thought, creation and production in the Medialab Matadero surrounding area in Madrid, Spain. The participant will have at his or her disposal the spaces and advice from the staff of this place. 

“It is possible to strengthen a laboratory exploring the relationship between urbanism and natural and/or artificial ecosystems, or how architectural design has conditioned the people’s behavior and everyday life”, adds Carol Sabbadini, leader of the Art, Science and Technology Line.

Medialab Matadero is a platform for research, creation and experimental production, whose methodology, like Plataforma Bogotá methodology proposes the collective knowledge construction through different perspectives and areas of study, such as architecture, design, urban planning, science and art. 

“Residencies allow Colombian artists and creators to inspire other contexts. Such residencies allow the artist’s world and vision as such to be expanded. In this participatory space for production, research and cultural project disseminations proposing the intersection of art, design, science and technology, the participant will be able to explore and experiment even more from the different city and ecosystem notions, and will be able to draw up a laboratory from it”, says Sabbadini.

This residency theme is particularly interesting today, since, according to the World Bank, about 55% of the world’s population, some 4.2 billion people, live in cities – or urban areas – today. This same organization predicts that, if this trend continues, urban population will de doubled by 2050, estimating that every 7 out of 10 people will inhabit these centers.

Taking into account this figure foreseeing a wide migration from the countryside to the city, it is important to find new ways of understanding cities and to cause, together, a better balance between humans and nature. 

The call for the Plataforma Bogotá – Medialab Matadero Residency will be open until April 29, 2022. It is aimed at artists, scientists, designers, urban planners, architects and any people interested in these topics. 

For more information on this call and on the Medialab Matadero context, you can find an explanatory annex on the PDE official platform. 

The application will be made through this same platform. You can find the conditions and the steps to follow in this link

Medialab Matadero is a citizen laboratory providing meeting spaces for the open cultural project productions. Here, anyone can make proposals or join other people and carry them out through open calls for proposals promoting collaborative research processes and the consolidation of learning communities.