Disrupting Professional Hierarchies : New Interprofessionnal Collaboration Between Artists and City Planners

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 6:45 PM
Room: 414
Distributed Paper
Nadia ARAB , Ecole d'Urbanisme de Paris, Université Paris Est, France
Burcu OZDIRLIK , Université Paris-Est, Lab'Urba, Paris, France
Urban projects are political, technical and social entities where public authorities and urban planners work with a growing number of stakeholders such as property developers, non governmental organisations and citizens, who have different professional cultures and academic training. Thus urban projects are multi-actor systems where interprofessionnal collaborations occur at different levels:

-          among professionals from different technical fields (architects, landscape architects, urban planners and engineers),

-          among professionals of different affiliations (public or private)

-          among professionals from different competences (political, technical and social).

The relationships between these different stakeholders remain largely hierarchical in spite of the literature that advocates for collaborative and heterogeneous processes. A recent phenomenon, the introduction of artists to this system, not as a creator of art works in public space, but as an actor of the urban project  process itself seems to shake up established order and existing professional hierarchies. This paper presents the results of a research based on five case studies where artists have worked with urban professionals on issues related to urban projects in France such as architectural heritage, uses of the public realm, risk awareness. We will first discuss on how the implication of artists in the project disrupts internal hierarchies inherent to political and administrative structures in charge of the project.  How does the implication of artists transform relations within and between technical departments and among different hierarchical levels? We will then show how the artists question the relations between the contracting body and the service providers. How do artists (i.e. the service provider) manage their relations with the contracting body (i.e. the city officials) and his requirements ?  In which way this disrupts professional routines of the contracting body?