Hands on Urbanism: The Right to Green

On Display
January 27, 2015 to July 31, 2015
Kibel Gallery

Lecture: 'Hands on Urbanism: The Right to Green'

Wednesday, February 25th at 5:00 pm, Architecture Building Auditorium, Reception to Follow



Hands-on / practical; involving action, based on active participation

Urbanism / urbanization; the culture and way of life of urban dwellers


Hands-on urbanism, bottom-up urbanism, and irregular urbanization are not the exception to the rule – they are the driving forces behind the urban development and often behind changes in urban policy.


From the onset of industrialization, first in Europe and North America and then in the global South, to today’s neoliberal, developer-driven global city, the history of urban transformation processes unfolds as a sequence of critical situations. Gardening and informal settling are indicative of these crises. Taking root from below, these self-organized, self-help practices are dynamic and inspiring agencies of change.


The original version of this exhibition was shown at the Architekturzentrum Wien Az W in 2012 under the title Hands-On Urbanism 1850–2012. The Right to Green. The exhibition was also presented at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale.


The edited volume Hands-On Urbanism 1850–2012. The Right to Green brings together a number of newly commissioned essays and historic reprints. The book extends the issues raised in the exhibition's case studies to the critical writings of architects, artists, activists, and researchers.


Curator: Elke Krasny, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria

Graphic Design: Alexander Schuh 

Image Citation: Ma Po Po Farm, Ma Shi Po Village, New Territories, Hongkong, photo: Shu-Mei Huang


Special thanks to: Austrian Cultural Forum



Elke Krasny

Curator, cultural theorist, urban researcher and writer; professor of art and commmuncation at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna; City of Vienna Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Technology 2014; Visiting Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Nurnberg Master Architecture and Urban Research 2013; Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 2012;  Visiting Curator at the Hongkong Community Museum Project in 2011; Visiting Artist at Simon Fraser University's Audain Gallery in Vancouver 2011-2012; Recent curatorial works include Mapping the Everyday. Neighborhood Claims for the Future and Hands-On Urbanism 1850-2012. The Right to Green which was shown at the Architecture Centre Vienna and at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. She co-edited the 2013 volume Women's:Museum. Curatorial Politics in Feminism, Education, History, and Art.