City Circles is a multidisciplinary design-driven research tool encouraging an examination of cities within the confines of a circle with a diameter of one kilometer. The project aims at disclosing the specifics of urban micro-habitats and inspires fresh perspectives
and ways of looking at urban life. City Circles uncovers the often overlooked and involves local communities.
A group of design students from different disciplines each focus on two topics: one given, and one chosen topic. The given topics of each City Circle are Craftsmanship, Economy, Flora and Fauna, Food, Health, Human Interaction, Learning, Materiality, and Flow. The latter, the topic of Flow, is addressed in collaboration with design and architecture students from local Universities. Each student is free to choose their own focus and develop their own research methods.
The Design Academy Eindhoven student Michela Segato was looking into borders that are physical places in which two bodies interact and converse, operating on many layers of dialogue. Each component can be seen as a territory and its meeting portrays a clash and exchange of identity. While investigating the identity of the territory around the Matadero Cultural Centre, Michaela collected and categorized architectural borders that make up this area; organized into surfaces, colors, and variety. Her fascination for details and the many layers of information they carry led her towards the creation of tools that enable a closer and sensory experience of the city of Madrid.
City Circles Madrid 2018 from City Circles on Vimeo
The aim of City Circles is to provide a way to explore those aspects of the urban that escape data sets. Data measure the measurable, but there may be a world beyond. However, providing each City Circle with the same set of topics helps open a broader reflection on each of the topic. The chosen topics grant the student the possibility to explore their own fascination and allows for specific interests and local character to be included in the research. The City Circle project intends to disclose the richness of urban life and the versatility of mankind to create and adapt over and over again.
As a bottom-up system of unravelling part of the city, the tool aims to uncover that which is often overlooked. To make the invisible visible and the mundane become insightful. Even locals, those most familiar with the area, should be surprised by the findings. It is the project’s intent to create an awareness, to provide people with a new oblique way of viewing urban settings, as well as that specific circle.
City Circle Athens 17 was the first edition of this program. City Circle Madrid 17-18 is the second edition. City Circles is a concept and method developed by KETTER&Co.
In 2016-2017 students of Design Academy Eindhoven and students of Patras University worked on City Circles Athens. Their work in the circle resulted in 26 projects. A team of students of Design Academy Eindhoven worked on City Circles Madrid in 2017-2018 and presented their work in the final week of January 2018 within the circle in Madrid.