Architect/Designer as Urban Agent: A case of mediating temporary uses in cities

Hella Hernberg, Ramia Maze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

67 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years, urban transformations have required new work approaches and roles for architects and designers. These expand beyond the design of physical objects, buildings or urban plans, to include the mediation of more complex and controversial processes and collaborations. Negotiation among various kinds of actors has become central, and this challenges traditional expert roles and power relations in architecture and design. This paper draws upon two cases of professional experience and ‘research through design’ to elaborate the role and work of architects/ designers in mediating the temporary use of space. Temporary use is becoming a central and strategic component of urban development today, and it involves direct engagement of citizens and various local actors. In recent research, the importance of ‘mediators’ or ‘agents’ for temporary use has been identified but not explored in greater detail. We draw on participatory design and architecture discourses to conceptualize the architect/designer’s role in mediating temporary use, taking the concept of ‘urban agent’ as a point of departure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDESIGN+POWER
Subtitle of host publicationNo 7 (2017): Nordes 2017
Place of PublicationOslo
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventNordic Design Research Conference: DESIGN + POWER - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 15 Jun 201717 Jun 2017
Conference number: 7

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)1604-9705


ConferenceNordic Design Research Conference
Abbreviated titleNORDES 2017
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Architect/Designer as Urban Agent: A case of mediating temporary uses in cities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this