Penser créer l'urbain

Corporeality and narrations

Mobilize urban stories as methods of knowledge and action

The various public workshops of the Forum were designed, organized and facilitated by an interdisciplinary team (Sociology, Design, Art History) of UQAM and Université de Montréal researchers as well as social innovation organizations experienced in mediation techniques and connoisseurs of the surrounding neighbourhoods of the future MIL Campus (Exeko and Mise au jeu). These workshops were carried out in collaboration with the commissioner for cultural mediation of the City of Montreal. The main goal of this Forum was to develop over two days a creative community based on the knowledge of the citizens. It revived the already documented reflection on integrated urban campuses and enriched it with transformative actions (theater-forum, mediation workshops, commented walks in the neighbourhoods, vox pop, directed mapping, prospective co-design on scenarios of circular economy…).

The students involved in the project and enrolled in the Sociology course on “Research approaches in urban space” have discovered and tested methodological approaches designed to initiate processes that are both reflective and creative. For their contribution to the project, some of them have chosen to emphasize a conception of the city in its lived and embodied dimension. In this perspective, they explored the neighbourhoods by focusing their attention on the daily movements deployed there, while taking into account the contexts that form them (urban development, functions and actual uses of space, physical and symbolic boundaries, etc.). The following propositions create a link between the body and the narrative in urban space.

Wanting to emphasize the importance of the place in the experience of everyday life, but also the undeniable reciprocity that constitutes every territory – especially between space and those who invest it –, Laurence Jutras presents here the “Walking Interview” method. These interviews, carried out on site and in motion, enable us, through the narration of the ordinary experiences of a neighbourhood, to reveal “the attitudes, knowledge, emotions, memories, expectations that inform its practices and the general experience of a specific context”.

This proposal dialogues with a creative research tool created by Laurence Jutras and Noé Klein. Responding to the concerns of the speakers at Forum and Symposium events regarding the socioeconomic impacts of the implementation of the future Campus in the Parc Extension district, the two students questioned the emotional dimension of neighbourhood life. They ask here whether the sense of belonging can be mapped.

Julie Deslandes Leduc and Valérie Rioux have designed a creative research tool capable of capturing the “daily choreography of the movements and uses” of a given public space. The arrival of the future Campus will indeed restructure certain characteristics of the neighbourhoods bordering the old railway yard of Outremont, including Parc Extension. The research of the two students focused on the area surrounding the Acadie metro station, which is currently the only planned passage, through a bridge, connecting the future Campus to Parc Extension.

This phenomenological perspective of the body in the city while its being gentrified is also the starting point of the postdoctoral research of Sofia Eliza Bouratsis, which proposes to examine the carnal, felt and perceptual relationships to architecture, urban development and planning. It focuses on the symbolic and affective boundaries that are established in the urban environment. It thus proposes a questioning on the notion of urban boundary, both as a place of confrontation and as a place that can be inhabited – notably by the reactivation of artistic performances.