City Metaphors – Workshops in Zurich and Hamburg

1 to 5 April 2015

Zurich, Zurich University of the Arts

6 to 11 April 2015

Hamburg, HafenCity University

The main goal of the project “City Metaphors” is to investigate topics and methodologies of urban studies, based on approaches from the cultural studies and the arts/design, and to apply them to individual theoretical/creative research projects. The possibility to explore the theme in three very diverse city spaces (Zürich, Hamburg, Hong Kong) opens up opportunities for differentiated observations and cross-cultural reflections on the questions and issues related to the study of contemporary urban textures worldwide. Creative or theoretic projects (or projects bringing together both these perspectives) are considered acceptable outcomes.


The workshop is addressed to students interested in urban studies from a creative and/or theoretical point of view, and allows them to apply their curiosity, creativity and their specific competences in discourses in a project bringing together different cultures and disciplines.

“City Metaphors” can be understood in the classic perspective of cultural studies (What meanings does city have as a metaphor? What city metaphors exist in the arts, in urban planning, in everyday culture, in theoretical discourses, in politics?), but it also can be taken as a starting point for art or design explorations, open to documentary or interventionist approaches (How can I make visible/perceptible the city and its metaphors? How can I affect “the city”, “the urban” in concrete urban space?).

The following elements are crucial to the project:

  • theoretical and methodological input from the perspective of creative practice and cultural science;
  • examination of the topic “City Metaphors” at the intersection of creative and theoretical discourse and empirical evidence;
  • examination of the concrete contexts (Hong Kong, Zürich, Hamburg) and its key stakeholders;
  • working in small groups (or individually) on the development of a creative and/or theory- based project;
  • evaluation and documentation of the project and its progress in a final presentation and in another appropriate format for formal

Cooperation Partners

Students Hong Kong

Chang May-Wing, Fung Kuen-Suet, Jyoti Siddharth, Lau Ming-Wai, So Man-Wa, Tang Yiu-Ho

Students Zurich

Diana Bärmann, Nadia Canonica, Daniel Drognitz, Laura Ferrara, Bruno Heller, Eve Hübscher, Benjamin Jagdman, Felipe Polania, Laura Sabel, Charlotte Sarrazin, Inbal Sharon, Philipp Spillmann, Tobias Strebel, Erika Unternährer