Designing the Expirience City - The Role of Hybrid Cultural Projects

Gitte Marling, Ole B. Jensen, Hans Kiib


This article takes its point of departure in the
pressure of the experience economy on
European cities - a pressure which in recent
years has found its expression in a number of
comprehensive transformations of the physical
and architectural environments, and new architectural
eventscapes related to fun and cultural
experience are emerging. The physical, cultural
and architectural perspectives of this development
as well as the problems and the new opportunities
with which the ‘Experience city’ is
faced are discussed in the paper. The article
focuses on the design of the Danish Experience
City with special emphasis on hybrid cultural
projects and on performative urban spaces. It
presents the first findings of a research project
mapping the different approaches to urban
transformation and experience design, to the
level of strategic thinking and planning, and to
the content of the programs implemented.
Special emphasis is put on projects combining
experience, leisure and learning, and on projects
which have clear goals related to the
improvement of social interaction, performance
and cultural exchange. The article contains two
sections. In section one, we present the main
theoretical concepts and framings that will
guide the understanding and the analysis of the
experience city. In section two, we focus on the
design of the Danish experience city and present
the first findings of our ongoing research
project. We analyse 15 Danish cases, which are
represented in relation to their strategic and
urban design importance, their social and cultural
content, their architectural representation
and the programmes they contain. The article
ends with a short discussion of some of these
preliminary findings and an engagement with
the discussion about the trajectory of future

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