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HKU Architectural Department: Public Lecture – “The Speculative City”

Lecture Synopsis:

This interdisciplinary symposium will explore the role of speculation in the current and ongoing reshaping of the urban environment. What is speculation, how has it been defined by scholars and practitioners of different disciplines? What agents are involved in speculative practices and who are the beneficiaries and losers in the speculative city? How has speculation changed the ways we value what exists in the present and what assumptions are associated with projected visions of the future? We posit that such questions are fundamental for understanding not only contested urban processes amidst accelerating capital accumulation in recent years, but also evolving paradigms of planning, architecture and urban design, which increasingly need to confront the growing tensions between the short-termism of capital and long legacy of the built environment. These dynamics all point to the primacy of speculation as a contested terrain of everyday struggle as well as emerging individual and collective aspirations.   This symposium will explore the possibilities of considering speculation in interdisciplinary and integrative conversation.

It will draw scholars from different disciplines and traditions willing to bring their preferred models, theories and methods to bear in a fresh look at urban theory vis-à-vis the lens of speculation. READ More>