The disruption of the global pandemic also offers the possibility to assert alternate imaginaries and manifestations for actively reenvisioning urban conditions and urban life-forms. In these terms, a “new normal” contests the systemic dysfunction of the pre-Covid status quo.

Deane Simpson

Architect, urbanist and educator

Deane Simpson is an architect, urbanist and educator. He is professor of architecture, urbanism and urban planning at the Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen, where he leads the masters program Urbanism and Societal Change. Educated at Columbia University and the ETH Zürich, he has previously taught at the AA London and the ETH; and practiced with Diller + Scofidio, New York. His research addresses contemporary urban and architectural conditions, exploring thematics such as: the spatial conditions aligned to the transformation of welfare systems; the urban implications of large-scale demographic transformation; social and environmental sustainability within urban and regional settings; the role of technology in evolving urban imaginaries, and problems related to the securitization of public space. He is author of Young-Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society (Lars Müller, 2015); and co-editor of The City between Freedom and Security (Birkhäuser, 2017); Forming Welfare (Danish Architecture Press 2017); Atlas of the Copenhagens (Ruby Press, 2018); and the forthcoming Architectures of Dismantling and Restructuring: Spaces of Danish Welfare 1970-2020 (Lars Müller, 2022).

Statement Deane Simpson:

The global pandemic has imposed, and continues to impose, tragic and uneven disruption and loss – magnifying spatial and societal inequities and injustices within and across societies. Its disruption however, like any crisis, also offers a chance to assert alternate imaginaries and manifestations for actively reenvisioning urban conditions and urban life-forms – rather than a pause before ‘pre-pandemic normal’ is reestablished. In these terms, a ‘new normal’ would be characterized by vigorous conceptual and material contestations of the systemic dysfunction of a pre-Covid status quo.

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