Workshop: Special use as usual case – Better rules for creativity in urban areas

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
PACT Zollverein, Bullmannaue 20a, 45327 Essen
Organizer: Office

For Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, the office organized a workshop at PACT Zollverein (Essen) on the creative and artistic use of public spaces and their general conditions. The participants discussed and tested the model of Creative Commons-licenses from digital culture as a basis for a creative use of urban space.

Is it possible, that clearly understandable conditions of use are able to promote playful appropriation and creative development of urban spaces? How can citizens be made aware of self-organised, creative activities such as hanging out/loitering, music and dance, cooking, games in public space?

At present, users of public places are expected to obtain permission from the authorities or owners for any activity which deviates from the standardised way of use – an often lengthy and impractical process which is a barrier to new ideas and which also excludes potential users. This leads often to bypassing the official procedure. As an alternative or as an supplement to licensing procedures, we propose a flexible licensing model, which allows creative uses on clear terms for all.

Together with the workshop participants we experimented with different ways of licensing the use of spaces. We looked at existing regulatory or licensing procedures for different spaces and define creative activities, which could be licensed to the public.

In a playful, iterative process we tested options such as Playful Commons-licenses, which could be communicated through signage and digital media.

The workshop took place in Essen and was aimed at students, enthusiasts and professionals from the fields of architecture and urban development, graphic / interface / interaction / game design, administration, neighbourhood management, social and community organisations, urban art (performance, media, scenography, graffiti/street art…) up to 40 years of age.

10:00 a.m. Welcome & Intros
11:00 a.m. Overview of existing spaces & regulatory models, examples of signage
1:00 p.m. Lunch
2:00 p.m. In groups: Formulation of licenses, design of signage and digital interfaces
4:00 p.m. Together: Playtesting
6:00 p.m. Summary & conclusion

Further information:,,

Seminar-direction: Gilly Karjevsky and Sebastian Quack

Gilly Karjevsky (*1979) is an artist and curator. She has been working as co-director of ’72 Hour Urban Action’ since 2010 and is a member of the ‘International artistic committee‘ at ‘ArtCube‘ in Jerusalem. Her work is project-based, interdisciplinary, collaborative and focused on projects which explore artistic media in public institutions and public space.

Sebastian Quack (*1982) is an artist, game designer and curator. He works in the border areas between game, participation and the politics of urban societies. Sebastian is one of the founders of the artist group Invisible Playground and curates the festival Playpublik. He teaches, lectures and advises organisations on how to playfully interact with the world around them. He lives in Berlin.

The office was funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Office hosted by: Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund.