Urban Space Invaders: Hacking Street Furniture


Who is behind this?

Matthias Einhoff

ZK/U - Center for Arts and Urbanistics



Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Street lights, benches, bus stops…did you notice that they increasingly look alike? We want to critically review street furniture with a series of workshops, conferences and develop an open source pool of practices and production-manuals, that allow citizens to become public space co-producers.

Where will your idea take place?

Berlin, Germany, TBA

Why does Europe need your idea?

The biggest challenge and opportunity of Europe is its diversity of cultural practices:
street furniture - formal or informal - offers a great variety of practices and amazing ideas, from street lights in Sweden to bus-stops in Romania…In the long run, this amazing variety of designs will have vanished in favour of more economic and regulated ideas by ‘professionals’. Our project is about archiving the great diversity, and even more about exchanging ideas and practices and developing them further to a point of prototypes, that can be adapted by any European partner. The mutual exchange of local wisdom will lead to a greater understanding of what Europe has to offer, will foster cross-sectoral collaboration and eventually create long term cohesion through creative and economic exchange.

What is your impact?

Outcomes are:
1.Open Source Knowledge Pool: documenting best practices and techniques for creating and implementing street furniture.
2.Step by step manuals explaining how to have an impact and offering creative, legal and economic advice.
3.Prototypes, that undergo constant optimisation and locally driven adaptation: A carpenter from Berlin adapts a design from a hub in Kaunas or a Croatian citizen presents a design from Porto to its authorities.
4.Local Hubs: local creators, entrepreneurs + crafts(wo)men, policy makers become cross-sectoral teams and advocates for a greater diversity of designs in public space.
5.European Network: Exchange of economic knowledge, creative forces and local engagement.
6.Upscalable Models: for how to produce and economically maintain public space.

How do you get there?

1. Conference and Workshop at ZK/U:
1.1. Invitation of European partners, artists / designers, experts and citizens
1.2. Collection of best practices
1.3. Workshops: Economics of public space / History of urban furniture / Collaborative Design Methods / Prototyping
1.4. Case study#1: Development of on-site project (research, concept, co-production, manuals)
1.5. Group Manifesto/Roadmap for Action
2. Development of online knowledge pool
3. Satellite Workshops in 2 European cities with hubs of local experts:
3.1. Presentation of best practices
3.2. Case study#2+#3: Development of on-site projects or interventions
4. Ongoing Processes:
4.1. Documentation of outcomes for the knowledge pool + maintenance
4.2. Securing finances for long term exchange of partners and future collabs.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?


What makes your idea stand apart?


€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 70000,-

Total budget

Major expenses


What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We'd be interested to hear about local practices in the creation of street furniture. Is it possible to have an impact with your local authorities? Would you be interested in adapting practices + experiences from other cities?


user number one

Idea created on April 1, 2015
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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