NORMAL - Direct Urbanism x 4

Culture Year GRAZ 2020


NORMAL is a project of the Culture Year GRAZ 2020.

Links to

Links to projects

Social Media



Michael Petrowitsch (partner transparadiso)

Invited Teams:
public works (London, GB) orizzontale (Rom, I) Georg Winter (Stuttgart/ Saarbrücken, D)

Partner institutions:
HdA Graz/ House of Architecture
Forum Stadtpark

Media partner:
dérive - magazine for urban research

In collaboration with:
The Graz Districts: Andritz, Waltendorf, Liebenau, Wetzelsdorf
and local organizations in the districts

funded by:
GRAZ 2020


The Cultural Year Graz 2020 is an exceptional opportunity to address relevant issues of urban development at the periphery, in "peri-urban" spaces, which - although the majority of the population lives in such spaces - are hardly in the interest of planning. For many years, these areas have been transformed by unrestrained building activity, without being based on urban development concepts. As a result, there is a lack of identifiable identities - apart from the notion of the unspectacular, if not of "boredom", because these areas are developping an increasingly similar image in many other cities in Europe.

NORMAL will address this „majority of the unspectacular“ as part of the Culture Year Graz 2020. Graz has - also internationally - an outstanding reputation for architecture, while at the same time the city is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation. As the city experiencing the highest percentage of growth in Austria, it is therefore all the more important to deal with these less noticed districts on the outskirts of the city.

How can innovative artistic-urbanistic methods contribute to producing a new "centrality" (Lefebvre) and identity of these peri-urban areas, which inspite of showing similar phenomena are all very different? This is all the more urgent since the established district centres with their social structures are now under threat. These "peri-urban" areas are marked by an enormous consumption of space by supermarkets and shopping centres with their individual parking lots, and by densification. These lack qualities of public space, instead extinguishing still existing social (infra)structures.

Direct urbanism and related "other urbanisms“

Direct urbanism is a method transparadiso has developed and continuously further refined to respond to current social challenges of urban planning. In doing so, artistic-ubanistic strategies for a socially committed urban planning is developed, which is integrated into a longer-term urban planning process. Direct urbanism connects planning and action. Although many urbanisms committed to the common good and social issues (performative urbanism, instant urbanism, etc.) have emerged since the mid/late 1990s, they have hardly found their way into being commissioned offically by urban planning departments to date. With these 4 interventions by international urban practitioners (architects/ artist teams), NORMAL aims at creating more visibility for innovative urbanistic methods – in addition to creating projects for the specific sites.

The process

NORMAL is based on an ongoing exchange between the periphery and the city centre: NORMAL starts with an exhibition at HDA/ House of Architecture, where the projects are presented; this is followed by the realisations in the 4 districts, which will be presented in a final exhibition at Forum Stadtpark. All projects will be realized in close cooperation with institutions in the districts and interested participants.

Four urban interventions in 4 districts: The beauty of community

Andritz (Nord): School for Civic Action, public works (London, GB)
Waltendorf (Ost): The Third World Congress of the Missing Things, transparadiso (Wien/ Graz, A), in cooperation with the Parish St.Paul
Liebenau (Süd): Castaway on the Mur, orizzontale (Rom, I), in cooperation with the Youth Center Am Grünanger
Wetzelsdorf (West): TanzPflanzPlan, Georg Winter/ Arge Ast (Stuttgart/ Saarbrücken, D), in cooperation with the School for Agriculture Grottenhof

The urban practitioners will realize a project on site in the districts by employing their specific methods. As a starting point, transparadiso provides research on the history and possible topics for engagement. The projects will be realized in cooperation with local organisations and considered as essential impulses for the longer term development of the districts. NORMAL takes the topic of the Culture Year Graz 2020 „HOW WE WANT TO LIVE TOGETHER“ and their quest for asking for visions seriously: The process and results of NORMAL will be discussed on an ongoing basis with the districts and the authorities of the City of Graz.

Catalog NORMAL

The first catalog presents the districts in a short historical overview as well as currently relevant urbanistic/social topics and presents the teams and their projects (see pdf as download).
The second catalog with the project realizations will be published in fall 2021.


The realization of the projects in the 4 districts has been rescheduled to 2021, but the process has started intensively:

transparadiso has started to collect contributions for the „Third World Congress of Missing Things“ on the topic "normal".

Aug 13–18, 2020: TanzPflanzPlan / Georg Winter (D): Workshop-Week at the field in Wetzelsdorf with Hyun Ju Do, Julia Rabusai and Christian Richert

Presentation of the projects in the districts: with the artists + a tour with the Indikatormobil (urban research vehicle):

Fri, Oct.2

10:00-13:00: Georg Winter „TanzPflanzPlan“ / School for Agriculture, Grottenhof/ Farmers' Market, Wetzelsdorf

Sat, Oct.3

09:00-12:00: public works „School for Civic Action“ / Main Square, Andritz
14:00-16:00: orizzontale „Castaway on the Mur“/
Youth Center Am Grünanger, Liebenau

Sun, Oct.4

11:00-13:00: transparadiso „Third World Congress of the Missing Things“ / Parish St.Paul, Waltendorf


Jan. 27–Feb.02, 2021: exhibition at HdA/ House of Architecture, Graz

Realization of the projects

March-August 2021: TanzPflanzPlan / Georg Winter (D)
April/ May 2021: Castaway on the Mur / orizzontale (I)
Maiy June 2021: School for Civic Action / public works (GB)
03.07.-04.07.2021: The Third World Congress of Missing Things / transparadiso (A)

Aug.2021: four urban periphery hikes connecting the 4 districts and conceiving a new hike trail.

Sept.1-15, 2021: exhibition at Forum Stadtpark, Graz