Urban Scenography

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The complex, dramatic spatial construct we call the city is an apogee of human civilization and its humanistic traditions. The art and culture of urban space formation is intricately related and responds to the emotional complexity of human behavior. The city’s spirit, its genius loci, affects the way individuals and communities coexist and interact and results in quality and humanism of their culture. Genius loci strongly reflects the state of our society. The current crisis of our “practical” cities stems from the popular concept of the city as a machine. As it ignores life’s emotional complexity it causes the disappearance of the city’s genius loci. There is a strong need for what the author calls urban scenography. Art of scenography stems from visualization of the life’s script, lodged in history, in cultural context and, most interestingly, in our emotional needs. In scenography, space is treated not only as a stage for our individual and collective dramas but it is becoming a living, dramatically charged character itself. Scenographic approach recognizes the city as an art form; its spatial drama acted over prolonged period of time. The city space is treated as an indivisible, living organism. Urban scenography guides us thought time-space of the city, initiates emotional link with its space, eventually reanimates and nourishes its genius loci.


Keywords: Emotive Space, Dramatic Construct of a City, City's Space as a Character
Stream: Aesthetics, Design
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Adam Kolodziej

Assistant Professor, School of Interior Design, Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Graduated from Faculty of Architecture, Krakow University of Technology (M.Arch) and Faculty of Theatre and Film Design, Academy of Fine Arts (M.Art) in Krakow, Poland. Since his 1984 arrival in Canada, he has been working as an Art Director and a Production Designer for film and television and as a Theatre Designer. In 1987 he won the Pauline McGibbon Award for outstanding theatre design. Nominated in 1986 and 1987 for the Dora Award for the best theatre design and in 1995 and 1996 for the Gemini Award in film and television art direction. Since 2004 Assistant Professor with the School of Interior Design, Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University, Toronto. Elected member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, member of Directors Guild of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television and member (affiliate) of ARIDO (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario).

Ref: H08P0078