Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati led the Urban Vision for Manifesta 14 Prishtina which was structured around two main pillars. The Urban Vision informed how Manifesta 14 took shape within the local context, but most importantly it was commissioned to develop how the city of Prishtina could be transformed by reclaiming public space by its citizens.

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati are the creators of the Manifesta 14 Prishtina Urban Vision. Within this vision, Ratti proposed a new methodology of ‘participatory urbanism’ that allows the citizens of Prishtina to take part in the reclamation of public space. This included several urban interventions that repurposed car parking spaces into spaces for the community.

The first pillar was the innovative, open-source urbanism methodology that had been tested in Prishtina since Spring 2021. Manifesta invited the citizens of Prishtina to visit and interact with these interventions and to be a part of the community that creates them. The first symbolic interventions took place at the previously discarded space of the Brick Factory – Prishtina’s most important post-industrial site – and temporarily turned it into a community space. Through creating an “urban living room”, the intervention aimed to trigger a debate about how this space can be used by the citizens of Prishtina, how it can be made accessible to the community and how it can become part of the city’s infrastructure.

The second pillar was the use of artificial intelligence to analyse public space in Prishtina. In the first step of this process, working closely with a group of students of the University of Prishtina, the MIT Senseable City Lab researchers developed a Street View database of Prishtina. A better understanding of public space and its hidden logics can bring about more conversations, and in turn social movements, about this pressing topic.

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