Walking in an urban environment is an essential component of contemporary life. From the mundane – the stroll of the flâneur or a functional shopping walk – to the ritual – a religious procession or a political protest march – the pedestrian has rights and agency, and yet seems to neglect or have forgotten them. Returning to a pedestrian scale, this team will devise new ways of urban action and reclaim public space as a privileged platform for walking. This team created the The Agency of Walking. MaisonCaro & Aya Bentur worked together on the exhibition concept & produced the scenography & the graphics.
Welcome to the Agency of Walking
The Agency of Walking does not
provide any particular service.
Nonetheless, we invite you to navigate
our proposals, according to your cultures,
desires, urgencies and imaginations.
We walk the city, as an elementary form of
experience, as a site of resistance, of surrender,
for debate, consumption, amusement.
We aren’t a thing nor a person, anything that
acts to produce a particular result.
We like the ways individuals unconsciously
We don’t operate on behalf of another business,
person, or group.
Walking happens in a first person
Institutions and organizations produce laws
and regulations, the official usages of objects
and spaces of the city.
We lack in purpose, but provide indications.
We find codes and make them tangible. We
make codes below the thresholds of visibility.
Our public breaks our codes fundamentally
Our public performs the city, producing its
own interpretations of reality.
Our public uses our directions and indications,
moving through cities in ways that are
never fully determined by our plans.
Our programs have neither author nor
We weave people, places and objects
together and bring them apart.
Our offerings are mostly footsteps.
They cannot be localized.
They cannot be inserted within a container.
The Agency of Walking is exactly
The Agency of Walking – contains 6 projects :
An audio experience that leads you on
an irregular walk through the city.
Diagrams for an embodied debate about
laws, legibility and regulation of public space.
Fragmented walking exercises to experience
individual rhythms, and how these rhythms
intersect in public space.
DO YOU WANT TO WALK WITH ME?
Creating walking groups as
a social activity.
Network full of impossible, small walking
tasks sent around the world.
RUDY, the Rent-a-trolley
An urban service that improves walking
mobility and facilitates new civic and social
activities in the city.
The founding and first meeting of the Agency of Walking took place in Berlin over two days, the 8th to 9th of May. Each walking proposal was not ‘presented’ as such but ‘tested’ instead, using the city itself as a ‘testing ground’. The ‘Walking Lab’ was used as an opportunity to create a series of fast prototypes within the city; trying out, discussing, learning, gathering and giving feedback.
The members of the group who could not join us in Berlin physically presented their prototype via another person, and were available for discussions and feedback via Skype or google Hangout.
In June, The Agency of walking was tested, the exhibition concept was fine-tuned.
A driving idea behind our methodology is not go beyond the functional approach of walking as a means of transport and , instead, to underline its experiential features. Moreover, the experience the walking methodology seeks to capture, is the one that emerges during the walk and that is based upon the encountering, the confrontation and articulation of ways of seeing, perspectives, lifewords.
What we present is an exhibition, with actions instead of objects. There is no beginning and no end. The exhibition is not a representation of the experience but a trigger for experience. The exhibition as an experience on its own.
Its an open story, an invite to create you own.
Judith Seng on The Agency of Walking
Since its founding in 1964, the Biennial of Design (BIO) in Ljubljana has surveyed the state of contemporary design from the heart of Central Europe. Witnessing the many shifts and changes the discipline has undergone in the last 50 years, BIO has seen design transition from its birth at the crossroads of industrialization and modernism towards a discipline that permeates all layers of everyday life.
Ultimately, the many steps in this transition have illustrated the fragility of the discipline’s initial framework. The contemporary world is no longer a place of and for mass production and distribution; instead, design has migrated through the multi-layered networks of today towards local, specific, customizable scenarios where the designer is no longer an all-powerful creator, but an element in a network of collaboration and influence. Similarly, in a world over-saturated with products and projects, the fundamental goal of design ceases to become the production of yet another chair.
Today, design has become a form of enquiry, of power, and of agency. With it, the role of any event that seeks to represent and disseminate design has also fundamentally changed. On its 50th anniversary, BIO embraces this opportunity to build upon its own tradition and history, advancing into an experimental, collaborative territory where design is employed and implemented as a tool to question and transform ideas about industrial production, public and private space, and pre-established systems and networks.
Engaging designers and multidisciplinary agents from Slovenia and abroad, BIO 50 will create eleven teams to work on a wide and comprehensive range of topics that resonate with local and global demands. Team mentors will elaborate a brief for each category, guiding participants in the creation of one or more projects to be developed and implemented during the Biennial.
BIO 50 will be a complex, transformative effort that seeks to strengthen local and international design networks, search for alternatives to implemented systems where design can play a role, and create bases for resilient structures that can develop through time, beyond the duration of the Biennial.
— Jan Boelen/Z33