What is 72 Hour Urban Action?
72 Hour Urban Action is the world's first real-time architectural competition where international teams design, build, sleep and party together to generate public interventions in a limited space within a short time and on a tight budget.
It is a tool for resetting our perceptions of public space. This tool, taking the form of a design festival, has been intervening in different communities since 2010, working hands-on with local partners from the bottom up.
72HUA exposes local issues and offers alternative ideas quickly by bringing experts and amateurs to work in microsites - those neglected pockets of urban space full of potential that are too small to officially develop but are too big for residents to ignore.
Getting Ready for Action
The festival team has been conducting research and hosting workshops with partners in Jena-Lobeda since 2018, setting up a network of local organizations and looking closely at the use of public spaces in the district. These actors help us understand and know Lobeda from within, map and collect the wishes and needs of the district and prepare the ground for the international teams to come and work on site. Ten sites are selected and analyzed through this collective process and ten missions set the challenges for the teams to respond to. The missions are decided by luck. No one knows which team gets which site until we start the clock.
72 Hour Urban Action is ...
Each project responds to how a specific site functions. Working quickly on-site means that change is easy.
Not everything in life is about winning or losing, but competitions are a good way to push forward.
The project brings together people with a wide variety of knowledge backgrounds who will do their best to find the optimal solution to a problem in a very limited period of time.
In a playful preparatory phase, we get to know the local circumstances and actors and integrate them into the process right from the start.
The project brings together designers from all continents for a few days in one place in the world with residents and local participants.
Many participants come from the fields of art and architecture, which is why all installations will follow an innovative design concept.
In comparison to sluggish planning processes, we face direct confrontation: after only 72 hours, the buildings are handed over to their future users.
The project connects local actors with each other and creates new points of reference for neighborly coexistence.
The ability to create something permanent for an individual in a short space of time is limited, but a team of ten times ten people can make a sustainable change to a district within 72 hours.
At all levels, an exchange of knowledge and skills takes place between those involved in the project and the participants learn about the place and its inhabitants.
The project addresses the problems that exist in one place and initiates an immediate process of improvement.
We translate the input from the population into structural interventions that act as the source of ideas for the administration.
Our project forms a creative antipole to the otherwise static and lengthy processes in architecture.
Passion is the strongest engine in order to find planning, design and construction solutions that will convince you within 72 hours.