Urban Hosts is a programme of events, which provokes and promotes practices and approaches to how we live in and govern cities. The programme brings together people who are actively producing alternatives to our existing city infrastructures, norms and perceptions.



Urban Hosts focuses on what it means to hold and rehearse, conversations that scaffold, the co-creation of collective, equitable urban futures and civic vitality.

Exploring urban living through a contemporary techno-civic lens, the programme is situated within artistic and expanded spatial practices and the implicit knowledges that emerge from collaborating with and working alongside, city councils, public bodies and community groups.

Sitting at the heart of the programme is an approach and process to designing, hosting and facilitating conversational formats, whereby moments of exchange, no matter how small are considered as possibilities for encountering the other and imagining new urban modalities.

Hosting the Conversation

Cities and urban centres are unique human habits where strangers living side, by side are confronted with decisions about how to collectively organise daily life. Cities are also centres of accumulation, where access to ‘things’ is constantly negotiated. Yet who and what gets to flourish in cities, is continually contested. Compounding such complexities, the infrastructural layers that govern cities are often rendered invisible, or abstracted. Such abstractions can lead to detachment, or a sense of disempowerment. So how do we practice the art of engaging in, the togetherness that is required, to co-produce collective urban futures?

This question sits at the heart of Urban Hosts and is rooted in the lived experience of working with others on such messy realities.

The proposal put forward through Urban Hosts, is that a habitual and intentional dialogical practice is required, that is continually and regularly repeated. This is activated in Urban Host through the design of salon style events, With the intimacy of the salon format providing a level of scaffold, support and welcoming, through which the cultivation of a conversation around what it means to live in cities is fostered.

Topics covered to date have focused on how artists, scholars, designers, concerned citizens, activists and public governing bodies approach urban commoning, spatial design, resource sharing, transport, food security, algorithmic governance, housing, ritual, communal practices, repair and care, species welfare and rights, data rights, privacy, surveillance, the right to the city, urban infrastructural histories, urban sound, noise and folklores.

When & Where

Established in 2013, in Dublin and Berlin, Urban Hosts emerged from a number of collaborations, including for example those with Dublin City Council’s, The Studio (2011-13); Science Gallery, Dublin on ‘HACK-THE-CITY’ (2012) and Weise7 Studio (ongoing), Berlin.

Since its inception conversations have been held in Berlin, Helsinki, Aberdeen, Vienna, New Delhi and Bristol. With Berlin and Bristol the current ‘root’ points through which face-to-face salon events continue to be held.

Over time the scope of the project has developed beyond the original conversation series to include a set of feral resources, known as ‘expansions’ that range from experiments in sensing urban rivers and seabeds, to spatial interventions, workshops on Unpleasant Design and hosting your own website, to residencies, screenings, performances, publications, podcasts and tools.

Urban Hosts is now home to this interweaving set of materials.