rr-dialogues is an interdisciplinary urban research project and an experiment in methodology.

rr-dialogues started as a weekly conversation between architects Alexandra Sonnemans and Caterina Viguera, founders of rotative research, in November 2016. The fact that we work together but live in different cities (*Rotterdam and Zürich) has become an advantage, rather than a limitation: the privilege to be immersed in two cities simultaneously, from which we could learn at the same time. In November 2017, one year later, we decided to expand the conversation by inviting other voices from various (artistic) disciplines. Since then, this group is growing every day with voices from all around Europe.

Topic ‘Urban transformation as event’
Our conversation started by sending each other pictures and short paragraphs based on one of our fascinations: the process of cities in transformation and the parallels, dualities, paradoxes that are part of that process.

By observing several construction sites in a number of cities throughout Europe, we realized the importance of the moment of being ‘under construction’, a moment that not only represents planning, measurement and materials but also epitomizes the intentions for such a transformation. Furthermore, the site itself unintentionally manifests a certain ‘accidental aesthetics’ and brings the past, present and future together, revealing a connection or disconnection to the surrounding (physical and non physical) context. In this preliminary research we recognized parallels in current (real-estate) developments, homogeneously transforming the cities of (a.o.) Rotterdam, Zürich, Belgrade and London.

The research is divided in rounds. Each round we compose an editorial brief that opens up the conversation. The first round of dialogues is the collective research, where all contributions are a reaction to the editorial brief.

By analysing the contributions meticulously, we experiment with the methodology of dialogues; by relating not only content, but also approaches, tones, context (*parallels, contradictions, formats, …) we create a scope of various perspectives to ‘read’ and ‘look at’ information (/the topic). The added value of including other voices from different disciplines, is that each one of them produces its own form of knowledge, with their own approach, tone and perspective as a reaction on this brief. It allows the topic to expand beyond the boundaries of it’s own discourse.

Round I has been moderated together with architects Pavle Stamenovic and Hannes Rutenfranz.

rr-dialogues has both a physical and a digital expression. The digital expression, the website, is based on an interactive, rotating index, that simulates a round table with all the dialogues. New content is published frequently and simultaneously; Round I will be expanded, when Round II is going on and we are starting with Round III. It is a continuous, rotative (circular) research, where different layers and stages are developed (and expanded) in parallel. The dialogues are shown in split screens.

The physical expression consists of seminars, exhibitions and publications, where we bring authors together and extend the conversation to a wider audience. See our news page for upcoming events.

How to use the website

Rotate the slide of the interactive index to explore the contributions and dialogues. When you hover over a contribution, the contributions in dialogue with the selected one, become visible. Click on a contribution to freeze your choice and select a dialogue inside the center of the circle. If you want to go back, just wait 3 seconds and all contributions become visible again.

When inside a dialogue, you see the contributions in a split screen; (audio-)visual content on top, followed by a descriptive paragraph when you scroll down. This goes for both split screens individually. You can select other dialogues the contribution is part of, read more about the author and navigate through the website by selecting keywords. To go back to the main index, click on the dialogues logo in the left corner.

Inside the circle you can read more about the topic and the rounds.

Get involved in dialogues by sending an email to: info@rr-dialogues.org

© rr-dialogues is an initiative by rotative research (Alexandra Sonnemans and Caterina Viguera)

© Special input by Pavle Stamenovic

© Website concept by rotative research. Developed and programmed by A - Z (Alex Roidl)