1 move or cause to move in a circle round an axis or circle
2 pass to each member of a group in a regularly recurring order
3 change the position of looking at things

rr-dialogues is an interdisciplinary urban research project and an experiment in methodology. The research focusses on the transformation process of our built environment, taking time and context as the main parameters. Our particular interests are parallels, dualities, paradoxes and the relationship between past, present and future. The aim is to open up a new consciousness about the relationship between architecture and production and architecture and consumption.

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.

We as editors compose editorial briefs. The first editorial brief opened up the research -, the following briefs are an extension on the first one, based on the research trajectory and infused by the research process. 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 the briefs. It allows the topic to expand beyond the boundaries of it’s own discourse.

By establishing these dialogues, by analyzing the contributions meticulously, we experiment with the methodology of dialogues; by relating not only content, but also approaches, tones, context (*parallels, contradictions, formats, …) we can nuance the topic and create a scope of various perspectives to ‘read’ and ‘look at’ information (/the topic).

Topic ‘The relationship between intention and result within the process of urban transformation’ (‘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.

We focus on urban transformation and investigate all the stages* that are part of this moment, that actually take up a much longer period, before and after the physical moment of construction. Important is the relationship between intention and result, a reversible sequence of stages of materialization of architecture: the representation of space, the act of building, the use and perception of space.

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; a continuous expansion - a 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.

Get involved in dialogues by sending an email to:

© rr-dialogues is an initiative by rotative research

© Special input by Pavle Stamenovic

© Website concept by rotative research. Developed and programmed by Alex Roidl & Zalán Szakács