Urban Intermedia: City, Archive, Narrative

Urban Intermedia* is a multifaceted research project, begun during phase one of the Harvard Mellon Urban Initiative, and part of an ongoing exploration of new collaborative practices that bring together scholarship, design, and media around the study of cities. In the Urban Intermedia project scholars and designers work together to develop new visual and digital methods and cross-disciplinary approaches to the study of urban environ­ments, societies, and cultures.

During the first phase of the HMUI, the Urban Intermedia research was organized into four city-based projects in Berlin, Boston, Istanbul, and Mumbai, that served as “portals” into the key themes of the research. The capstone project of that phase was an exhibition, which was presented in Berlin, Istanbul, Mumbai, and Cambridge during 2018.

Exploring the disciplinary “blind spots” of urban research, Urban Intermedia uses a range of technologies to bring physical and digital media – archival documents, digital data sets, photography, cartography, architectural drawings, graphics, text, animation, film, and video – into dialog and registration with one another. Through these methods, the distinct languages of different media interact at the deepest structural levels. They hybridize, exchange properties and techniques, and, in the process, generate new “intermedia” languages, and with them new ways of examining complex and dynamic urban phenomena through multiple critical lenses.

In phase two of the HMUI, the Urban Intermedia project is carried forward in Recovery Through Remediation: Landscape and Economic Transformation of the GDR’s ‘Energy District’ ***  Advancing research begun in the Berlin Portal, that project examines the transformation of the opencast lignite mining region of Lower Lusatia in eastern Germany into a lake district, and center for renewable energy production.

* See: Blau, Eve. “Urban Intermedia: City, Archive, Narrative.” In Laura Kurgan and Dare Brawley, eds. Ways of Knowing Cities. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019, pp. 207-235


Urban Intermedia Exhibition Credits:


Exhibition Curators

Robert Gerard Pietrusko

Installation Design

Eric Höweler
David Hamm
Caleb Hawkins

Exhibition Coordinator

Gül Neşe Doğusan Alexander

Art Director

Robert Gerard Pietrusko


Scott March Smith

Web Design and Development

Nil Tuzcu
Namik Mačkić
Rob Meyerson

Brochure Design

Claudia Tomateo
Scott March Smith

Berlin Team

Eve Blau, Research Director
Igor Ekštajn, Research Associate
Max Hirsh, Research Associate
Pedro Aparicio
Silvia Danielak
Mikela De Tchaves
Emma Goode
Adam Himes
Eli Keller
Michael Keller
Aleksandra Kudryashova
Namik Mačkić
Scott March Smith
Claudia Tomateo

Boston Team

Stephen Gray, Research Director
Alex Krieger, Research Director
Caroline Filice Smith, Research Associate
Hannah Gaegler
Emma Goode
Jeremey Hartley
Renia Kagkou
Annie Liang
Erica Rothman

Istanbul Team

Sibel Bozdoğan, Research Director
Gül Neşe Doğusan Alexander, Research Director
Nil Tuzcu, Research Associate
Marysol Rivas Brito
Ece Cömert
Adam Himes
Hazal Seval
Dana Shaikh Solaiman

Mumbai Team

Rahul Mehrotra, Research Director
Kate Cahill, Research Associate
Smita Babar
Enrique Aureng Silva Estrada
Emma Goode
Mark Jongman-Sereno
Gabriel Munoz Moreno
Aditya Sawant
Esa Shaikh
Apoorva Shenvi
Scott March Smith
Clauda Tomaeto
Sonny Xu
Jessy Yang