This is our CITYx 1

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane JacobsThe Death and Life of Great American Cities

Last week the TEDxViennaSalon Event CITYx took place at the MAK in Vienna. CITYx is an idea, an invitation, and an experiment. It is where we live and who we are. It is our joys and dreams made manifest. CITYx is where we illuminate our blind spots, set fire to our assumptions, and reinvent the world we make in our image. To do so we invited 9 speakers and most importantly the city’s inhabitants: YOU!

9 inspiring talks

As an artist and researcher, Mahir Yavuz showed by powerful data-cartography that in the future smart cities will be forming themselves. Still, it is time for the people to determine the direction and pace of this transformation. “We are the ones making these decisions”. Never has there been a larger power demand and production in cities in urban history.

Planning cities in the future has therefore to include the people’s power, their potential to create and innovate. Mirjam de Klepper, social entrepreneur, reminded us that we are indeed powerful.

Not postponing the future but starting now, Sabine Knierbein’s research indicated that from Madrid, Berlin to Vienna, people become more and more aware of how valuable public spaces are. In times of austerity and social inequality, information and exchange points are needed more than ever, thusly it is crucial to redesign European public spheres.

It is time that cities become more united, both on a national and on a supranational level. “We are producing too much in favor of human action and not in favor of human needs. Something has to change”. Cultural philosopher Eric Corijn appeals on how urgent it is not to postpone designing future cities. In line with this talk, Adrian Atkinson argues that “we can’t go the way we are”. In his talk he discusses where our civilization is heading and asks: “Is the party over eventually?”

Vienna-based urbanist, journalist and rebellious optimist Eugene Quinn suggests “we should live less in our heads and more in our bodies “, and this is exactly what the next CITYx speaker did.

In his charming Talk „The City is a Stage“, Martin Hötzeneder aka Herr Finnland introduced his urban version of a classic paperchase, explaining how to fall in love with the city we live in.

“Falling in love with cities and their hidden possibilities”: This is how elegantly urban interaction designer Andreas Förster managed to put TEDxVienna’s topic for 2015 CITYx in a nutshell.

The next chapter of modern cities’ chapter is yet to be written, as author Lucy Bullivant mentions. Each and every urban citizen will have to hold the pen for a brief moment, in order to design the future urban life of the next generations.

“A city is one of the most enduring artifacts that man can create,” Lucy Bullivant


The food concept

In line with our city theme we brought viennese food concepts a la Street Kitchen to MAK. The food artists “Gaumenfreundinnen” und “Rita bringt’s” served their delicious freshly prepared “Schmankerl”. Both cook exclusively with local and organic ingredients, but the way of delivery differs! Rita brings her vegetarian dishes to you by bike. If you think the sportive modus of delivery restricts it to a local area, then you are wrong! Rita serves most districts of Vienna! Gaumenfreundinnen just bring their whole mobile kitchen and cook for you on spot! If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy their food at CITYx, check them out! It’s worth it!


Everything comes to an end

Between the sessions attendees could network and discover interactive experiences including a look and for some lucky ones a ride in the Tesla car, drawing with a 3D pen from the Laber’s lab, strolling through the Biennale or take photos at the smiletronic photo  booth (check out the photos here)! Also quite popular was experiencing the augmented reality of insider navigation and the art installation from Michaela Putz, that she created on site from sketches, maps and text drawn by CITYx attendees.




But everything has to come to an end! To finish the evening properly, live DJs from Gehsteigdisco delivered bass and beats …well, to wireless headphones. Attendees could pick up headphones, put on the headphones and choose one of the two DJ channels. Dancing we finished a great event and hereby also want to thank attendees, speakers, the team and all sponsors and exhibitors! THANK YOU!


If you missed this event and are looking forward to the next TEDxVienna event, then we have good news for you: Our main conference will be held on 31st of October and will bravely face the question: WHAT IF? More information and tickets here.

More photos can be found here.


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