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Exploring the urban living experience: creating urban recipes

Emerging technologies increasingly govern our everyday lives, presenting a paradox for our ways of inhabiting the city. Digital maps and services alike provide us with personalised recommendations, yet the focus on productivity and efficiency of this seeming diversification often limits how we experience the urban environment and relate to its ecology.

As a critique of the narrow standpoint of urban experiences imposed by the capitalist logic of progress and its relentless desire for efficiency, Urban Recipes is an ongoing experiment that makes, exchanges, and recreates recipes for exploring the city not through a map but through actions, observations, and associations. 

Building on the Situationist practice of dérive (“drifting”) and Donna Haraway’s notion of sympoiesis, our Urban Recipes project utilises auto-ethnographic methods and activates the city as a site for participation through play. Specifically, Urban Recipes combines the spatial exploration of drifting with the recursive practices of recipe making, presenting a living atlas of playful instructions and poetic documentations as a means of knowledge generation.

Applying this functional juxtaposition to the everyday experiences of being in the city, Urban Recipes opens up a space for new ways of relating to the city and its rich ecology of humans and nonhumans, in the process facilitating a novel approach to commoning the city. As a result, by straddling diverse lived experiences in a tangible way, Urban Recipes introduces a new practice of commoning that is both situated and pluralist.