The City Scanning Session is an experimental festival during which participants reflect on urban space on specific topics and create ideas for qualitative changes in the fields of architecture, urbanism, art, and other forms of human-city interaction. The results of the events have become impulses for changes in the city space and continue to be the focus of the METALAB team’s work.

FORMAT: research, event, education, publication, spatial strategy, industrial design
WHEN: 2019
RELATED PROJECTS: Product for the City, City Scanning Session newspaper, Makerspace, Residence WE ARE NEVER ALONE, Symposium MANUFUTURING, Public Product, City Scanning Session 2021, City Scanning Session 2017

CURATORS: Anna Pashynska, Anna Dobrova, Anna Kuzyshyn

PARTNERS: Teple Misto, MistoDiya, Department of Culture of Ivano-Frankivsk, USAID, UCF, Culture Bridges program (EU, US Embassy in Ukraine)

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The City Scanning Session is a biennial experimental event that offers a fresh perspective on urban spaces from the standpoint of architecture, urbanism, and art. Participants scan the city space based on a particular theme and propose and implement ideas for qualitative changes. The event aims to encourage the practice of reflecting on the environment in which we live, whether it be the city, village, or neighborhood. This festival marked the beginning of METALAB and has shaped many of the areas of our work and topics that we continue to explore and develop.

In 2019, the festival was held with the theme MANUFUTURING, which is a play on words that can be interpreted in various ways:

“manufactory of the future” (“MANUfaktura + FUTURum”)

“creating the future by hand” (“MANUs+ FUTURum”)

“instructions for the future” (“MANUal+ FUTURe”)

The event focused primarily on the potential of the area around the Promprylad plant. The festival spanned a month and hosted a variety of formats, locations, people, and events. In collaboration with experts and locals, we formulated a strategy to revitalize the area thoughtfully, integrating the former Promprylad plant into the neighborhood and creating a proactive community around it.

We want to ensure that the City Scanning Session is a practical and down-to-earth event. The topics, locations, and tools chosen for the session are based on prior research and will impact the city long-term. This is not just a festival for the sake of it, but rather a festival that will help drive sustainable development in the city and the region. Moreover, the strategies and techniques developed and tested during the festival can be applied to other cities across Ukraine.

We focused on six interrelated topics:

  • urban production

  • circular economy

  • joint open workspaces

  • community involvement in urban processes in the city

  • decentralization of the city and its districts

  • post-revitalization

The festival month lasted from May 21 to July 14, with the culmination taking place on July 11-14. The MANUFUTURING program featured a residency, a symposium, workshops, presentations of independent projects, concerts, performances, and readings. Permanent exhibitions were held throughout the festival. The participants also prepared the MANUFUTURING newspaper, which summarized the main discussions and opinions of the festival in the form of articles.


  • Nomadic Matter / Textile Workshop. Experimenting with materials, the workshop participants created a curtain for the POLE (PARASOLKA).

  • Public product / lake furniture. The workshop participants designed concrete infrastructure elements for the “Lake with a Swan”.

  • Next stop / children’s architectural workshop. Finding a new perspective on design and the role of an architect together with children aged 8-12.

  • Skor’s of Prom / performative workshop. Exploring and interacting with indoor and outdoor space through the body.

  • Neo:value / recycling of building materials. Searching for innovative approaches to reuse building materials in a real context.

  • Space by ear / soundscape of the city as a component of urban experience. Revealing themes and processes through sounds, creating compositions.

  • Summer school of universal design. Participants analyzed the space of the POLE (Parasolka) and developed proposals on how to make it more accessible.


The Urban Scanning Symposium consisted of six panel discussions with practitioners and experts in these fields, as well as further discussions and reflections. The symposium was timed to allow participants to attend the festival’s evening events. On the last day, networking occurred, establishing working connections and joint reflections.


METASITU curated the residency. During the program, ten participants engaged with the Promprylad territory and the surrounding neighborhood through their individual research, proposed activities, public programs, and events. At the end, they showcased their projects. Among other things, the artists made a movie about the festival.



Independent artists and associations also joined the Urban Scanning Session to implement their ideas:

  • Altered (Roman Noven, Tanya Shcheglova) — a series of photographs about the relationship between humans and nature

  • Intertwining (Calcano Cullen, Jeffrey Skip Cullen) — a series of talks, videos and floating sculptures

  • Future Lab (Detlef Kurt, Aida Neyad, Sandra Madlung, Patrick Walser, Pia Heinrich, Jonas Weinkauf) — a vision of the future around the Promprylad plant

  • What’s yours is yours. One garage manifesto – an installation from the Tbilisi Architecture Biennale

  • Performance “Anthem of Teplocomunenergo” (Nadiia Parfan, Roman Hryhoriv, Ilya Razumeiko, Andriy Kraevsky, Chornobryvtsi Choir, Lilia Gogol, Anastasia Lisna) — an avant-garde choral work

  • Cohabitation/Frankivsk (Yevhen Samborsky) — installation of a model of Ivano-Frankivsk and a film

  • Artistic Means (Anna Sorokova, Taras Kovach) — exhibition in the gallery space

  • Promprylad.Renovation (Iryna Miroshnikova, Oleksiy Petrov) — an architectural project for the revitalization of the Promprylad plant

The festival map covered 16 locations throughout Ivano-Frankivsk. The project involved representatives of the architectural, urban, artistic, and scientific communities from Ukraine and abroad. The joint activity not only allowed us to achieve large-scale results but also became the basis for friendship and new collaborations.