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 TIME: 2017

RELATED PROJECTS: Product for the City, City Scanning Session Newspaper


PARTNERS: Teple Misto, Canactions with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, SDC, British Council, Goethe Institute, Urban Space 100, Meet Up, EVZ, Western NIS Enterprise Fund

FB page

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 August 2017, the first festival with the theme Vol.1 Role Models was held. The curators for the event were the renowned METASITU tandem specialists in architectural circles who developed innovative urban strategies and systematized knowledge about integrating humans into urban spaces. METASITU is known for the concept of ECUMENOPOLIS, which envisions the gradual transformation of the world into one city.

The idea of Vol. 1 Role Models was to analyze the space of Ivano-Frankivsk, to identify specific practices for this city, and to think about how they work and how people interact in the city through them. Such an analysis is the basis for implementing conscious and valuable projects rather than mindlessly copying them from Europe or other countries. During the festival, 12 thematic workshops of various lengths were held at separate locations. Each workshop had its own leaders and ideas.

#1: Railway Music

The leaders of the place were musicians Yana Shpachynska (Zapaska) and Mykhailo Yakymchuk (Gotza-Drala) from Kamianets-Podilskyi. With the help of music, they brought life back to the old railway station’s territory. The three-day training sessions concluded with a joint jam session.

#2: Meteoric Life

The leaders of the location are Anna Dobrova and Dmytro Isaev. The idea of the architectural studio was to analyze how weather phenomena affect people’s condition and their desire to spend time outside. Looking at the meteorological life of Frankivsk residents from a different angle, the participants built a prototype of installations that interact with the weather.

#3: Natura Camp

Seisla Fernandez, hailing from Bilbao, proposed a unique concept of designing on-site instead of conventional offices or coworking spaces. This idea led to the creation of an art camp at the German Lake premises, where the participants explored the place and interacted with residents while developing their project.

#4: DNA of the movement

At the BUKVICA silk-screen art space, Serhiy Pohrebysky invited participants to explore the theme of movement using various graphic techniques. At the end of the festival, they created a final painting on the theme.

#5: Scan If You Can

Roman Sakh and Konstantin Kuchabsky proposed to scan the city in search of unnoticed heritage to create a virtual exposition of objects that have not received the status of “architectural monument.”

#6: Garden of the Galician commune / Ukrainian archipelago

Martha Ferretti and Francesco Campagnari from Italy came to the festival with the idea of creating a communal garden in Ivano-Frankivsk. The participants will go through all the design stages – from researching the location and choosing plants to realizing the space.

#7: Urban Madman

Bohdan Volynskyi and Valeriia Agafonova invited the workshop participants to try working with the spaces on their own to change the principles of their perception and see the power of local initiatives.

#8: Industrial Device: How it Works

Marichka Semenenko is hosting a workshop aimed at finding ways to blend the factory’s historical experience with modern ideas. The participants will brainstorm to solve the question: How can we ensure that the factory remains as it is but acquires contemporary meanings?

#9: Frankivsk Soars

Anna Balazs developed an unexpected and creative format for researching the territory of the Ivano-Frankivsk airport. The working group conducted a series of studies culminating in a performance and a collective publication.

#10: Three Yards

Marta Hladka has invited a group of participants to work on three courtyards in Ivano-Frankivsk. The aim is to unite residents through a common mini-project beyond formal cleaning.

#11: Pain Motels

Oleksandr Sushynskyi and Leonid Trotsenko curated an installation dedicated to imitation in everyday life, overloaded with media traffic. Everyone could join the creation process.

#12: Revision

Natalka Dovha led a workshop to change how people view abandoned spaces (as invaluable and already used). The workshop aimed to create a catalog of such spaces while analyzing the reasons for their decline. The workshop aimed to bring new life to these neglected areas by drawing attention to these locations and launching revitalization processes.

All the Urban Scanning Sessions have a long-term impact. The results of the experiments and research have become impulses for the sustainable development of the city and the region and remain relevant topics that the METALAB team works with.