City as Space of Rules and Dreaming

The project funded by Kone Foundation (2021-2024) strengthens polyphony of urban space and thereby develops a more just city.


City as space of rules and dreaming promotes emancipation and democratisation in urban space by cross-examination through artistic research, empirical urban research, political theory and legal theory. The study strengthens polyphony of urban space and thereby develops a more just city. It asks the following questions: How is urban space formed and shared, and who has access to it? What normative and de facto instruments regulate, control and inhabit this space? What kinds of processes, structures and spaces of inclusion and marginalisation, as well as disagreement and controversy are there in the city? What kind of fractures, escape lines and dreams are hidden in the normativity of urban space? What kinds of spaces of shadow, noise, potentialities and dreams are there and how do they actualise?

The study reaches beyond established art-science boundaries by bringing new and more inclusive means of “soft law” to urban decision-making and inviting different neighborhoods to dream of their own dwelling-regions through imaginary urban archaeology and fictionalising democracy combining different artistic mediums.

Project partners

The project is coordinated by the Doctoral programme at the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Other partners are the Helsinki University Faculty of Law, the Performing Arts Research Centre Tutke at the Theatre Academy in Uniarts Helsinki, and Aalto University Department of Built Environment.

Research team

The responsible leader is Maiju Loukola at the Academy of Fine Arts Doctoral programme (from 1.8.2021). The other research group members are Aino Hirvola, Tanja Tiekso and Paul Tiensuu. 

* Ari Hirvonen in memoriam 28.6.2021 *

Contact information for Uniarts Helsinki

Project name

City as space of rules and dreaming




Kone Foundation


  • Helsinki University Faculty of Law
  • Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke) at the Theatre Academy, Uniarts Helsinki
  • Aalto University Department of Built Environment

Lead organisation

Doctoral Programme at the Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki

Find out more

Read more from the project website.