Arte-Polis 9: Informality and Alternative Spaces

Creative Community and the Making of Place

REGistration via: Conftool

The covid-19 pandemic and digital technology have profoundly impacted lives and ways of living across the globe and raised fundamental questions about urban space development. Both circumstances have led us to rethink issues of living in a formal and informal environment, and equality, access, and participation in the making of place. Cities are the first being affected by the changing living environment and the first to respond. With a large population and vibrant economic and cultural life, cities offer numerous creative solutions in adapting to the evolving global situation. The living environment in urban areas is multifaceted and encompasses many aspects and dimensions to cater to people’s various needs and constant transformation.  

Informality and alternative spaces are some of the local responses that mark the agility of urban residents to act and locally create relevant solutions. Informality itself is a transformative quality and character inherent in the built environment at any scale. It posits urban spaces as emancipative and participatory mediums for creative culture and community engagement that transcends any physical and institutional format. Alternative spaces reflect an awareness of multiple dimensions of urban spaces and spatiality in providing mediums and milieus of engagement for its citizens. It allows citizens to build their networks through various modes of spatial production. Compared to the formal institutions, which are relatively bureaucratic, informality and alternative spaces offer flexibility and collective spirit in the making a place, since both continuously experiment with creativity and placemaking concepts based on social and commodities contexts. Informality carries missions of the gathering people and reacts to the needs of the local communities. Alternative spaces emerge as people can create, experience, and monetize their ideas and interact with other people immediately by themselves.

Since spaces freely move from physical to non-physical realm, is alternative space only an urban phenomenon? How do creative communities, or other communities in general, find their ways to survive in the city? What innovative ideas in the making of place could we discover from the phenomenon of informality and alternative spaces? Does digital technology make any difference to creativity in the making of place? Do creative communities use their networks for constructive changes to move to a virtual platform? With its informal character, virtual placemaking opens new freedom of creation and aspires to provoke, disrupt and question the current creative process. How do we develop informality and alternative spaces as contributive discourses to the making of place?  

The 9th International Conference Arte-Polis will be held on 11-12 August 2022 in Aula Timur, ITB campus, Bandung, Indonesia. The Arte-Polis conference invites academics, artist-craftsmen, community leaders, local government officials, policymakers and professionals from different regions of the world to share ideas and experiences on ‘Informality and Alternative Spaces’. We expect participants from a diverse range of disciplines, including but not limited to architecture, landscape architecture, urban and regional planning, cultural and development studies, design and visual arts, digital media and information-communication technology, economics, and geography, as well as the arts and humanities. 


With a new spirit, Arte-Polis 9 will expect fresh views and critical stances.

1.     Community and Public Engagement

2.     Culture, Arts and Communication 

3.     Digital Media and Information Technology

4.     Planning, Design, and Development

5.     Entrepreneurship and Collaboration