The «Agency for Walking Culture» in Zurich, Switzerland, focuses on artistic projects in the field of walking. The aim is to explore an embodied active learning of urban space. For that the Agency invites people to participate in «conceptual walks».
In 2011 the «Agency for Walking Culture» was founded by MA Lerjen in Zurich, Switzerland, to focus on artistic projects in the field of walking. One of the aims is to explore an embodied active learning of urban space. Walking as a way of experiencing the place with all the senses is crucial. On «conceptual walks» people are invited to come along. A walk with a group begins with an experimental setting. For example, the outline of the walked route could proceed from a shape that is placed at random on a city map. Alternatively, the route is designed following or traversing strong lines in the city structure. Continuous movement along a route allows a continuous perception of a chosen part of the city and therefore makes it possible to sense the features of the respective environment. The concept of the walk sets the framework for the experience. Where is the city space big or small, wide or narrow, noisy or quiet, fast or slow, grey or green, etc? Walking in silence intensifies the effect. The guide leads the group along the chosen route, but also takes part in the experiment. After the walk there is a moment of reflection and exchange of experiences. The aim of this kind of walk is to enlarge our “circumambulatory knowing” – as Tim Ingold calls it – and heighten our sensitivity to the “embodied” urban space, enabling us to develop feelings and thoughts for places.