Danish Architecture Center

Photos of the flip side of the city

Clean lines, a cloudless sky and entirely devoid of people. Architectural photography is often so focused on the building itself that the people who will be using it are all but forgotten. The exhibition ‘City struck – photos of living places’ at the Danish Architecture Center showcases a selection of photos from all over the world, focusing on the interactions between people and the city.


It seeks to give traditional architectural photography more of an edge and provide alternative views of the city. Life in the city can be chaotic at times, and people often use architecture in entirely different ways than originally intended – and it is in this confluence that the most interesting photos emerge. With this exhibition – our last before moving to our new location in BLOX next year – we want to celebrate the people of the city. Architects and planners may design the city, but it is the people living there who define and create city life.

Tanya Lindkvist, Head of Program for LIFE, Danish Architecture Center


As we move about the city, we experience unexpected meetings, social contrasts or sudden glimpses into other people’s lives. We are struck by the city and it forms us, even though we gave the city its form originally.

City struck – photos of living places presents photos of the boundaries, meetings and flows that occur in the city. These are neither desolate architectural photographs nor glossy images of the good life in the city where the sun always shines. This exhibition delves beneath the shiny surface of the city to show us the everyday routines, social contrasts and conduits that connect urban life.

First we form the city, then it forms us

‘City struck’ explores how architecture and people influence each other in a constant dynamic process. How are people’s social lives influenced by urban design? And what happens when people use the city in an entirely different way than the architect originally intended?

This exhibition consists of three themes: meetings, flows and boundaries. In ‘meetings’, you will find close-up shots of the meetings between people, the meetings between people and nature in the city and the physical meeting places that shape the city. In ‘flows’, we capture the city’s constant ebb and flow: people, traffic, goods, water, money and communication. They generally flow freely – and it is not until they stop that we become aware of their importance. In the final theme, ‘boundaries’, we feature a selection of photos that examine the boundaries between public and private, between different urban districts, between old and new, and between rich and poor in the city.

‘City struck’ invites the public to explore the city, to observe its offbeat, humorous and imperfect life – and to talk with others about how we use the city, how it influences us and, not least, how we want our cities to develop in the future.

‘City struck – photos of living places’ is curated by Marie Stender and developed by the Danish Architecture Center. This exhibition is sponsored by Realdania.

About the exhibition

City struck – photos of living places will run at the Danish Architecture Center (level 1), Strandgade 27B, 1401 Copenhagen until 28 February 2018. Admission: DKK 60


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