Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Susan Saegert


Architecture; Contemporary Art; Experience; Moscow; Psychogeography; Urbanism


The topic of this dissertation is the development and exploration of alternative methodologies for understanding and relating to everyday urban experience. The project is a psychogeographical exploration of methodologies used in contemporary art and architectural practice to create street-level "urban interventions." For the purposes of this study, urban interventions are defined as actions, performances, installations and objects created by artists, and or activists and sometimes architects, and inserted into, or responsive to, everyday urban environments, usually taking place outside of official art spaces, such as museums and galleries. In most cases these interventions are unexpected, express a "do-it-yourself" aesthetic and have not been commissioned by any governmental or private entity. This dissertation in Environmental Psychology discusses creative transdisciplinary methods of engaging urban experience, focusing on urban interventionist art and architectural practice in Moscow and New York over the past few decades. Drawing upon archival records, attendance and participation at public exhibitions of artworks and talks, selected urban interventions are subjected to psychogeographical analysis, in addition to thematic analyses of the discourse surrounding the artworks. While some of these interventions have been situated within various genealogies of modern and contemporary art history and criticism, these practices are placed within a genealogy of urban theory rooted in psychogeography and historical geography. As such, the focus here is on selected urban interventions that creatively combine cartographic and design practices with archival practice, and that engage with a distinct sense of urban temporality. The various examples of urban interventions provided throughout this dissertation present a provocation to develop alternative ways of talking about and researching urban experience within the social sciences.