A paradoxical coupling of terms – the institutional with the abandoned – Civic Friche refers to the tactical appropriation of marginal sites for public function. Distinct from traditional strategies of reuse, Civic Friche describes a new approach to urbanism through civic initiative, temporary and interim uses, and public participation.


Civic Friche is an ideology. A term that resists direct translation (wasteland being its most direct and reductive English counterpart), friche has been embraced by a cadre of architects, landscapes architects, artists and thinkers as an opportunistic strategy with liberating potential. Like a Gilles Clement landscape, an architecture of friche speculates that the built environment can be set into motion, cultivating emergent behaviors over an indeterminate span of time.


A friche site, whether appropriated or new, begins with an intimate understanding of the physical and cultural context, yet it assumes that things will change. New programs will emerge. Cultural and economic shifts will invariably take place. The architect, released from the post of dogmatic creator, envisions solutions that may be fragmented, temporary, cheeky, and even subversives.


Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning, 2011


Curators: Anya Sirota, Jean Louis Farges


Collaboration: Steven Christensen


Research & Production Team 2010: Ivan Adelson, Catherine Baldwin, Lauren Bebry, Jordan Buckner, Nathan Doud, Bruce Findling, Noureen Lakhani, KaylaLim, Erika Lindsay, Mo Harmon, Jacqueline Kow, Matt Nickel, Talia Pinto-Handler, Brittany Roy, Devon Stonebrook, Lauren Vasey, Tyler Willis


Research & Production Team 2011: Melissa Bonfil, Virginia Black, Peyton Coles, Joe Filippelli, Brittany Gacsy, Chris Reznich, Michael Sanderson, Jeeeun Ham, Jennifer Komorowski, Kyung Jin Hong, Jordan Johnson, Brian Muscat, Ash Thomas, Catherine Truong


Visual Stimulus: Marie Combes, Patrick Renaud


The project was made possible through a grant from the University of Michigan's Experiential Learning Fund.