Today, urban informality has become key to balancing the ecosystem of a globalised world. While part of everyday life for billions of people, official political engagement with informality is often contradictory, obscuring and repressive – from the World Bank’s warning of a “drag on growth” to informal trade being denounced as criminal and notorious by monopolist organizations.

The contributions to the two-volume publication Informal Market Worlds aim to challenge the hegemonic stance about informality as subordinate: In the Atlas, 72 accounts of informal market places worldwide map out the breadth of current economic transformation, from the absorptive function of postconflict and border markets to the liberal aura of metropolitan hipster markets. Assembling seminal voices in the field of global and urban studies, from Keith Hart to Ananya Roy to Saskia Sassen and AbdouMaliq Simone amongst others, the Reader connects crucial analyses of the conceptual and historical trajectories of informality with a multiplicity of perspectives on the urgencies posed by today’s informal realities.

Interrogation Series: Informal Public Demands reflects on what Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman – together with Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer editors of Informal Market Worlds – have termed “informal public demands”, i.e. the changes in urban policies and planning practices required to engage with informality in a productive and fair manner. A series of questions to the editors and contributors will relate these demands to the ongoing physical transformation of New York and its embeddedness in global processes of informalisation, be it in the realm of finance, urban development or social relations.

Teddy Cruz, University of California San Diego
Fonna Forman, University of California San Diego
Peter Mörtenböck, TU Vienna
Helge Mooshammer, TU Vienna
Robert Neuwirth , author and journalist
Vyjayanthi Rao, urban anthropologist
Hakan Topal, artist and scholar

This event is organized on the occasion of the launch of Informal Market Worlds – The Architecture of Economic Pressure. Atlas & Reader, ed. Teddy Cruz, Fonna Forman, Peter Mörtenböck and Helge Mooshammer

Informal Market Worlds – Atlas
Informal Market Worlds – Reader

24 October 2015, 17:30
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
New York
NY 10012