Placing Urban Writings. Narrative Technology and Possible Futures for the European City

Working Group 1


  • Jorge Mejía Hernández Delft Universit of Technology
  • Onorina Botezat Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University in Bucharest



The essay departs from the question: How can stories be used for the development of cities? 

In response, a theoretical framework is delineated that recognizes the built environment as a model that is both telic (a vision of a possible future) and technical (the means required to attain that future). By adopting this framework, the essay approaches the city at the scale of everyday, ordinary planning, rather than at the scale of ‘cosmic crisis’. 

In line with that approach, the essay shows how stories can be useful to develop cities given their ability to encourage and foster sympatry, understood as the quality of environments where different (even adversarial) species coexist. Different individuals simultaneously use and offer different resources to the environment they share, and some of these resources fall within the category of ‘understanding’. This final category is captured in a series of micro-narratives about the city, which are then evaluated in relation to three distinct technologies that can be seen as common to buildings and stories, namely: sense, sequence and proportion. 

Author Biographies

Jorge Mejía Hernández, Delft Universit of Technology

 Jorge Mejía Hernández Leader WG1 – graduated as an architect in Colombia, and received a PhD form Delft Unoversity of Technology, where he teaches design studios and researches with the section Methods and Matter as an assistant professor. He is a member of the Delft/Rotterdam-based research group Architecture Culture and Modernity, where he supervises PhD candidates from the programme Architecture and Democracy, and also acts as science communications manager for the EU-funded COST Action Writing Urban Places. Mejía participated in the design of the ‘Balcony’ exhibition, part of the 2014 Venice Biennale, and designed the San José de Castilla high school in Bogotá.

Onorina Botezat, Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University in Bucharest

Onorina Botezat is Director of the Center for Linguistic and Intercultural Research and Associate Professor Ph.D. at the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University in Bucharest, Romania. Her main fields of interest and research are Imagological and Cultural Studies and Legal Terminology. She is the author of Dictionary of Legal Terms, Romanian-English and English-Romanian (2011), The Image of the Foreigner in the National Literature (2016), co-author of ESP and FSP courses, and editor of the Annals of “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University Linguistics, Literature, and Methodology of Teaching. Her last book is Mapping Cultural Identities and Intersections: Imagological Readings (2019, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, co-editor with Mustafa Kirca). 


Stanford Anderson, ‘L’Ambiente Come Artefatto: Considerazione Metodologiche’, Casabella 359-360 (1971).

Stanford Anderson, ‘People in the Physical Environment: The Urban Ecology of Streets’, in: Stanford Anderson (ed.), On Streets (Cambridge, MA and London: MIT Press, 1986).

Aldous Huxley, ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, in: Aldous Huxley, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (New York: Harper & Bros., 1952), 33-68.

Marx W. Wartofsky, ‘Telos and Technique: Models as Modes of Action’, in: Stanford Anderson (ed.), Planning for Diversity and Choice: Possible Futures and Their Relation to the Man Controlled Environment (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968).



How to Cite

Mejía Hernández, J., & Botezat, O. (2023). Placing Urban Writings. Narrative Technology and Possible Futures for the European City: Working Group 1. Writingplace, (8-9).