A text about urban eating shaping formless architecture on Värnhemstorget in Malmö.

Somebody has left a half full beer can on the stairs. A man picks it up, shakes it easily, looks around, takes a zip and keeps on walking. I don’t think it was originally his.

In many cities temporal aspects of city life has risen on the agenda of policy makers, temporal activities have become popular in planning, attention has also been pointed to time as an indicator of wealth, some people have more time than others, one can buy time, in the form of, for example, house hold services (Mückenberger, 2011). In the field of urban design the focus over the past years has been on events and temporary use as a planning tool for activating or boosting urban areas, but the knowledge on how the physical environment relate to temporality in everyday life and also how the everyday affect the physical environment is less researched. The aim of this paper is to trace informal architectures, temporarily assembled in specific situations, and produced in direct relation to public life in cities. One activity that relates both directly to public design but also to the changing temporal landscapes of the city dwellers is public eating which can be seen as a mediator that helps reveal situations where the temporal aspects of architecture become visible. Eating is deeply connected to rhythms, both internal, biological such as feeling hungry or thirsty as well as cultural and social rhythms connecting, for example to when and where we eat.


Paulina Prieto de la Fuente grew up in the countryside in Sweden. She received her MA in Architecture from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and is currently a PhD student at the department of Architecture and Built Environment, Lund University. Her research started in 2010 as an assistant in a project about consumption, shopping centres and public space and developed in to a PhD project that focuses on temporal aspects of Architecture through studies of public eating on a square in Malmö, a city in the south of Sweden. When she is not working her heart is set on music.