Urban Glitch (from lat. urbanus 'belonging to the city, urban', too urbs 'city' and the Yiddish gletshn, 'slide or slide') refers to the physical manifestation of an irregularity in the programming of urban space.
The definition of an urban glitch requires the assumption of conscious programming of an urban fabric and its spatial, ecological and social effects. Irregularities in this programming, which are reflected in the instruments of spatial planning, building regulations and in response to historical events, become visible in the form of urban glitches. Urban glitches embody processes in a planning culture that have lost their validity over time, have been compromised by parallel systems, or contain an inherent error in the program code that occurs due to the random occurrence of different, unforeseen conditions.

This website is part of a semester project in the Studio c/o now of the Architecture Department at the Linz University of Art.
We – Daniel Schöngruber and Lisa Ackerl – spent a semester researching a wide variety of objects, buildings and system processes in the city of Linz. This work is based on curiosity about human perception and the resulting communication and transmission of information. During our research, we encountered urban glitches whose origins shape a wide variety of areas of society and the environment. By delving deeper into areas such as perception theory, social theory, urban history, urban development and software development processes, we attempted to reify the intangible, intangible phenomenon of the glitch using examples and analogies and to locate it in objects in the built environment of Linz.
If you think about the materialization of the glitch based on software development processes, new possibilities for architectural and systemic considerations arise. The process opens a field of thought in which we describe how various tools such as flowcharts, error messages, and software updates or improvements can be applied to the urban glitches discovered. The approach invites us to question historical buildings, relics from bygone days, planned construction projects, energy generation technologies and various urban developments, but also human behavior and the resulting influence on our built environment. The resulting intersections with technical disciplines should not be understood as correspondences, but rather as analogies. These overlaps enable a systemic and simplified view of complex processes without having to forego non-linearity, criticism and humor.

We hope that our project will arouse your interest in urban development phenomena and we would be happy if you also discovered exciting urban glitches in your area.

Lisa Ackerl & Daniel Schöngruber (students)
Andrijana Ivanda & Tobias Hönig (Professorship)
Studio c/o now | architecture
University of Artistic and Industrial Design Linz
Winter semester 2021