Bruit du frigo is an urban creation collective founded in 1997, which gathers architects, artists, urban designers, mediators and builders.

Bruit du frigo creates artistic, participative and contextual projects on public space, combining urban installations, micro-architectures, collective actions and cultural events.

At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.

As pioneers of spaces, activators of uses, generators of urbanity, our urban prospective and citizen emulation tools are based on an offbeat, playful and poetic approach. They are deployed on a small and large scale, in an ephemeral or permanent way, based on a concrete immersion in reality and a particular attention to daily practices.

Bruit du frigo initiates its own projects and accompanies those carried out by public authorities, cultural and social structures or civil society.
We are involved in urban transformation and spatial planning processes, cultural events or artistic events.
Depending on the project, the collective works with other design teams : architects, urban designers, landscape architects, artists, engineers…


Can we imagine an alternative to urban planning, “made to last” ?
  • An urbanism of prefiguration, which explores and tests possibilities,
  • A situational urbanism, which reveals and increases the poetic and use potential of spaces,
  • A laboratory urbanism, which focuses as much on the process as on the result,
  • A permissive urbanism, which offers a real place to the informal and the unexpected,
  • An activist urbanism, which encourages appropriation and self-construction initiatives,
  • A stimulating urbanism, which fights against the impoverishment of public space and withdrawal into oneself,
  • A transitional urbanism, towards a sustainable, shared and welcoming city…


Creative city and desirable development, towards a cooperative and citizen urban fabric.

If the development of the democratic project remains an issue for our societies, then an increasing number of individuals should find the possibilities of having control over the permanent fabric of the world in which we live.
The co-production of our common spaces requires the invention of innovative forms of cooperation between decision-makers, designers and users.
The cooperative urbanism means breaking with the domination of specialists and restoring the power and capacity to act to civil society. It implies building on the imagination and creativity of citizens and promoting collective dynamics.
Finally, it requires a rethinking of the possible role of architects as facilitators, companions in action, poetic agents and activists of everyday life.


At the beginning….

The Bruit du frigo approach was initiated in 1995 by Gabi Farage and Yvan Detraz, then architecture students in Bordeaux.  The association loi 1901 Bruit du frigo was created in 1997. 

Bruit du frigo is born from the awareness of architecture students who one day realize that they do not find in training what they are looking for. The main finding was the disconcerting gap between what the school was transmitting and the complex urban and social realities that it did not take into account. The training seems to conceal the social responsibility of the architect, reducing him to his unique role as a producer of spaces. We were more concerned with the ethical and political foundations of the discipline than with the realities of the profession.

We then decided, in parallel to our studies, to move onto the street to look for what we could not find in the school : a culture of everyday life and reality, an active and creative relationship with places and people.

How do the inhabitants live the city and appropriate public spaces ? What are their needs, their dreams ? What can be invented to improve our living environment ? How can we enjoy our cities more ? What else do they have to offer us, as emotions and experiences ?…. All these questions that we wanted to put into work with the population, by inventing another way of being an architect, outside the traditional model of architectural studios.

We also looked for the contribution of other disciplines : artistic, scientific, social…, considering that the architect alone cannot do anything, and that the only way to approach urban complexity is to develop a shared and multidisciplinary culture.

Finally, we wanted to experience the act of building and use our hands to directly experiment with materials and techniques, to learn by doing and to open up to the field of self-construction.

The first years of experimentation and self-training on the street helped to reinforce a position and a form of social and political commitment. They also made it possible to identify a deep need among civil society for participation in the urban fabric, which led us to shape an approach, tools and methods and to develop a professional project.