Invisible jobs in the city

Invisible jobs in the city
« I map parking spaces », Paris, May 7th 2021 © Océane Ragoucy
Many people work in fields that are unknown to us. I call them invisible jobs. Behind the scenes of the city, let's dive into their daily occupations.

Océane Ragoucy
Paris, France
Team members
Océane Ragoucy
Field of work
Architecture, Urban planning, Ecology, Curating, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

I am an architect, curator, editor and teacher. I currently live and work in Paris.
With a strategic and engaged practice in architecture, art and ecology, I explore the modes of production of architecture, the margins, the backstage of cities and the narratives of ecological issues. My work takes the form of articles, interviews, books, exhibitions, artistic and cultural programmes, self-publications and fanzines, public talks, collective writing initiatives and creative research projects.

With a background in cinema and a research master's degree in digital arts and media (Paris I-Panthéon Sorbonne), I am an architect (ENSA Paris-La Villette) and a graduate of SPEAP, Bruno Latour's experimental arts and politics programme (Sciences Po). I have been teaching at ENSA Paris-Malaquais since 2022, and have been guiding dissertations at the French industrial design school ENSCI-Les Ateliers since 2021.
In 2021-2022, I co-curated the exhibition "The Beauty of a City" [La Beauté d'une ville] at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal in Paris, where I directed 30 filmed interviews with leading figures on aesthetic controversies and the ecological transition in Paris.

Since 2021, I have been an associate editor of the daily journal of ideas AOC [], covering architecture, urbanism, cities, ecology and the Anthropocene. I also write chronicles on 'invisible' jobs, which led me to be awarded in 2022 by FAIRE, the research incubator of the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, for a project on the oral history of work in Paris, for which I currently prepare a series of podcasts. In 2023, I have been selected by the French magazine AMC as one of the outstanding young female voices in France.

I am currently preparing two events that I will curate in 2023: 'Un musée dans la ville', the Journées Nationales de l'Architecture at the Mucem in Marseille in October, and 'D'autres reliefs', the main conference programme of the ENSA Paris-Malaquais.

What are the jobs of today and tomorrow? We know the Parisian "petits métiers" of the late 19th century thanks to Eugène Atget's photographs, which left their mark on the Parisian imagination. They gradually disappeared at the turn of the 20th century under the impact of industrialisation, but they are a precious testimony to the practices of the time. But did you know that there are currently contraceptive pigeon lofts managers in Paris? That Parisians can have the electromagnetic waves in their homes measured free of charge? Do you know what it is like to be a dark kitchen preparer, a graffiti eraser or a prefectural drone pilot? Did you know that there are people mapping parking spaces in Paris on foot with 360° recording equipment?

At the end of 2022, I was awarded a prize by FAIRE, the Pavillon de l'Arsenal's research incubator, for a project on oral histories of work in Paris in the 2020s. The aim is to produce a series of podcasts with people who work in 'invisible jobs', telling us about very specific uses of the city and urban space. It documents and archives the practices, gestures and everyday life of different professions that we don't know anything about. They are related to new mobility and transport, care, maintenance and infrastructure: jobs that involve the transformation of a capital city, its upkeep and maintenance. 

In 2023, I am producing a series of podcasts about these jobs. The year 2024 will be dedicated to prospective research on the future occupations of the city. Current crisis are having a major impact on cities, their maintenance and construction, and the way we live and work in them. I will therefore carry out prospective, even fictional, research into the future jobs of urban professionals in the coming years, based on a survey of both the past and the future.


Océane Ragoucy
Océane Ragoucy
I am an architect, curator, editor and teacher. I currently live and work in Paris. With a strategic and engaged practice in architecture, art and …

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