Call for Papers: Learning from Territories / Teaching Territories

Call for papers for the panel “Sauntering, observing, experimenting – Territories’ narrations and walking practice,” to be held at the 6th CIST international conference Learning from Territories / Teaching Territories, 15-17 November 2023, Condorcet Campus, Paris-Aubervilliers (France).
Central to the teaching of spatial disciplines (architecture, landscape, planning, human and social sciences), walking has become an essential tool for addressing the question of territory as a place of action and sensitive reality. In France and elsewhere, field observation walking workshops are gaining popularity as an educational tool to renew the approach to territory. Celebrated by early 20th century philosophers and writers for its ability to link bodily experience to the inhabited world, walking is used as a specific method of reading and interpreting spatial dynamics; ruptures, thresholds, fragments, enclaves, landscape identities… This trivial everyday practice has been a preoccupation of transportation policies for more than a century, and remains a fertile ground for experimentation for many professions linked to the understanding and transformation of territories, and in particular those involving multidisciplinary approaches. Since the end of the 1990s, walking has become a way for professionals and residents alike to claim new practices of collective use and negotiation of public spaces. 
The session invites educational, reflective and critical communications that question the triple belonging of the practice of walking as an object of research, a method of in situ investigation, and an operational tool. We explore the contribution of walking to the critical reading of territories from an interdisciplinary perspective (geography, sociology, urban planning, architecture, living arts, etc.). We also seek to identify the avenues that walking offers us to question spatial relationships under an iterative look between scales (from the porch to the neighbourhood square, from the station to the rural footpath). The session is open to all pedagogical modes (theoretical, methodological and analytical teaching, initiation to research, etc.), from the bachelor’s degree to the doctorate, to long-established lessons as well as to more recent ones. The session opens with multiple entrances that the walk offers to get closer in flesh and blood to a volatile and complex concept, that of territory. Questions of atmosphere, emotions, sociability and imagination are all possible avenues for deepening the debate.
The panel welcomes submissions from all disciplines in English, French and Spanish
The call for papers is open until January 15, 2023
Please see the instructions for authors for more details 

Call for Papers: Underground Atmospheres. Renewing the debate

Call for contributions for a special issue of Ambiances journal. Deadline for submissions: 12 May 2021.

The concept of underground spaces has emerged over the last twenty years (Admiraal & Cornaro, 2018) as a unifying issue for the professions working with the Urban (e.g. architects, engineers, geometricians, geographers). For a long time considered as a ‘residue’ of the city, neglected by actors, bereft of natural light and air, underground spaces have responded to the needs for storing and burying vital functions of the city (all sorts of networks) or, in some cases, for climate protection (e.g. Montreal). Therefore, for a long time, the underground remained the domain of engineers, military officers, accommodating security installations, parking areas, technical galleries (utilidors) and various urban infrastructures (Goel, Singh & Zhao, 2012). As for urban planners, they have long imagined a retrieval of this common ground often involving the imagination around futuristic cities and less so the trial and updating of knowledge and techniques inherited from vernacular architecture (e.g. water reservoirs, troglodyte dwellings).

The end of the 20th century and the processes of metropolisation and urban sprawl now make global cities face issues regarding the densification of their functions. The underground is expected to prove itself as a structuring space of metropolitan life. It emerges as a promising response to the unsolvable shortage of land in dense areas, but also to the issues of energy performance, management of resources and mobility (Malone, 1996). From a perception of the underground as a binding space, we are now witnessing, in France and abroad, a renewal of the vocabulary and of the policies willing to connect the undergrounds to the grid of urban vital functions. However, despite this effervescence, the updating of the regulatory and operational tools has not yet started. The high cost of underground construction, the complexity of operational montages (type macrolot), the risks induced by the recognition of a common land to be shared and the absence of exhaustive census call for a careful reading with multiple dimensions (e.g. environmental, social) of underground spaces, as well as a revision of the analysis and design vocabularies.

Questioning the underground in its ability to welcome, please, affect, comfort also means recognizing an old debate (structure, land, safety) with topical issues, such as the hybridisation of public spaces, the tourist attractiveness of cities, the role of the senses in the urban experience. This special issue aims to open a debate on an updated reading of the underground space and its role in the construction of urbanity (Levy, 1994). We use in particular concepts of ambiance and experience (Malpas, 1999), which have been present for over forty years in humanities and social sciences in France (Amphoux, 2003) and in Anglo-Saxon research (Buser, 2014). How can a multi-sensorial approach of underground spaces shape modalities of production, practices and design of those places?

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Lockdown Wanderings as an Antidote to Habit

By James Horrox

We humans are nomadic creatures. For 99 percent of our existence as a species, anthropologists believe, we’ve been on the move. Some scientists have argued that a propensity for travel, novelty and adventure is actually encoded in our DNA. Either way, we don’t take well to confinement.

Confinement, however, is precisely what’s defined our shared experience of the last twelve months. For many, the sudden inability to travel much beyond our own neighborhoods brought with it a very real, very natural sense of claustrophobia. But being forced to stay close to home, while obviously limiting our experience in many respects, also opens up possibilities for experiencing the things around us in a new, perhaps more intense way, channeling our desire for novelty towards experiences that may be close at hand, but which we’ve never previously thought to explore.

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