Spaces and Places: 2nd Global Interdisciplinary Conference

Country: Portugal

City: Lisbon

Abstr. due: 08.11.2019

Dates: 04.04.20 — 05.04.20

Area Of Sciences: Architecture; Sociology; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Progressive Connexions


Every day we move through spaces that have been constructed or delineated somehow to be significant. We recognise and —consciously or unconsciously — react to this significance on a daily or hourly basis, and we draw from a cultural well of knowledge in order to do so.

While we may not be aware of this process, our lives are lived in constant negotiation with these meanings; it is therefore important to examine how we shape the space around us, and what the meanings are that we attach to inside and outside, here and there, mine and yours, and even function and form. Understanding that these meanings are time- and culturally-based broadens these questions, allowing for not only an examination of how they are understood today, but how they were perceived and deployed in the past—and how they might be in the future.

Our spaces and places not only confine us, they define us as well and they shape our behaviour, as our silence in a church, our movement in a particular direction through a museum, or our knowledge of where a bathroom might be in an office building illustrate. Or consider how our behaviour is mitigated by the presence of cameras, the laws of society, the unstated rules of propriety, the standards of dress, or the expectations of those around us. What about how the presence of lines on a piece of two-dimensional map can determine our movement through a city or our path across a mountain range; how does new knowledge about a place shape our movement through the space it inhabits? And what can we make of the places we discover in archaeological quests or anthropological pursuits?

The basic questions common to all of the above are how do we designate place and delineate space, and what is the difference between the two? The short answers are that a place can be seen as space that has a meaning, and we shape places in a variety of ways that are culturally-, socially-, historically- and theoretically- bounded.

The exciting and productive discussions at our previous meeting explored a number of key areas: shifting meanings of neighbourhoods through time | mobility between economic and political spaces | the effect of place on emotion and perception | procession and its manipulation of meaning in space | political control of space as a function of controlling protests | fiction and its creation of space | mapping and the deployment of power |
Building on the success of these and other conversations, and the entirety of last year’s conference, we aim to continue to examine the way space is bounded or expanded to create place.

We will continue to explore how the concepts and practicalities that make up our understanding of what spaces and places mean are political, social, and specific to our culture(s), and how space and place dance with each other in the middle of it all.

Key Topics
Continuing with the same momentum established from the previous meeting, we invite proposals covering a number of approaches to the way processes of all kinds shape us and our world in the way they create, confine, shape and define the spaces and places we inhabit. The following non-exhaustive list is meant to be springboard as well as prompt; you may use these ideas or send us one of your own.

~ Life-spaces; life places.
~ How does our living space define us?
~ How do we define ourselves through space and place?
~ How does what we exclude define others?
~ Architectural movements and theories
~ Space and social control (panopticon, surveillance space, etc.)
~ Schools and prisons, Bentham
~ Dangerous places, places of power
~ No-go zones
~ Demilitarized zones
~ Impacts of war and territorial conflict on space and place
~ Mapping, naming and defining space and place
~ Urban planning
~ Heritage spaces and places
~ Conservation and usage of natural spaces, humanity’s capacity to preserve space and place
~ Colonial spaces
~ Contact zones
~ Spaces and Places of the Future
~ Sustainability, viability; living spaces, living places. Detached homes, tower blocks, gated communities
~ Science fiction spaces and their cultural function
~ Class, space and place (gentrification, ‘white flight’, slums, ghettos, hostile architecture to prevent sleeping rough on benches, etc.)
~ Indigenous/First Peoples conceptualisations if space and place
~ Space, place and the influence of gender, sexuality, race: the shaping of lived experiences
~ Spaces and Places of Faith
~ Churches, temples, mosques, fairy circles, Stonehenge and other stone circles, cemeteries, monasteries, crypts, etc.
~ Mathematical and scientific conceptualisations of space
~ Legal aspects of space and place (ownership and property rights, building codes, zoning, etc)
~ Politics of space and place (territorial sovereignty, colonialism and empire, etc)
~ Activism and protest linked to particular uses of space
~ Explorations of space and place in film, theatre, music, television, advertising, video games, poetry, literature, art, and other creative practices
~ Commodification of space and place (Real estate, admission charges for visiting places, etc)
~ Humanity’s destructive influences on space and place (climate change, pollution, etc.)
~ Processes by which spaces and places acquire particular connotations and meanings in the human imagination — and how those meanings change
~ Liminal spaces
~ Cities
~ Monuments, public parks, who has access to these spaces
~ What draws us to urban spaces, rural spaces, open or closed communities?
~ What draws people away from home to experience other places?
~ What are the differences in perception of spaces by visitors compared to residents? How does this affect tourism?
~ Where is the study of spaces/places happening?
~ Where are spaces and places being perceived, presented and represented?

Information source:

Conference Web-Site: