(Digital) space/place/identity within interdisciplinary research workshop

**Registration now open via the links below**

This one-day workshop seeks to investigate the concepts of “space”, “place” and “identity”: How they are being defined, used, contested and reappropriated through digital technology.

  • A one-day Workshop hosted by the Digital Economy Network and the Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Nottingham
  • Dates available: Thursday 26 July 2019 and Thursday 5 September 2019.
  • Times: 9.00am start, 4.30pm finish.
  • Venue: University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham, NG7 2TU.
  • Cost: Free of charge to currently registered Digital Economy CDT/PhD/EngD Students, Early Career Researchers at UK universities and relevant collaborators. Refreshments and buffet lunch included.
  • Workshop Leaders/Presenters: Harriet Cameron, Luke Skarth-Hayley, Velvet Spors, Hanne Wagner, Horizon CDT/Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham. Review the presenter profiles here.

Registration is open now for both dates:


Abstract:

Physical and virtual spaces and places are almost exclusively mediated through technology owned by governmental and commercial entities — often in a very centralised, private manner (Moss, 2002; Von Tunzelmann 2003). This proliferation of privately-owned public space/place (Németh et al., 2011) creates a scarcity of spaces free of implicit and/or explicit control: This circumstance leads to an un-critical perpetuation of structures that underlie those governmental and commercial forces. Lived experiences are at risk to be homogenised and normalised. This is increasingly relevant in a technologically driven world: As demonstrated by Conway’s law which states that the social structures of companies often result in software that echoes them (MacCormack et al., 2012). By proxy how we organise and interact in existing places may influence how we create new ones.

Identity is the way we view ourselves and how others view us (Giddens, 1991). It is reflexive, fluid and deeply situated in social and physical contexts, shaping our behaviour, relationships, and opportunities in the world and more (Falk, 2009). Therefore, identity is fundamental to the way we experience, understand
and interact with the world around us; the places we inhabit and the people with which we inhabit them. Examining the embedded imbalance of existing structures, their impact on the identity of inhabitants, and exploring the affordances of technology from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives, provides a way to understand potential futures for these three vital aspects of lived experience.

Based on these core concepts, this workshop aims to explore the following two questions:

  • 1. How can we critique existing technologies and their effects on identity/space/place – especially if they introduce or reproduce uneven power relationships?
  • 2. How can we investigate new technologies and their paradigms while being conscious of the status quo? By doing so, we hope to encourage discussions centred around the affordances of technologies to enable people to experience and understand the importance of fair, mutual agency.

This workshop seeks to investigate alternatives to technosolutionist
approaches and the perception of technology as “cold”, rational and objective. It also seeks to enable a collective, collaborative environment that allows for learning-by-doing. By establishing a longterm connection between workshop attendees, we aim to encourage interdisciplinary, mutual knowledge exchange outside of more top-down-traditional channels and allow for the (un)usual, (un)common and (un)comfortable to inform our own understanding(s).

Our study space is accessible to all within and without academia, where active participation is encouraged, but not mandatory to take part. It is not restricted to only-textual non-fictional representations, but also allows for games, poetry, prose, interactive experiences, etc. to be used as exploratory tools, archived and shared as a collective.


Goals:

This workshop is aiming to achieve three main goals:

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: Bringing research students and Early Career Researcher together to form a collective for future, interdisciplinary endeavours (both academic and industry-oriented).
  • Forming a multiplicity of collective understandings of Space(s)/Place(s)/Identities: Ideating on the relationship of space, place and identity; informed by different domains, fields and understandings.
  • Design and project-led research: Formulate potential outputs, work towards creating, making and expressing new ideas within the study space.

Target audience:

Everybody, regardless of academic background or technological skill level, is welcome to this workshop.

  • Curiousity about exploring space/place/identity as interlinked concepts.
  • Interest in challenging, deconstructing and investigating commonly found theories and practices within their own field.
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