SHU Space & Place Group Conference – Featuring screening of Esther Johnson’s ‘Alone Together’ and sessions by Becky Shaw and James Corazzo – Wednesday 10 July 2019
This free day-long event hosted by Sheffield Hallam University’s Space & Place Group at Kelham Island Industrial Museum on 10 July 2019 (as part of the University of Sheffield’s From Brooklyn Works to Brooklynism programme) brings together academics from across SHU, and beyond, to explore different ways of researching spaces and places, specifically from the perspective of comfort and discomfort. This event is a culmination of a series of workshops held at SHU over recent months, with an evolving set of speakers and attendees. This final event picks up on the themes from those earlier sessions:
- the awkward legacies of prior uses and configurations of spaces;
- the instrumentalisation and commercialisation of iconic places;
- different patterns of dwelling and experiencing private and public spaces; and
- the commodification (as a measure of efficiency and or exchange value) of space.
Intentionally the assembled presentations are eclectic and juxtaposed in a way intended to draw out connections between themes and perspectives which may not at first glance have much apparent connection. Woven through all of the presentations is a concern to acknowledge that places are often simultaneously comfortable and uncomfortable. Sometimes this duality is productive, sometimes it is painful. In either case, often it is necessary. In the afternoon we will be exploring whether (and if so how) how particular atmospheres and experiences can be designed into spaces and the events that occur within them.
SHU Space & Place Group: The comforts and discomforts of place and dwelling conference
Wednesday 10 July 2019, 9AM – 5PM
The Power Lab, Kelham Island Industrial Museum, Sheffield S3 8RY
Please register on Eventbrite here. The programme is set out below, and a full set of abstracts is available here.
Please note that lunch will not be provided at this event – instead delegates will be invited to dine locally at one of the many pubs, cafes and restaurants now available in the Kelham Island district.
09.00-9.30 ARRIVALS & REFRESHMENTS
9.30-9.40 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION
Luke Bennett, Reader, Natural & Built Environment (SHU)
“Exploring the comforts and discomforts of place and dwelling”
9.40-10.40 SESSION 1: [DIS]COMFORT IN PUBLIC SPACE
09.40-10.00 Amanda Crawley Jackson, Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies & Faculty Director of Impact and External Engagement (Arts & Humanities) (University of Sheffield)
“Restoring discomfort: using large format photography to unsettle the comfortable ordinariness of Syria’s Execution Squares”
10.00-10.20 Elaine Speight, Research Fellow, ‘In Certain Places’ (UCLAN)
“Making a boob of it: Some thoughts about breastfeeding in public”
10.20-10.40 Ian Whiteside, Senior Lecturer, Events Management (SHU)
“Creating visitor experience in the National Trust”
10.40-10.45 COMFORT BREAK
10.45-11.45 SESSION 2: WARM & WELL?
“Comfort and discomfort in ‘low-energy’ homes in the increasingly inhospitable climate of South Australia”
11.05-11.25 Michael Roskams, Workplace & Wellbeing Analyst, Technical facilities Management (Mitie plc)
“Can smart sensors support employees’ physical and psychological comfort in the workplace environment?”
11.25-11.45 Becky Shaw, Reader, Fine Art (SHU) and Frances Williams, PhD student (MMU)
“Class, Cool and Care: The Maggie’s centre and the discomfort of criticising the ‘Well-being’ aesthetic”
12.00-1.00 SESSION 3: ARE WE SITTING COMFORTABLY?
12.00-12.20 Esther Johnson, Professor, Film & Media Arts (SHU)
“Alone Together, the Social Life of Benches”
Alone Together, the Social Life of Benches illuminates the thoughts and memories of frequent users of two public spaces in London: General Gordon Square, Woolwich and St Helier Open Space, Sutton.
Revolving around the micro-space of the humble bench, the emotional and experiential capacity of film is used to highlight themes such as the feeling of being in a space, the rhythm and flow of visitors to a place, and the importance of design for everyday street furniture.
The film acts like a stranger who joins you on a bench to ‘watch the world go by’, and break the ice by starting a conversation with their fellow bench user.
12.20-12.40 James Corazzo, Principal Lecturer, Graphic Design (SHU)
12.40-1.00 Phil Crowther, Reader – Events Management (SHU)
“The comforts and discomforts of business executives sleeping with the homeless on a city’s streets for a night”
Luke Bennett & Phil Crowther
NB: no lunch will be provided. Delegates will be invited to eat at one of the local pubs, cafes, restaurants and to take the opportunity there to analyse how the experience offered there is staged and its atmosphere of comfort/discomfort engineered.
2.30-3.30 SESSION 4: ANALYSING THE COMFORTS AND DISCOMFORTS OF LUNCH
A facilitated discussion of delegates’ lunchtime explorations of local experiencescapes. This will showcase the variety of disciplinary perspectives upon – and varied methodologies for – ‘reading’ places and their atmospheres.
3.50-4.50 SESSION 5: SHU ‘EXPERIENCESCAPES CLUSTER’ INAUGRAL MEETING
The ‘Experiencescape research cluster’ has very recently been formed and in its very early stages of capitalising upon the wideranging engagements of SHU academics across psychology, sociology, hospitality, tourism, events, marketing, architecture, design, media and communications, lawyers and real estate in the study, design and critiquing of ‘experiencescaping’. This discussion will – developing the themes of today’s earlier sessions – present some early ideas about the cluster and most importantly seek colleagues views on how the cluster can prosper.
(NB: all delegates are welcome to participate in this, and whether SHU staff or otherwise).
4.50-5.00 CLOSING REMARKS
Luke Bennett & Phil Crowther
James Corazzo is Principle Lecturer in Design at SHU and a freelance designer specialising in photo book design.