The Institute for Culture and Society & the Urban Institute call for papers at the NZGS/IAG CONFERENCE

There is a growing literature which grapples with the materiality of levels, surfaces, and dimensions within cities, and the theoretical possibilities and challenges that arise. There is a growing body of work within architectural theory, archaeology, cultural history, and urban design that documents these possibilities, and there are also a range of approaches to theorizing the interplay of surface and depth. Political geographers such as Braun (2000), Bridge (2013), Elden (2013) and Steinberg and Peters (2015) have variously identified the implications of land rights, mining and ocean governance for nation building. There is also a metabolist reading which has examined the underlying built systems, the ‘pipes and ducts’, which have re-oriented urban thinking around buildings as interfaces of human occupancy and technical systems (Caprotti and Romanowicz 2013; Jacobs, Cairns and Strebel 2007; Marvin and Medd 2006). And thermal comfort engineering of internal spaces, through air filtration, heating, and conditioning, allows different volumetric arrangements, especially in cities with climatic extremes (Boddy 1992; Gissen 2014). This affects how often, for example, office workers enter and exit the building envelope (Hitchings 2011).

This session seeks papers which explore such themes, framing urban space as being materially malleable, with surface, airspace, and underground constantly subject to the development logic of the capitalist production of space.

Convenors: Andrea Connor and Donald McNeill (ICS Western Sydney University), Simon Marvin (UI University of Sheffield). (Abstracts to be submitted to