Every day we live and we move through spaces that have been created to be significant. We recognize, resonate and—consciously or unconsciously—react to this significance in a variety of different ways and on a number of differing levels.

While we may not be aware of this process, our lives are lived in constant interaction with these meanings and we do so by drawing from a ‘cultural well’ of knowledge and experience. It is therefore important to examine how we shape the spaces around us and explore 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 is just the beginning; it opens the door to broader sets of questions, allowing not only for 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 confine us, expand us and ultimately define us. They shape our moods and behavior; take for example 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. They inhibit or encourage our feelings and actions through the presence of cameras, the laws of society, the unstated rules of propriety, standards of dress or the expectations of those around us. The lines on a two-dimensional map can determine our movement through a city or our path across a mountain range; technology creates the possibility of movement by use of a sat nav or the 3D rendering of buildings not yet constructed. What can we make of the places we discover in archaeological quests or anthropological pursuits? How do we design the places and the spaces of the future?

The starting point for this inaugural inclusive interdisciplinary meeting takes as its point of departure the basic questions: how do we designate place and how do we delineate space? What is the difference between the two? The conference aims to examine the ways space is bounded or expanded to create place. We will begin to map how the concepts and experiences 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. Our discussions and reflections will take place with a view to forming an innovative publication to open the doors to engender further collaborations, research and discussions.

Rather than focus on a specific space or place – though case studies and problem solving exercises are illuminating ways of drawing perspectives and insights – we invite proposals that cover 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.

We welcome abstracts and submissions of 300 words relating to these considerations. The following list is intended 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 of space and place
  • Space, place and the influence of gender, sexuality, race.
    • The shaping of lived experiences.
    • Gendered spaces
  • 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?

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 9th November 2018. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 23rd November 2018.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 1st March 2019.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Spaces and Places Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Teresa Cutler-Broyles: teresa@progressiveconnexions.net
Project Administrator: brugesspaces@progressiveconnexions.net

Ethos
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.