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Ole B. Jensen: Mobilities Visiting Speaker

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1:00 PM-2:00 PM

Designing Mobilities – towards a new research field

Professor Ole B. Jensen, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark

Societies are on the move. Local and global flows of goods, people, and information move along complex networks and infrastructures that shape and interact with the contemporary city. In order to deal with these transformations the social sciences have recently taken a ‘mobilities turn.’ Within this there has been a developing realization that mobilities do not ‘just happen’. Mobilities are carefully and meticulously designed, planned and staged (from above). However, they are equally importantly acted out, performed and lived as people are ‘staging themselves’ (from below). Staging mobilities is a dynamic process between ‘being staged’ (for example, being stopped at traffic lights) and the ‘mobile staging’ of interacting individuals (negotiating a passage on the pavement). But analysis and theory-building is not enough. Therefore this presentation is concerned with articulating a new perspective on mobilities research that puts explicit focus on the material design of mobile technologies, infrastructural sites of mobilities and other dimensions of the built environment hosting mobile practices. The presenter argues on the basis of two recent books; ‘Staging Mobilities’ (Routledge 2013) and ‘Designing Mobilities’ (to be published at Aalborg University Press 2013) that a new interdisciplinary research field is emerging. The field is termed ‘Mobilities Design’ and it calls for new collaborations and perspectives. It is a field that cuts across such diverse areas as architecture, urban design, sociology, ethnography, urban planning, traffic engineering, interaction design, digital media to mention a few. The presentation will explore the relationship between mobilities theory and design, as well as presenting a new venue for this exploration; the Mobilities Design Group (MDG) situated at the Centre for Mobilities and Urban Studies (C-MUS), Aalborg University.

Contact Information

Mimi Sheller