Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2014

27th August 2014, London

Nelly Ben Hayoun, researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, Department of Geography will present a paper at the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2014.

Read more about the paper and the session here

Crafting critical geographies: The Design of Experiences
Nelly Ben Hayoun (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The Design of Experiences extent the notion of the ‘product’ design in terms of scope, scale and methods of engagement towards architecture, installations, environments, social systems and scenarios. It embraces both:
-the development of a cultural spatial intervention, – the formation of emotional and critical systems and a chain of reactions.
Antonin Artaud refers to the ‘Theater of Cruelty, as imposing to members of the audience extreme experiences and emotion in order to develop their critical thinking. This paper will study how the design of experiences can build and craft momentum for critical geographies. By geographies, we mean scenes, spaces that have been set up to perform a specific function. The design of experiences, in this context, applies to the engineering of an action, a situation that generate chaos and disorder and can have political implication. We will discuss how the Design of Experiences can be used as a research method to ‘process’ and generate critical thinking into a set geography. We will argue using examples drawn from our practice: a series of events scored for Mission Control.

Towards a creative geopolitics (2): Craft, collaboration and creative agency
Research Group(s)
Political Geography Research Group
Alasdair Pinkerton (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Harriet Hawkins (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Peter Adey (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Alasdair Pinkerton (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Timetable: Wednesday 27 August 2014, Session 2

Session abstract:
Creativity has emerged as a key concept across a range of scholarly disciplines, including Geography. Registering the political and economic imperatives of creativity, and its social, material and embodied dimensions, geographers are coming to attend to diverse forms of creative practice and its manifold possibilities, as well as its potential manipulations. Longstanding geographical attention to the creative economy, or to the analysis of various art forms, from fine art to cinema and literature, as well as attention to sub-cultural or subversive creativities, geographical scholarship is increasingly come to engage with vernacular (everyday) creativities, the democratic possibilities of creative use of Web 2.0, and even in-human creativities.

In this session we build on these critical geographies of creativity, and in doing so extend cultural perspectives on critical geopolitics and security. Geopolitics has, under its own cultural, embodied and affective turns, seen a recent growth in studies not only of art-work, but also video games, comic books, films. In light of these recent studies we seek to revisit questions not only of what such analysis of cultural products do in terms of the critical geopolitical scholarship and practice, but also to query the growth of vernacular creativities, or what could, after creative economic policy, be termed the ‘creativity’ script within statecraft. Furthermore, if creativity could be seen as a form of response to those very scripts, narratives and practices, to what extent might creativity claim new ground in geopolitical analysis and critique, through, for example, the production and co-production of geopolitical materials; the curation of artistic and technological responses; counter-cartographic practices of uncloaking, revealing, improvisation, exploration and play (including, for example, web-based initiatives such as ‘mash ups’); alternative forms of writing and presentation through the counter-factual, scenarios, lyricism, biography and even fiction?