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Textures and experiences of trans-industriality. (TETI)

The interdisciplinary study group on textures and experiences of trans-industriality looks at the relation between the changing environments of cities in the second half of the Twentieth century and their inhabitants. This group consists of researchers whose work stems from the fields of art history, architecture, contemporary art, urban development, cultural heritage studies, social/cultural anthropology, sociology, economy and politics. In general, it is believed that a holistic research approach is needed in order to trace, as well as investigate, the interactions between non-local (global, national and regional) strategy-making and that of the more local, nuanced level of the city and places therein. More specifically, the group seeks to illuminate both the empirical and theoretical relationships between people and the processes of trans-industriality. In this light, TETI relies on the use of in-depth case study research based on an array of urban environments from around the world. We feel that gaining a better understanding of urban change and urban history, and the negotiations associated therewith, in particular through the representation and manipulation of industrial and technological changes, can help to inform future strategy-making at both the local and global levels.

 

Aims and Objectives

First, TETI seeks to analyse the impact of global industrial economics on the texture of the city. It looks at the changing functionalities of urban layers, aiming to understand the mutation of the city with regards to the topography that had initially commanded its human and economic development. In particular, how are disused topographic assets of a city redesigned and to what purposes? Second, it looks at how city dwellers experience these historical patterns. How do they contribute to safeguarding collective narratives and senses of place that are associated with specific locations, areas and places as their architectural, economic, and social bodies are being reshaped? How do they negotiate the conservation of historical legacies and the physical and perceptive modifications imposed by technological forces? Moreover, how have communities, groups and individuals represented the industrial shifts of the 20th century and their impact on urban economic, social and political systems? To what extent have they been able to influence these shifts, and to what extent have cultural artefacts and aesthetic thought contributed to defining the shape of our relation with the trans-industrial city?

Similarly, our final aim seeks to highlight and examine the ever-changing processes of valorisation with respect to both pre-existing and redesigned urban elements. This aim has been developed in response to the fact that the changing purposes and uses of certain urban areas and elements reflect not only the forces of global industrial economics, but of a shifting set of values that are consequently attributed to them. Moreover, these mutable values may differ, as well as overlap, depending on the various stakeholder groups from which they derive. As a result, we seek to examine the multi-layered significance and values that are given to particular urban sites and scenes from the perspectives of local communities, groups and individuals. How does value-making differ from the non-local to local levels? For instance, is the old flour mill that has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery valued by those who inhabit its local surroundings? For a more concise view of our goals, the abovementioned aims and objectives have been structured as the following:

  • Aim 1: To examine the impact of global industrial economics on the texture of the city.

Objective 1.1: To uncover the changing functionalities of urban layers, aiming to understand the mutation of the city with regards to the topography that had initially commanded its human and economic development.

Objective 1.2: how are disused topographic assets of a city redesigned and to what purposes.

  • Aim 2: To examine how city dwellers experience these historical changes and patterns

Objective 2.1: To understand how urban communities, groups and individuals contribute to safeguarding collective narratives and senses of place that are associated with specific locations, areas and places as their architectural, economic, and social bodies are being reshaped

Objective 2.2: To examine how urban communities, groups and individuals negotiate the conservation of historical legacies and the physical and perceptive modifications imposed by technological forces.

Objective 2.3: To investigate how communities, groups and individuals have represented the industrial shifts of the 20th century and their impact on urban economic, social and political systems.

Objective 2.4: To uncover the extent to which they have been able to influence these shifts, and to what extent have cultural artefacts and aesthetic thought contributed to defining the shape of our relation with the trans-industrial city.

  • Aim 3: To examine the ever-changing processes of valorisation with respect to both pre-existing and redesigned urban elements from local level perspectives.

Objective 3.1 To collect empirical data on the significance and values associated with urban spaces, places and elements from local community members (before and after regeration projects

Objective 3.2: to assess the historical evolution and mutation of values associated with specific urban spaces by communities inhabitants, and economic agents alike