UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The dialogic city: towards a synthesis of physical and conceptual artefacts in urban community configurations

O' Brien, J; Psarra, S; (2015) The dialogic city: towards a synthesis of physical and conceptual artefacts in urban community configurations. In: Karimi, K and Vaughan, L and Sailer, K and Palaiolo, G and Bolton, T, (eds.) Proceedings of the 10th International Space Syntax Symposium. (pp. 79:1-79:12). Space Syntax Laboratory, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London: London, UK. Green open access

[thumbnail of THE DIALOGIC CITY.pdf]
Preview
Text
THE DIALOGIC CITY.pdf - Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

This paper addresses a question in urban research relating to definitions of the physical and conceptual artefacts that comprise local urban communities. These artefacts are, we suggest, products of complex relationships between discursive and non -discursive agencies in urban contexts. We focus on the problems of defining conceptual artefacts by considering how urban communities’ social meanings are embedded in their spatial configurations, conceptualizations and practices. Considering the relational nature of the built environment, we describe the interplays of space, society and meaning as being ‘dialogic’. By this we mean that the urban environment’s discursive and non-discursive agencies inform and transform each other through processes of their complex inter-dependencies. These dialogic processes also occur where professional and community practitioners seek to transform the built environment by exchanging their conceptualizations and definitions. Towards a refocusing upon conceptual artefacts in the built environment, we review a selection of diverse research from the fields of space syntax, actor -network theory in architecture, and urban sociologies of crime and deprivation. We sample from specific studies of urban spatial effects upon local community behaviours. We observe that processes of conceptualization are revealed in professionals’ definitions of urban environments. Moreover, we draw attention to the lack of community -membership definitions in many urban interventions. We argue that this lack persists because community conceptualizations, based upon ‘mental models’, tend to be reflected in quotidian or sub -conscious practices, which do not enter the standard professional discourse. We reflect critically on the urban research studies sampled, considering in particular their treatment of the role of conceptualizations in shaping the urban environment. Building on this critique, we argue that the notion of ‘mental models’ is overlooked in the urban research literature and warrants further investigation. Working towards a synthesis of physical and conceptual artefacts, we attempt an outline of the significance of inter -dependencies in urban formations. Hence we consider the role played by local conceptualizations in phenomena such as neighbourhood boundaries, community foci, stereotypes of others and place -specific community values. Finally, we outline the requirements for a method to examine these conceptualizations.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The dialogic city: towards a synthesis of physical and conceptual artefacts in urban community configurations
Event: 10th International Space Syntax Symposium, 13-17 July 2015, London, UK
Location: London UCL
Dates: 13 July 2015 - 17 July 2015
ISBN-13: 9780993342905
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.sss10.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/category/04-ur...
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Space Syntax Laboratory,The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, 2015
Keywords: Urban configurations, conceptual artefacts, mental models, dialogue, urban research methods
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477217
Downloads since deposit
100Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item