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Urban Cultures

The research cluster promotes and supports research projects and publications on the changing pattern of art, crafts, architecture, and the urban environment in the context of both regional and global culture. 

We believe that design has a role to play in addressing these issues at a global and local scale. We aim to break new ground through an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to research and design responding to climate change and sustainability alongside the focus on social and cultural values of space. Utilising innovative and emergent thinking, new design methods and advanced technology, engineering and fabrication, we aim to critique, challenge and disrupt traditional thinking and develop radical alternatives to current conditions. 

The agenda of research for members in this cluster is to seek an understanding of relationships between city dwellers and the urban environment facing contemporary challenges from a cross-cultural and social perspective into the following areas: 

  1. How to creating and managing environments that support individuals and contribute to their unique identities, underpinning the achievement of high levels of well-being from a sensorial and perceptual view?
  2. Is the knowledge of cultural identities and the engagement in the city that occurs in light of this knowledge the main criterion for all human engagement (past and present)?
  3. How can community involvement in city making affect individual interpretation and spatial appropriation?
  4. How does technology and social media change the living cultures and notion of place in cities? How new understandings of home, digital technologies and creative design can shape the places we live?
  5. How have the travelling ideas transformed identities of cities? How have the ‘made’/’shaped’ identities impacted on culture and political paradigms in the face of global neutralisation?

Research Lead: Prof. Rachel SaraJieling Xiao

Key researchers:

Other Scholars: