Society and Space Volume 33 Issue 6 now online


Society and Space’s latest issue is now out.

Originalmente publicado en Society and space:

The December issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space is already up online. With this last issue in the 2015 volume, now is a good time to say THANK YOU to all of the reviewers and authors who help our editorial team realize our aim to publish empirically informed work that pushes the boundaries of theoretical debate and keeps the political and social justice imperatives of research and theory firmly in view.

Here are the contents of volume 33, issue 6, which can be accessed by subscription:

Spatial big data and anxieties of control Agnieszka Leszczynski 965-984
The affect of Jugaad: Frugal innovation and postcolonial practice in India’s mobile phone ecology Amit S Rai 985-1002
Between the metropole and the postcolony: On the dynamics of rights’ machinery from the northwestern tribal belt to the “mainland” Pakistan Muhammad Ali Nasir 1003-1021
Capitalist pigs: Governmentality, subjectivities, and the regulation of pig farming in colonial…

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Debt crisis and land dispossession in Greece as part of the global ‘land fever’

Costis Hadjimichalis, Professor Emeritus at Harokopio University, Athens, is presenting the results of his research on current land grabbing processes and spatial financialization in Greece, next week in Madrid. The event is part of the series of invited presentations of our Master in Town and Regional Planning at the Politécnica, in cooperation with Contested Cities Madrid. Hadjimichalis is one of the leading voices disseminating territorial and political transformations in Greece during the crisis (see his piece on urban struggles in Athens here, published back in 2013 in our journal Urban) and we are thrilled to host his lecture. The situation in Greece is not only partially similar to the Spanish scenario in the context of EU austerity programs, but it also reveals the gradual penetration of crude accumulation by dispossession schemes in the European sphere.

Costis is presenting similar material a couple of days before in Barcelona, in an event with Dina Vaiou organized by the colleagues of Espais Crítics.

More information about the proceedings in Madrid below.


Debt Crisis and Land Dispossession in Greece as part of the global “land fever”

Thursday 19 November

Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Madrid. Sala de Grados B


The exploitation of land, but also of natural elements linked to it―such as water, forests, landscape, the subsurface and biodiversity―nowadays comprise investment targets for local and international speculative capital at some unprecedented extent, intensity and geographical spread. From 2009 on, Greece became a target country due to the current debt crisis which has decisively contributed to the devalorization/depreciation of the exchange value of land, decreasing monetary values by 15-30%―depending on the area―when compared to the 2005 prices. The special legal status imposed by the Troika as of 2010, forms a lucrative environment for speculators-investors, dramatically altering the legal, constitutional order and imposing something of a semi-protectorate status upon the country. This short presentation, based on author’s book, explains how the debt crisis in Greece made public land via privatizations and fire sales a major target for dispossession by global and local capital.

Costis Hadjimichalis is Professor Emeritus of Economic Geography and Regional Development at the Department of Geography, Harokopio University Athens. He had a previous position at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and was visiting professor at Roskilde University (Denmark), UCLA, Berkeley (USA), Oslo (Norway), NIRSA (Ireland), Macquire University (Australia) and Università degli studi di Padova (Italy). His research concerns uneven geographical development and socio-spatial justice in the Eurozone, the social and spatial effects of economic crisis in Southern Europe, the role of small firms in local development and a radical interpretation of landscapes as part of everyday life. He is section editor for Regional Development in the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (Elsevier), managing editor of the Greek journal Geographies and member of editorial boards in several other international journals. His recent books include Contemporary Greek Landscapes (editor, 2011), Athens: Melissa, Space in Radical Thinking (co-authored with D. Vaiou, 2012), Athens: Nissos/N. Poulantzas Institute, Debt Crisis and Land Dispossession, Athens: ΚΨΜ Publishers (2014) and Crisis Spaces: Austerity, Resistance and Solidarity in the European South, London: Routledge (forthcoming in 2016).

Publicado en Acumulación primitiva, Crisis, DUyOT, ETSAM, Geografía crítica, Máster urbanismo | Etiquetado , , , , , , , , , , , , | Deja un comentario

El Edificio España a debate


El blog del UEDXX publica una nota breve sobre el Edificio España. Nada nuevo en relación a la polémica actual, viva en las periódicos con mayor detalle desde hace meses. La introducción del texto ayuda sin embargo a comprender la continuidad con la tónica general de permisividad con la promoción privada que ha configurado Madrid en el último siglo, en este caso a través de la Compañía Inmobiliaria Metropolitana — antes Compañía Urbanizadora Metropolitana (responsable del arranque de Metro y el desarrollo de Avenida Reina Victoria, entre otros) y más tarde Metrovacesa.

Originalmente publicado en UEDXX :

Álvaro Sevilla Buitrago, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid,

La remodelación del Edificio España ha desatado una de las polémicas más agrias del urbanismo madrileño reciente. Construido entre las décadas de 1940 y 1950 según proyecto de los hermanos Otamendi para una de las sociedades de la familia —la Compañía Inmobiliaria Metropolitana— el edificio ilustra a la perfección el rol central de la iniciativa privada en la configuración de la capital española y la continuidad en el tiempo de los grandes operadores inmobiliarios, capaces de prosperar bajo regímenes políticos antagónicos desde la dictadura de Primo de Rivera y la Segunda República hasta la actualidad. La Compañía Inmobiliaria Metropolitana continuó la labor de la Compañía Urbanizadora Metropolitana —matriz original ligada al desarrollo del Metro y el entorno de Cuatro Caminos en los años 20— y es sucedida por Metrovacesa, la mayor inmobiliaria de España en plena Transición democrática. Esta trayectoria corporativa contará…

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Waldheim | Landscape as Urbanism

Charles Waldheim presents his book Landscape as Urbanism: A General Theory (Princeton University Press, forthcoming) at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The talk includes an interesting discussion about the discursive constitution of disciplines. Waldheim draws on Harvey’s notion of ‘spatial fix’ to identify particular moments in the history of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism when macro-economic and social upheavals trigger a recomposition of established disciplinary boundaries in the wake of major structural reconfigurations of the built environment. In these situations, he argues, an intrinsically malleable field as landscape architecture becomes an strategic pivotal point through which new spatial formations can be articulated. The hypothesis is illustrated with a counter-chronological analysis of works by Adriaan Geuze / West 8, James Corner Field Operations, Stan Allen, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Frederick Law Olmsted, amongst others.

Publicado en Arquitectura y crítica, Landscape architecture, Paisaje urbano, Urban design, Urbanismo crítico | Etiquetado , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comentario

Volume 33 Issue 5 now out – currently open access


New issue of Society and Space — the whole journal archive is currently open access for a limited period.

Originalmente publicado en Society and space:

This issue is open access for a limited time as part of a free trial period with SAGE, the new publisher of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

It begins with a provocative commentary on European queer of colour politics (El-Tayeb, Haritaworn and Bacchetta), then moves into articles that offer critical analyses on the following topics: race and gender violence in Vancouver, Canada (Collard); the politics of nuclear remediation in the United States (Cram); informal labour in a Soweto garbage dump (Samson); spatial history in literary representations of border landscapes (Morton); the biopolitics of planning in Halifax, Canada (Rutland); the mapping of Bangkok’s Rattanakosin historic district (Rugkhapan); satellites as the extraterrestrial footprints of global capitalism (Damjanov); indigeneity and participatory cartographies in Perija, Venezuela (Sletto); and, prison transfers in Britain as spatio-temporal regimes (Follis).

Queer of colour formations and translocal spaces in Europe Fatima El-Tayeb, Jin Haritaworn, Paola Bacchetta 769-778


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The politics of architecture | Mouffe, Aureli, Whiting et al

Following up on the previous post, you can find below an interesting set of presentations about the politics of architecture by Chantal Mouffe, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Reinhold Martin, Ines Weizman and Sarah Whiting, and the ensuing discussion at the Architectural Association in an event organized by The Architecture Exchange. The roundtable is especially stimulating, with a debate about the figure of the commons in architecture (Aureli, by the way, has a short piece about this).

It is great to see how architects —at least at the academy— are again developing an interest in talking about the political dimension of design, although this is often done in a subtle way that postpones or obscures the most pressing everyday issues on the city streets. But this is undoubtedly a great step out of the comfort zone of aesthetic celebration of previous decades. Fifteen years ago, still an undergraduate student with Tafuri in tow, I was told that one could not go too far in architectural critique using political arguments…perhaps this professor —actually a very talented practitioner— was one of the reasons why I decided to turn to planning and urban studies afterwards. Indeed it is ironic that most architects writing about politics today are using the city as an unescapable counterpoint for their theorizations, even if they are focusing on design objects. Urbanism takes revenge, after all…

The Architecture Exchange organized a similar panel about the work of Graham Harman and the idea of an object-oriented architecture; more information and videos here.

Publicado en Architecture, Espacio y política, Manfredo Tafuri, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Political urbanism, Space and politics | Etiquetado , , , , , , , , , | Deja un comentario

CfP The Architecture of Capital

Call for papers for an interesting panel in the next AAG meeting in San Francisco. More info here.


The Architecture of Capital: Rethinking the Geographies of Design in a Planetary Moment

AAG Annual Meeting, San Francisco, March 29-April 2, 2016


Adam Kaasa, Royal College of Art

Pushpa Arabindoo, University College London


Following the emergence of a renewed debate about the relationship of architecture to processes of capitalist urbanization, a series of opposing conceptions of architectural or design methods have been espoused as either a tool of capital (Brenner 2015), or as a space of political imagination (Lefebvre 2014). Within architecture itself, the discourse similarly moves between the emancipatory politics of an architectural imagination (Lahiji 2014), and the persistence of early Marxist criticism established by Manfredo Tafuri (1979) and Frederic Jameson (1998) that architecture is an integral part of the capitalist project, entrenching existing power relations.

As a result, inter-disciplinary conversations between architecture and the social sciences resonate around what is essentially a “negative dialectic”. This is particularly seen in efforts by scholars to develop a language around the geographies of architecture. This ranges from, on the one hand, the works of King (1990, 2003) on the globalization of architecture, to a particular emphasis on non-representational theory in the relationship between design intention and use or appropriation (Lees 2001; Lees and Baxter 2011; Kraftl and Adey 2008); Kraftl 2010; Jacobs and Merriman 2011), as well as, on the other hand, the consideration of architecture as a “big thing”, an assemblage of materials and political and economic processes (Jacobs 2006; Jacobs and Cairns 2008; Jacobs, Cairns and Strebel 2012a, 2012b). And yet, the relationship between architecture and capitalism in relation to processes of urbanization remains not only dichotomized, but also under-theorised. This is not simply an analytic gap, but has profound consequences for architectural pedagogy, for the entrenchment of disciplinary assumptions, and for the ability to forge new and inclusive urban politics that foreground design.

In this panel, we seek to bring together scholars working on issues related to revisiting the relationship of architecture and capitalism. We seek papers that move beyond the totalizing narratives of architecture as a process and product of contemporary capitalism to theorizing the complexity of architectural method, rethinking the globalization of architectural production and design, and documenting the emergence of alternative models for architectural practice, and their relationships to structures of labour, class, race and gender, as well as material and political ecologies.

Building on calls to rethink the relationship of architecture and geography beyond convenient narratives that might flatten both (Cairns and Jacobs, forthcoming 2015), we invite papers that interrogate architecture from a variety of geographical sites and moments. Topics across the global North and global South could include:

  • historical relationships between architecture, urbanism, and capitalism (reconsidering them theoretically and empirically)
  • emerging forms of the architectural collective
  • changing or entrenched geographies of architectural pedagogy, design and production
  • alternative architectural methods and practice (reconsidering tactics and strategies)
  • non-architectural built environment, architecture without architects
  • design process as a political possibility
  • political possibilities of an architectural imaginary (revisiting the propositional method)
  • thinking architectural possibility through critical queer, feminist, post-colonial, decolonial, or other perspectives
  • provincialising architecture beyond the canon

If you are interested in joining the panel, please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Adam Kaasa and Pushpa Arabindoo by October 21.

We will let participants know if they have been accepted by October 23. Accepted participants will then need to register online for the AAG meeting by the deadline of October 29. We are aiming for this panel to lay a strong foundation for a possible special issue edited by the organizers.

References cited

Brenner, Neil. 2015. “Is ‘Tactical Urbanism’ an Alternative to Neoliberal Urbanism? | Post.” Post: Notes on Modern & Contemporary Art Around the Globe. March 24.

Cairns, S. and J. M. Jacobs, Eds. 2015. Architecture and Geography: Inter-Disciplining Space, Reimagining Territory. Abingdon and New York, Routledge.

Jacobs, Jane M. 2006. “A Geography of Big Things.” Cultural Geographies 13 (1): 1–27. doi:10.1191/1474474006eu354oa.

Jacobs, Jane M, and Stephen Cairns. 2008. “The Modern Touch: Interior Design and Modernisation in Post-Independence Singapore.” Environment and Planning A 40 (3): 572–95. doi:10.1068/a39123.

Jacobs, Jane M., Stephen Cairns, and Ignaz Strebel. 2012a. “Doing Building Work: Methods at the Interface of Geography and Architecture.” Geographical Research 50 (2): 126–40. doi:10.1111/j.1745-5871.2011.00737.x.

———. 2012b. “Materialising Vision: Performing a High-Rise View.” In Visuality/ Materiality: Images, Objects and Practices, edited by Gillian Rose and Divya Praful Tolia-Kelly, 133–52. London: Ashgate Publishing Company.

Jacobs, Jane M., and Peter Merriman. 2011. “Practising Architectures.” Social & Cultural Geography 12 (3): 211–22. doi:10.1080/14649365.2011.565884.

Jameson, Fredric. 1998. “The Brick and the Balloon: Architecture, Idealism and Land Speculation.” New Left Review, I, , no. 228 (April): 25–46.

King, Anthony. 1990. “Architecture, Capital and the Globalization of Culture.” Theory, Culture & Society 7 (2): 397–411. doi:10.1177/026327690007002023.

King, Anthony D. 2003. “Writing Transnational Planning Histories.” In Urbanism Imported or Exported: Native Aspirations and Foreign Plans, edited by Joe Nasr and Mercedes Volait. Chichester, Wast Sussex: Wiley-Academy.

Kraftl, Peter. 2010. “Geographies of Architecture: The Multiple Lives of Buildings.” Geography Compass 4 (5): 402–15. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00332.x.

Kraftl, Peter, and Peter Adey. 2008. “Architecture/Affect/Inhabitation: Geographies of Being-In Buildings.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98 (1): 213–31. doi:10.1080/00045600701734687.

Lahiji, N., Ed. 2014. Architecture against the post-political: Essays in re-claiming the critical project. Abingdon and New York, Routledge.

Lees, Loretta. 2001. “Towards A Critical Geography of Architecture: The Case of an Ersatz Colosseum.” Cultural Geographies 8 (1): 51–86. doi:10.1177/096746080100800103.

Lees, Loretta, and Richard Baxter. 2011. “A ‘building Event’ of Fear: Thinking through the Geography of Architecture.” Social & Cultural Geography 12 (2): 107–22. doi:10.1080/14649365.2011.545138.

Lefebvre, Henri. 2014. Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment. Edited by Łukasz Stanek. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Tafuri, Manfredo. 1979. Architecture and Utopia: Design and Capitalist Development. The MIT Press.

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