PHOTOGRAPHY AS VISUAL URBANISM. Memories, Research, Mediation
Tagungsort: Gästehaus der RWTH Aachen, Melatener Straße 31, 52074 Aachen
In recent years, visual urbanism has emerged as a new research field. Being aware of the photography’s potentials and constraints in practice (such as photographic objectification) and being critical of street photography, researchers using critical visual methodologies in anthropology (Banks 2001; Pink 2007), cultural studies (Lister and Wells, 2000), sociology (Holliday 2001), and cultural geography (Rose 2012) have underlined the importance of reflexivity and questioned the uncritical use of both cameras and images. Yet, until now, a discussion of incorporating visual research methods into the knowledge of architectural design and urban planning has been very minimal. While researchers in other disciplines have already suggested possibilities for new visual methodologies, researchers in architecture and urban planning have not undertaken similar approaches in their disciplines yet.
In this conference, we aim to generate a new cross-disciplinary dialogue between theoreticians and practitioners of urbanism and photography in order to develop new collaborative methods for research on the visual, sensory and performative dimensions of urbanism through photography. Our aim is to reveal, that the practice of architecture and urbanism departs from a hybrid state in which memory, research and mediation are bound together in a specific operative mode. Photography, as a means of visual and performative urban practice, can be connected to the acts of remembering, of investigating or of planning. The main research questions to discuss during the conference are: What can architects, urban planners and designers learn from photographers ad visual artists and vice versa? How might research methodologies of photographers and visual artists help us challenge existing research methodologies in urbanism and urban studies? How can we define a new common ground between making photography and the practices of designing / making / living urban spaces?