Negotiating spaces: design for knowing

An event hosted by Open School East and Theatrum Mundi

‘Design for knowing’ was the second in Theatrum Mundi’s series of salons titled ‘Negotiating Spaces’, a twelve-month investigation into the practice of deliberation, dialogue, contestation and compromise in navigating the urban.

This workshop took as its starting point the public library. Public access to books is not new. In the 19th century the push for a truly public library asserted an access to learning, though this remained a one-size-fits all kind of learning and user. The contemporary library remains at the forefront of the intersection of learning and difference – class, race, gender- though there are many other radical spaces of learning, knowledge production and exchange that enable the complex, the uncertain and the unexpected that gives cities their life. How can formal institutions learn from informal, peripheral and invisible spaces and vice versa, and how might we design new spaces for learning?

For more information please visit the project website.


    Suzanne Hall

    Suzanne Hall is an urban ethnographer and has practised as an architect in South Africa. Her research and teaching interests focus on everyday formations of global migration in the context of inequality, discrimination and resistance, particularly migrant economies and urban multi-culture. From 1997 to 2003 her practice engaged with the role of design in marginalised and racially segregated areas in Cape Town. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale, and the 2005 Sao Paulo Biennale of Architecture and Design. She was awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant (2015–2017) for a comparative project on ‘Super-diverse Streets: Economies and spaces of urban migration in UK Cities’, which emerges out of her LSE Cities research project on ‘Ordinary Streets’. She is a recipient of an LSE Teaching Award (2017), the Phillip Leverhulme Prize (2017), the LSE’s Robert McKenzie PhD Prize (2010), and the Rome Scholarship in Architecture (1998–1999). Suzi is author of City, Street and Citizen (2012), and The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City, co-edited with Ricky Burdett (2017).

    Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad

    Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad is a designer, working across products, images and spaces. Through the use of collaborative research, photography and social events his work engages with new ways of mediating between emergence and the role and social function of design within domestic and urban public spaces.

    Adam Murray

    Adam Murray is a Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Central Lancashire and co-founder of Preston is my Paris and TENT

    Ken Worpole

    Ken Worpole is the author of many books on architecture, landscape and social policy, having worked for a number of think-tanks and research organisations over many years.  He is Emeritus Professor in the Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University, and his most recent book is Contemporary Library Architecture (Routledge 2013).