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LSE Cities announces new research project: Configuring Light/ Staging the Social

Light is a material through which we organise social space; it is the infrastructure of everyday life, entering into the ways in which social life and interaction is staged and enacted in specific social worlds.

Configuring Light/ Staging the Social is a multidisciplinary research programme that forges an integral dialogue between social sciences, design, architecture and urban planning focused on light as one of the most fundamental features of social life. It is coordinated by Dr. Don Slater and Mona Sloane of the Department of Sociology in the London School of Economics and Political Science in collaboration with Dr. Joanne Entwistle of King’s College London.

The research programme aims at developing interlinked projects focused on the ways in which light as a material is configured into built environments by using multidisciplinary and academic-practitioner collaborations to explore four overarching thematics: ‘Staging Light’, ‘Consuming Light’, ‘Light Histories’ and ‘Light Cultures’. Its perspective is ethnographically comprehensive: mapping all the significant forms of knowledge, practice and governance and all the actors (consumers, designers, planners) that enter into the processes of configuring light and staging social life.

Configuring Light/ Staging the Social has recently launched an international seminar series funded by the ESRC. The seminar series will begin in Spring 2014 and will develop a platform for practitioners and academics to cross boundaries between social sciences, humanities, architecture and technology and develop new concepts, methods and information to understand light as material culture. Confirmed speakers of the seminar series include professionals and academics from Qatar, New Zealand, USA, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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