The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre is a daunting place to go to deliver a paper. The entrance to the enormous site resembles a border. A row of control cabins, each with an armed guard outside, check every vehicle. Anyone without the necessary permissions goes to a desk to handover ID in return for being checked as an expected visitor. On the way out another armed guard with a german shepherd dog scans your new visitor badge and checks it against your ID again.
Talking once again on understanding the relations between infrastructural change, changes to daily life, and their consequences for energy demand, this time as one of the contributors to the ‘Energy in the City’ Summer School at Leeds University. Working through the argument of a journal article recently back from review, and getting participants’ input into it, really helped push along my thinking on ‘infrastructuration’. A full report of the event is here. Continue reading “Energy in the city summer school”
This article, which I co-authored with Dr Lenneke Kuijer, uses detailed analysis of historical change across infrastructures and practices reveals processes underpinning increasing demand for heat in UK homes. It draws on archive work, oral histories and focus groups as part of our work with the DEMAND research centre. Highlighting how phenomena including spatial differentiation within the home, processes of automation and the emergence of novel practice fuelled demand for heat, it demonstrates how a focus on patterns of practice reveals new insights into energy demand, including new insights for contemporary energy policy.
Engaging discussion on understanding travel demand and the possibilities for anticipating it’s futures in Leeds today. Flattered to be one of a great, diverse selection of speakers at this inaugural meeting of the Commission, at the Institute of Transport Studies. The mix of people, from policy and third sector as well as from across academic disciplines and approaches made for varied positives and productive differences. Discussion showed the commissioners have their work cutout, but also plenty of ideas and evidence to work with.
I had a great time at the New Practices for New Publics workshop in Sheffield today. I shared the speaker list with David Evans and with Margit Keller, and was first in neat run of three talks taking different approaches to reflecting on practice theory and its capacity to inform processes of governing to effect positive social change. The three talks were followed by a lively discussion, with the three of us fielding some testing and at time trenchant questioning in productive ways. The workshop was the fourth in an ESRC funded series of events designed to bring together cutting edge thinking in social science with the experiences of civil society organisations, especially those in the community and voluntary sector.
There’s a video of my presentation here and my slides are available here
A roundtable conference in the French town of Autun, organised by Olivier Coutard and Jochen Monstadt, was a great opportunity to push new thinking on urban infrastructures in relation to the nexus in cities. I delivered a paper, co-authored with Elizabeth Shove, developed from work in the DEMAND centre to engage with the urban nexus agenda. The paper sets out and seeks to work through the concept of ‘infrastructuration’ as a means of approaching the recursive relations between infrastructures of resource provision, and the everyday practices that constitute the demand for those resources. The paper should be going forward as part of a special issue submission to Urban Studies
My first time at the global geographer’s annual jamboree, thanks to an invitation to contribute to a panel on Theorizing Mobility Transitions: Scales, Sites and Struggles, with Mimi Sheller, Tim Cresswell and Tim Schwanen. As I was headed over, I also co-organised a paper session with Rachel Macrorie, Reimagining ‘smart’ and low-carbon urbanism.