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URBAN DESIGN THINKING: A Conceptual Toolkit

London: Bloomsbury 2016

Urban Design Thinking is the first comprehensive account of urban design from an assemblage perspective. It shows how the design of our cities and urban spaces are interpreted and informed by understanding the major contemporary theories of urbanism, architecture, planning and spatial analysis. Thirty short chapters can be read individually or in sequence, each exploring a single concept opening a particular conceptual lens for understanding the city. Subjects range in scale from graffiti to globalisation, and examine everyday conceptions of place, image, economy, power, networks, informality and complexity. Taking the concept of the ‘assemblage’ as its primary critical framework, the book introduces and applies the ideas of a diverse range of theorists from Jacobs and Gehl to Benjamin, Lefebvre, Deleuze and Guattari.


Mapping Urbanities

Routledge 2017

MAPPING URBANITIES Edited by Kim Dovey, Elek Pafka and Mirjana Ristic Routledge 2017 This book explores the role that urban mapping can play in showing how cities ‘tick’. What is the capacity of mapping to reveal the forces at play in shaping urban form and space? How can mapping extend the urban imagination and therefore the possibilities for urban transformation? With a focus on urban scales, the book explores the potency of mapping as a research method that opens new horizons in our exploration of complex urban environments. A primary focus is on investigating urban morphologies and flows within a framework of assemblage thinking - an understanding of cities that is focused on relations between places rather than places in themselves; on transformations more than fixed forms; and on multi-scale relations from 10 metres to 100 kilometres. With cases drawn from 30 cities across the global north and south the book analyses the mapping of place identities, political conflict, transport flows, streetlife, functional mix and informal settlements. Mapping is presented as a production of spatial knowledge embodying a diagrammatic logic that cannot be reduced to words and numbers. Urban mapping constructs interconnections between the ways the city is perceived, conceived and lived; revealing capacities for urban transformation - the city as a space of possibility.


FLUID CITY: Transforming Melbourne's Urban Waterfront

UNSW Press/Routledge, 2005

This book traces the transformation Melbourne's urban waterfront during a period of increased fluidity in terms of flows of global capital, design imagery and planning process. During the critical decades of the late 20th century the formal imagery of cities became more central to urban development; the 'spectacle' of the city, its seductive surfaces and urban iconography became keys to prosperity. The book includes seminal critiques of Federation Square, Southbank and Melbourne Docklands. Fluid City received the Australia Award for Urban Design in 2005.


Framing Places

(London: Routledge, 1999, 2nd edition 2008)

Architecture and urban design are the most contradictory of practices -- torn between a radically optimistic belief in the creation of the new, and a conservative acceptance of the prevailing order. Architects and urban designers engage with the articulation of dreams -- imagining and constructing a 'better' future in someone's interest. This optimistic sense of creative innovation largely defines the design professions which are all identified with constant change. Yet architecture is also the most conservative of practices. This conservatism stems from the fundamental inertia of built form as it 'fixes' and 'stabilizes' the world -- space is deployed to stabilize time. It is this antinomous quality -- coupling imaginative innovation with a stabilizing conservatism -- that makes the interpretation of place so interesting yet problematic.


BECOMING PLACES

(London: Routledge, 2010)

‘Becoming Places’ is about the slippery ways in which who we are becomes wrapped up with where we are. Drawing on the social theories of Deleuze and Bourdieu, the book analyzes the sense of place as socio-spatial assemblage and as embodied habitus. The book is based in a broad range of case studies from nationalist monuments and new urbanist suburbs to urban laneways and avant garde interiors. Through these cases a range of questions is explored. What is neighborhood character? How do squatter settlements work and does it matter what they look like? Can architecture liberate? How do courthouses legitimate authority? How do rhizomatic practices shape the meanings of public space? How do monuments and public spaces shape or stabilize national identity? The thread that ties these together is identities and places in states of becoming: character becomes caricature, closed becomes open, interior becomes landscape, illegal becomes legal, hotel becomes brothel, public becomes private – and vice versa in each case. ‘Becoming Places’ is a book about the unfinishedness of place and identity.