Understanding Mobile Embodied Situations

Ph.D.-project by Cecilie Breinholm Christensen

The PhD project is based on the credo that mobilities are ‘more than A to B’, that people are present and making sense of their everyday movements. Further, it is based on the assumption that our physical surroundings influences us, our thoughts and emotions, and that we also make sense of the spaces and environments we move through. Consequently, this project puts focus on the spaces that frame transit as more than ‘non-places’, more than empty spaces without meaning.

The aim is to study such spaces and the mobile embodied situations taking place here. Particularly, this project will take an interest in how design and architecture influence mobile situations, as well as how people inhabit urban spaces while being on the move – thereby gaining a better understanding of mobile situations in general.

Underlying the project is the Staging Mobilities analytical framework that points out how mobilities come together in-situ as both physical and material settings, social interactions and embodied performances (Jensen, 2013).

The methodological set-up will aim at gaining a more full and holistic understanding of mobile embodied situations, studying these from different perspectives (an observational ‘outside-in’ perspective and a subjective ‘inside-out’ perspective) as well as combining analogue and digital tools. Furthermore, the methodological set-up aims at combining known and new methods, thereby ‘testing’ how new tracking technologies (thermal cameras and eye-tracking glasses) can be implemented in urban and mobilities studies. Finally, design interventions will be used as a method to provoke situations and point towards future design changes.

Concrete case studies will be urban spaces around the metro and airport of Copenhagen.

Jensen, O.B. (2013) Staging Mobilities, London: Routledge

Project period: March 2017 – February 2020
Researcher: Cecilie Breinholm Christensen, Ph.D. student
Supervisors: Ole B. Jensen and Shelley Smith  
Research institution: Aalborg University, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Section for Architecture and Urban Design

For further information, please contact:  Cecilie Breinholm Christensen cebrei@gmail.com