Communicative Cities and Urban Space: Symposium and Workshop 2017

Leading researchers gathered together to discuss the key role of urban space in enhancing urban accessibility and creating urban public life as part of the 2017 ‘Communicative Cities and Urban Space: Symposium and Workshop’ was hosted this year at Sinan Literature House, in Shanghai. This event was part of an ongoing collaboration with the RUPC and the Centre for Information and Communication Studies (CICS), of Fudan University, which is a top-tier research centre at one of the leading universities in China.

The symposium attendees included RUPC Director Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, RUPC Executive members Professor Scott McQuire, Associate Professor Fran Martin and Dr Bjorn Nansen, as well as RUPC members Dr Danielle Wyatt and Dr Millicent Weber. They were joined by researchers from from China, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and Croatia.

Professor Scott McQuire discussed the changes to urban space in China and the rapid developments of digital art space that has developed over the past two decades. McQuire argued that this generation of scholars have a responsibility to explore the ongoing urban digitalization and networking issues, and to envision the design of future urban spaces. The workshop provided a good platform for participants and scholars to voice and communicate with each other.

Professor Nikos Papastergiadis alongside panelists Dr Danielle Wyatt and Dr Millicent Weber, who explored the integration of contemporary art practice and public culture. The panel was entitled: ‘Museums and their Spaces: From the City as Sanctuary to a Molecular Confederation’.

Dr Bjorn Nansen discussed the digitization of children's public gaming spaces. Through a case study of a new smartphone game, he emphasised that historical boundaries between digital and non-digital spaces as determined by mobile positioning.

Associate Professor Fran Martin discussed her research into the social networking tool WeChat. Martin conducted in-depth interviews with 56 Chinese women who live in Melbourne to consider how the daily life experience of Chinese students in Melbourne is reflected in these social media apps.

More details about the symposium can be found on the WeChat website.