Collegium Helveticum

Affective Dimensions of Urban Places


Venue: University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich, RAA E 30

Free entry as long as space available.

To describe the affective dimension of urban places the concept of “atmosphere” was coined by Hermann Schmitz and Gernot Böhme. Atmospheres are characterized equally by their profanity and their effectiveness. Atmospheres are complex assemblages of materiality, aesthetics, heritage/memory, human corporeal experience, politics of affects, etc. Wherever you look, atmospheres are a determining, perhaps even the most important element in human life. They make a big difference in urban life. Together with a number of geography students, Huib Ernste investigates the affective dimension of diverse urban places in the city of Zurich. Zurich is dominated by a number of institutions for higher education. Each of them carries a special atmosphere and together they also contribute substantially to the atmosphere of Zurich.

In this small workshop, we want to present and discuss the preliminary results of the sabbatical research project in Zurich together with the involved local researchers of the University of Zurich and some invited experts. To give the workshop a real experiential character in the second half of the workshop we will continue the discussion of the preliminary results on location at two different places within the city.

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