Collegium Helveticum
Fellow Project 2023–2024

The Affective and Emotional ‘Vibe’ of Specific (Public) Urban Places in Zurich

By comparing urban places Huib will empirically uncover the way affection for specific places is emerging and created. This allows the fine-tuning of the conceptualization of these “feelings” and “affections” suggested by the neo-phenomenological perspective and the exploration of possibilities to design places in such a way that they are effectively experienced as more pleasant, just, and effective. This topic is closely related to the work of architects, urban designers, urban planners, and (art) curators of events and places as well as of social psychologists, sociologists, and philosophers.

This research topic is currently intensively debated in these disciplines and is closely linked to the increased attention given to the forgotten dimension of ‘emotions’ in our current society. Emotions and “experiences” are no longer seen as a rather irrelevant irrational ‘rest’ factor, but increasingly as the basis and driving force behind our (spatial) choices, behaviour and “performance.”

Instead of reducing this topic to only the affective dimension, through this research, we try to grasp the full relational complexity of the way we experience, create, and perform or practice (urban) places.