The Research of Place/The Place of Research

That’s prepositions for you. They don’t change in themselves, but they change everything around them: words, things and people. (Michael Serres)

The phrase ‘the research of place’ encapsulates a way of thinking that we are all familiar with, where research is the activity, and place the subject matter or object of study of a research enquiry. This conference has thematized the possible approaches to place through seven modes of research: Environmental, Cultural, Social, Technological, Design, Organizational and Educational.  I am interested too in the critical inversion suggested by the second phrase of this conference’s title: ‘The Place of Research’. It moves place out of a passive position as the object of enquiry, and allows us to reconsider place as an active research process, and to rethink the relation between the two terms – place and research. In this way it is much closer to my own intellectual approach, which takes research to be a form of situated practice, which operates using site-specific techniques to critique disciplinary methods of enquiry, interpretation and creative construction.

[Part of this paper is to be published as Jane Rendell, ‘May Mo(u)rn: A Site-Writing’, Nadir Lahiji (ed) Essays in honour of Frederic Jameson, (London: Ashgate, forthcoming 2011).]

Publication Details: ‘The Research of Place/The Place of Research’ publication of my keynote address as part of the conference proceedings for Place of Research/Research of Place, Annual Meeting of the EAAE, European Association for Architectural Education, (June 2010), (2012).

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