Separations in Multivocality: Reconfiguring Dialogue through Design
Licentiate thesis, 2017
This thesis takes an artistic research approach concerned with the designer's agency within processes of public space. It traverses contexts of urbanism, urban design, architecture, art, design and participatory processes but also draws from other fields. It aims to reconfigure a view commonly held in applications of dialogue and participation, particularly in urban development, that dialogue is a face-to-face process which should converge towards a single consensus. Instead, dialogue can be understood to happen both directly and indirectly in dynamic processes involving converging (connecting) and diverging (separating) forces which together produce multivocality, or the coexistence of a collective voice with multiple articulated voices. In critical response to the monovocality of our post-political, post-Fordist context, and to similarly monovocal communitarian or cosmopolitan alternatives, the emphasis here is on mechanisms of separation for their capacity to structure the differentiation required by multivocality. The most immediate question is how the designer can structure, negotiate and navigate the dynamics of separation and connection, articulating and disarticulating voices in order to enable, protect, amplify or produce new multivocality.
I experimented with and experienced these dynamics through my primary case study, Ett skepp kommer lastat. . . (2015-2016), a project I initiated in collaboration with the Frölunda Cultural Center and the Gothenburg Cultural Department, with the support of Chalmers Architecture and TRADERS. It involved eight groups of children and youth from three schools and inquired into the theme 'neighbors' from artistic, cultural, urban and architectural perspectives through a constellation of participatory workshops integrated with an exhibition.
Room 2408, Eklandagatan 86, Department of Architecture, Chalmers University of Technology
Opponent: Meike Schalk, Associate Professor in Urban Studies, Docent in Architecture, KTH School of Architecture and the Built Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.