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Edited by William Fourie

From subversive shop windows to moralising theme parks, Urban Assemblage presents eight diverse perspectives on urban space and culture. The volume spotlights cities as far afield as Johannesburg and Cork City to see how different cultures, media, mobilities and narratives come to form the spaces we occupy; it looks at the Tuscan utopia, the evolution of the hipster, the Neo-bohemian café culture of gentrification, and breaking the rigid urban way of life through the fluid (identity) movement of Parkour. Not only is the subject matter diverse, but the interdisciplinary spirit at the core of this volume elicits convergences and divergences, intersections and parallels by drawing on wide-ranging methodologies and disciplines. Urban Assemblage is an assemblage of eight different voices, informed and cutting-edge in their explications of various urban spaces.

Jackie West

The primary aim in my doctoral research programme was to explore the gap between intention and interpretation in painting. This was achieved in two ways. Firstly, by building a self-reflexive account of my intentions as a painter, analysed through repeated observations of home games at Fratton Park, Portsmouth Football Club, which were later combined into paintings. Secondly, I gathered and analysed interpretations of these paintings by focus groups. I structured these focus groups around Richard Wollheim’s notion of the ‘adequately informed’ spectator of painting. The gap between intention and interpretation is explored through the paintings that are my response to a particular cultural scene, and are then interpreted by those who are/are not familiar with it. The thesis demonstrates the development of a methodology for art practice that allows representational painting to be used as a tool for enquiry and as an embodiment of cultural knowledge. Visual research is expected to be part of an artist’s process and as a tutor I ask students to consider and explore methods and processes for their own practice and as part of their process, how their artefacts might be received and how in turn, this might affect their practice. My research project originates in my practice as a representational painter and teacher of visual research.

Filip Degreef

Whilst academic research on trust in food proliferated after the food scares of the 1990s limited attention has been given to the evolution of perception of food safety and quality preceding these scandals. This chapter will focus on how representations and ideas of food safety and quality changed during the post-war era with respect to new food technologies. Building on the theory of risk society put forward by Ulrich Beck this study looks at how larger evolutions in society, technology, media, sub-politics and food interacted. In doing so, the research contributes to the understanding of the effects these changes had on the representation of expertise, products and technologies. In order to understand how new food technologies were represented and fit within a cultural framework, a Belgian newspaper and the publications of two consumer organisations are studied during 35 years, using the methodology of framing. The focus lies on two highly contested technologies: food radiation and food additives. This research shows that both the newspaper and the consumer organisations used specific emotionally guided framed to inform readers. The findings of this study offer a starting point for further studies on food quality and safety whilst providing a framework in which these issues can be viewed, understood and compared to. It also contributes to grasping the historical foundations of frameworks in which food and technology are interpreted.

Andrea Bosio

Considering the urban environment of the city as a cultural generator connected to food production and consumption habits, this chapter investigates the everyday life practices relating to food as connected to the archetypical architectural food spaces of the domestic kitchen, the café, the market, and the street, through a comparison between Australian and Italian contexts. Assuming food and food culture to have theatrical and symbolic aspects connected to space, the paper argues the significance of such media as graphic advertising, cookbooks, television shows and movies as vehicles for the understanding of the social, economic and cultural transmission in relation to food space. The links between society, culture, rural and urban landscape, slowness and fastness of society, will be analysed through those media, advancing then the necessity to build a scheme capable of mapping the relationships between those factors, in order to visualise the present condition and predict future potential scenarios within a perspective of food equity and environmental sustainability. Drawing on recent methodological advances, the chapter will explore the insights offered through the representations of food production and consumption in the Australian and Italian contexts from the domestic to the urban scale. This discussion will suggest that gastronomy can be seen as a tool for transforming the built environment. Considering then the theoretical studies of mapping in the work of architects and graphic designers, on these premises the chapter will present hypothetical models for the mapping of food culture and its relationship to the transformation of the built environment.

Lara Bullock

The recent mainstreaming of Street Art has afforded Street Artists unprecedented means with which to develop their practices. As a result, I argue that this movement is occupying a new place both inside and outside the art institution that addresses Street Art’s traditional critiques of consumerism, politics, neocapitalism/neoliberalism, but through unprecedented ways such as through institutional sponsorship and by adopting philanthropic postures, thereby complicating the ethos of traditional Street Art. In late 2011, on the cosmopolitan Rua de Avenida de Paulista, next to the Museo Arte Sao Paulo de Chateaubriand stood a piece by Swoon; a Street Artist from New York City. Its title, Encampment Ersilia, refers to Italo Calvino’s invisible and mobile city, which is notable for the ever-increasing connections that are forged between its inhabitants. In order to highlight this shift in Street Art practice, I will use this piece as a central case study in this paper. Swoon’s Encampment Ersilia is part community centre, part homeless shelter, part artwork, and attracted a myriad audience. Swoon intended the site to operate as 'a new city (…) a delicate quiet song, a temporary freedom, a meeting place where words stitch a new reality and children are born in unexpected ways'. Despite the potentially grandiose naïveté of this desire, Swoon’s installation did in fact function as a micro city. Though, the work was temporary. It functioned as part of Swoon’s overarching methodology of place-making; each piece she makes, is arguably conversant in an ongoing dialogue that links her entire practice. This work departs from Swoon’s early wheat-pasting work on the streets, but uses the same modalities of Street Art: its activation is dependent on the street, it is temporary, it is meant to bring people together. In my paper, I will discuss the consequences of this departure in the work of Swoon and other contemporary Street Artists.

Carmel Smith

Against the backdrop of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the declaration of a new paradigm for the study of children and childhood in the 1990s, the field of childhood studies which has subsequently emerged is both complex and diverse. There has been a significant shift towards multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches as well as a focus on the positioning of children and childhood in research. This chapter examines this trend by drawing on the perspectives of 22 international key thinkers, from different disciplinary backgrounds, all of whom have made a substantial contribution to theory and research about children and childhood over the course of the last 30 years. In depth interviews allowed access to participants’ personal and previously unpublished accounts of childhood research, together with their reflections on their research experiences and academic careers. The history of the field of childhood studies, the status of the current field and possible future directions are explored. What emerges from these interviews is a diverse range of experiences and standpoints, a multiplicity of approaches and evident disagreements on a number of core issues. The chapter concludes by arguing that the most fundamental differences between these key thinkers centres on how best to address the relationship between children and childhood theoretically and methodologically. Should the primary focus be on childhood as a structural, generational and comparative category or is there a growing need to acknowledge the limits of modernist approaches and recognise the plurality of childhoods and children’s experiences? Importantly, will these different perspectives remain embedded within disciplines or can they be incorporated into a coherent multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach to the study of children and childhood?

Melissa Laird

Invested with the research methodologies of material culture scholarship and the ‘physical’ nature of ‘embodied practice’, this chapter investigates fashion design processes as an academic activity. It considers how practice-led or embodied practice can inform design evolution and develop students’ design-confidence. The chapter shows the diversity and possibility afforded to fashion outcomes read through the framework of a task entitled Fragments: Cloth and Memory, delivered at Whitehouse Institute of Design, Australia, Sydney Campus. At the heart of this chapter lie a series of student designs; textile narratives and fashion collections, where the particular learning and teaching strategies engaged in the studio prompted very personal and unique approaches to clothing and cloth. Real engagement and embodiment of ideals is apparent in these works. As physical, historical, emotive and mechanical memory were investigated and ensuing processes applied to the humble materiality of cotton and silk, new and innovative textiles were created. These textile experiments possess additional meaning as they evolve into fashion-clothing though their association with intimacy, and develop as narratives through garments shadowing the body, and by revealing a deeper personal significance for the designer. These original designs become protective amulets, graced with imitative magic through their personalised craftsmanship and materiality. With their own developing mechanical memory, they protect the torso, bosom and vulnerable throat; Fragments, Cloth and Memory at the heart of fashion.

Kalyanlakshmi Chitta, Manish Khare and Savita Kulkarni

This chapter focuses on the methodologies adopted by individual work efforts in pursuit of chosen objectives while operating within the larger systemic framework and attempts to conceptualise the situations in which misalignment or conflict develops in individual and systemic goals and its resultant impact. The value added by the system as a whole, beyond that contributed independently by the parts, is created primarily by the relationship among the parts. In essence, a system constitutes a set of interrelated components working together with a common objective- fulfilling some designated need. Every system has some objectives and prescribes an appropriate methodology to achieve them. Similarly, the individual components participating in the working of the system do so with some individual objectives. As long as objectives of the individual components are concentric to, and methodology adopted in pursuit of these objectives is in alignment with that prescribed by the system, the result will be synergetic. Misalignment in the functioning of individual stakeholders vis-à-vis the system arising on account of A. Conflict in short or long-term objectives, B. Adoption of inappropriate methods by individuals to realize their objectives, C. Inability of system to effectively put in place a mechanism to check anti-systemic individual practices, D. Adoption of sub-optimal strategies by system to realise its objectives that sets a self-defeating process into motion, E. Non-development of institutional environment fostering circular self-regulation through affiliation at informal levels among components beyond professional engagement. Will in the long-term culminate into a situation where individuals are able to advance their misaligned objectives at the expense of the system. This may be reflected in the distortion of internal dynamics wherein the overall value added by the system is lesser than the cumulative benefit (real or perceived) derived by individual stakeholders; a situation that the chapter understands is governed by anti-synergy.

Maria Elo and Päivi Jokela

The socio-cultural context of entrepreneurship and bi-directional interplay between entrepreneurship and its socio-cultural context are under-explored. Especially, Diaspora entrepreneurship differs from mainstream entrepreneurship as Diaspora members with manifold social ties are embedded in multiple cultures. These strong social and entrepreneurial ties provide them with various resources that can also be constraining, which might bind them to invest or act in a particular manner. In this chapter, we examine the ‘immigrant effect’ and construct a model of socio-cultural impacts on the drivers of first generation, providing novel perspectives on the phenomenon. Diaspora entrepreneurship. Theoretically, we build on social network, entrepreneurship, and Diaspora entrepreneurship theories when examining diasporans and their strong ties. Our unique, socio-cultural focal group is Bukharian Jews, and we employ the methodology of multiple case studies on entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan and Israel.

Mary Ann O’Grady

This mixed methods research project examined the phenomenon of filicide - which is defined as the murder of children by their parents - from a conflict resolution perspective. Previous research has investigated filicide across a variety of contexts including legal, social, and cultural, but not from a viewpoint of managing and resolving intra-family conflict. The goals of this research project were to provide additional insights and practical applications for professionals who come into contact with those families at high risk for incidents of filicide by, firstly, expanding the classification of motives for filicide to include both instrumental and expressive motivations according to the type of parent; and, secondly, by examining the gender differences existing in the degree of planning prior to the act of filicide. The mixed methods research carried out included the construction of a tri-county level database for south Florida for filicides occurring between January 1985 and December 1994. The qualitative portion of the methodology included a content analysis of the descriptive variables for each filicide case. Two case studies originating from September 2010 to the present day were utilized to illustrate patterns/themes common to filicide cases entered into the quantitative database. A quantitative analysis of the filicide database was conducted to compare the frequency of the variables of expressive versus instrumental filicide as they related to the motives of genetic parents and step-parents. The results suggested that, regardless of the category of parent, the filicides tended to be more expressive in nature; and that females were more likely to engage in a greater degree of planning than males in the commission of filicide. A comparison between the degree of brutality and gender of the offender revealed that more males than females were represented in each of the three categories of brutality.