'The little tactics of the habitat': Developing posthumanist methodologies to research how new educational spaces are claimed and made liveable.
This project develops posthumanist research methodologies to explore material, performative, and social place-making practices in ‘new’ educational spaces.
The research focuses on staff and students’ interactions with materialities and the embodied practices used to claim, borrow, capture and inhabit ‘new’ institutional spaces in ways that make those spaces ‘theirs’.
Posthumanist theory decentres the human by taking greater notice of nonhuman forces and materialities as agents, but little work has been done in putting these theorisations to work. By focusing on everyday, informal and usually disregarded spaces such as staff kitchens, office workspaces, corridors, smoking zones, and cafes, the study taps into the many mundane but significant socio-material and affective practices that staff and students use to claim institutional space.
The project takes forward posthumanist methodologies by investigating the relations of matter and meaning. Its empirical-theoretical contribution lies in considering place-making practices that pass under the institutional radar.