Occupation Conference

  • 2nd Jul 2009 9:00am - 4th Jul 2009 6:00pm
    Grand Parade, University of Brighton

'Occupation: Negotiations with Constructed Space

School of Architecture and Design: Interior Architecture and Urban Studies Programme

An abiding concern for designers of interior space is the way that buildings and places are used or occupied. Issues of inhabitation, enclosure and containment are of critical importance in this new century and an understanding of relationships between politics, place and space is indispensable for any sort of practice today. Researchers, practitioners and students in the fields of interiors, art, architecture and spatial design must be open to alternative readings of territory and a range of spatial practices. This three-day conference will be concerned with the motivations, forces, constraints and drives in design for occupation.

Fred Scott states that  "The function of buildings in human affairs is more correctly described through patterns or rituals of occupation. Buildings will otherwise resist description in terms of more precise functions; as James Gowan has sometimes commented to me, 'I can eat a sandwich in any size of room'. The intended fit between function and space can be elusive, unfocused, but the image is vivid, which is the reason why the idea of obsolescence is so uncertain with regards to buildings" (Fred Scott, 'On Altering Architecture', Routledge, 2008).

Occupation may be benign or may be achieved through the acquisition of territory by force - processes of control of people and places. Occupation may also be a state of mind where daily routines and activity are curtailed, moulded and adapted to a particular environment. Equally, spaces may be composed or formed through processes and layers of inhabitation. The conference theme, 'Occupation’ will address the friction and negotiation that exists between built space and Inhabitants.

Presentations will be divided into four areas in order to open ways of thinking about designing for occupation. Contributions are invited from designers, artists, practitioners, teachers, students and all those interested in the disciplines of architecture, interiors and spatial design.