Critical Spatial Perspectives

"Unfolding how power, spatiality and meaning are connected."

The master’s thesis studio Critical Spatial Perspectives deals with a wide range of topics within the field of planning and design for a just and sustainable future. We emphasize such perspectives because they are urgent: In 2016, 4 out of 9 planetary ecological boundaries had been crossed (Rockström et al, 2016). This is currently visible in a resource use that continues to widely overshoot the biocapacity on a global level. During the last 50 years, the global population has consumed more products and services than all earlier generations taken together (Lerpold / Sjöberg, 2016). This surplus is however extremely unevenly distributed, as 20 % of the world’s population earns just 2 % of the global income. Indeed, it has been pointed out that we now live in “an age of irresponsibility” which currently is creating over-consumption, poverty and social polarization (Jackson, 2009). In this studio wewant to emphasisze that as design professionals we have means to make a difference, and that it’s important that we shoulder this critical role.

Consequently, within the Critical Spatial Perspectives studio we are interested in unfolding how power, spatiality and meaning are connected. We believe that deeper knowledge of how these aspects interact in the continuous shaping of the built environment, as well as of people’s identity is crucial for a development towards a more just, democratic and sustainable society. Sustainable development is about the right of every human being, living today or yet not born, to social and economic developmentwithin the limits imposed by the carrying capacity of ecosystems and the planetary boundaries. It is a vision based on the understanding that vigorous measures are necessary in order to manage growing developmental problems related to poverty and unequaldistribution of resources, as well as environmental degradation and climate change.

Examiner: Kristina Grange / architect, professor
Supervisor: Nils Björling / architect, senior lecturer

Published: Mon 15 Jan 2018.