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Producing space investigating spatial design practices in a market moment

Sloane, Mona (2017) Producing space investigating spatial design practices in a market moment. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.80kwwmt5md4h


This thesis is an investigation of commercial spatial design practices. It contributes to an emerging sociological and anthropological scholarship on design and is grounded in a studio ethnography of a large London-based architecture and spatial design practice. The analysis is based on an understanding of spatial design as conceptual, problem-solving and form-giving and focusses on the mediating role designers take on. It is framed by a pragmatist approach that highlights the significance of mediation, contextuality and agency in design as situated practice. The purpose of this project is to analyse the complicated set-up of spatial design as creative, material and commercial practice against the backdrop of distinct competitive and regulatory environments. Here, the “market moment” provides the empirical window for investigating how spatial design is premised on linking up creativity, space and commerce. The thesis suggests that studio studies are crucial for retrieving a humanist element in sociological interpretations of (spatial) design to help analyse the significance of materiality and commerciality within design as creative-conceptual work. In the context of an emerging and increasingly politicised design scholarship, this can provide avenues for examining the nuanced forms of design agency as well as design’s entanglement with existing and emerging socio-economic conditions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Mona Sloane
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Tonkiss, Fran and Savage, Mike

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