Designing Mobilities: Staging Materialities of Mobilities

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Within the so-called ‘mobilities turn’ (Adey 2010; Cresswell 2006; Urry 2007) much research has taken place during the last decade bringing mobilities into the centre of sociological analysis. However, the materiality and spatiality of artefacts, infrastructures, and sites hosting mobilities are often still not engaged with in a sufficiently manner. Often social sciences keep distance to the physical and material as if the social was still to be understood as a realm separate of technology, architecture, and design (for a critique of this see; Latour 2005 and Urry 2000). This paper takes point of departure in the sociological perspective termed ‘Staging Mobilities’ (Jensen 2013a) and utilizes this as an analytical frame for exploring cases of mobility design. The paper put focus on how the material shape, design and architectures of technologies, spaces and sites influence mobilities practices. Everyday life mobilities take place in complex socio-technical systems where the over-layering of hard infrastructures, with design codes and protocols shapes the ‘mobile biotopes’ of the everyday life. By exploring the very tangible and concrete designs of for example everyday life transit spaces, mobilitiy technologies or urban sites of movement we get much closer to understanding the meaning of mobilities to social interaction and culture. The cases are still representing work-in-progress but will be reported in the book ‘Designing Mobilites’ (Jensen 2013b) and will cover the four cases of: motorway ecologies, bicycle systems design, urban shopping malls and a train transit hub.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJan 2013
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
EventDansk Sociolog Kongres 2013 - Roskilde Universitet, Roskiilde, Denmark
Duration: 24 Jan 201325 Jan 2013


ConferenceDansk Sociolog Kongres 2013
LocationRoskilde Universitet

Bibliographical note

Paper for the Danish Sociology Congress 'Mobilitet & By', Roskilde University, 24-25 January 2013


  • Mobilities
  • Design
  • Materialities

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