In this episode of the Mediapolis Now Voices series, we speak with Monica Degen and Gillian Rose. Monica Degen is Professor of Urban Cultural Sociology at Brunel University London, in the UK. Her research focuses on the practices and politics of experiential urbanism. Largely through ethnographic approaches, Monica’s work explores how multi-sensory, temporal and emotional dimensions not only shape how we live in cities, but also, increasingly how planners, architects, place-branding professionals and others design them.
Gillian Rose is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Oxford. Gillian is well-known across humanities and the social sciences for her book Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials, which published its fifth edition in 2022. She identifies first and foremost as a cultural geographer, and her multi-faceted work has centred on the techniques and politics of knowledge production about places. Most recently, she has devoted much of her attention to how digital visualising technologies are shifting urban life and its spatial and temporal organisation.
Our discussion centred on Monica and Gillian’s recent book The New Urban Aesthetic: Digital Experiences of Urban Change. It is a book which explores the coming together of new digital technologies and urban branding, and specifically how these are increasingly being geared toward new kinds of sensory, bodily experiences, in and across different urban sites and scales.
Not only do we discuss the central arguments of the book, or its fascinating cases studies. We also touch on the trajectories of work that brought them to write it in the first place, and where their work is heading next.
A readable version of the interview has also been published simultaneously as part of the The Mediapolis Q&A series.
Scott Rodgers is Audio Editor for Mediapolis. He also holds the post of Reader in Media and Geography in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. His research specialises in the relationships of media and cities and the geographies of communication. Scott also has broad interests in media production practices, digital and networked technologies, urban politics and ethnographic methodologies. His publications have appeared in journals such as Media, Culture and Society, Society and Space, City and Community, International Journal of Cultural Studies, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Space and Culture and Journalism: Theory Practice and Criticism. With Tim Markham, he is co-editor of Conditions of Mediation: Phenomenological Perspectives on Media (Peter Lang, 2017).