Voices Episode 4: Monica Degen and Gillian Rose on The New Urban Aesthetic

Photo: Pineapple Supply Co., "Man Taking Photo of the Pineapple".
In the latest episode of our Voices podcast series, Monica Degen and Gillian Rose discuss with Scott Rodgers their recent book exploring the emerging and varied digitalisation of urban aesthetics.

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.

Rodgers, Scott, Monica Degen, and Gillian Rose. "Voices Episode 4: Monica Degen and Gillian Rose on the New Urban Aesthetic." Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture 8, no. 4 (November 2023).
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