RGS-IBG session write-up – designing Mobility: Mobilising design

Report by Justin Spinney (Southampton)
The two sessions took place on the afternoon of Friday 30th August (see the session on the RGS-IBG website here). Rather than squeeze five 15 minute papers into the sessions we opted for three 25 minute papers and 25 minute group discussion. The focus was on exploring the role of designers and design knowledge, including marketing, in shaping mobility and immobility. Bringing such questions of governance and economy to the fore, this session sought to illuminate the linkages between seemingly mundane spatial practice and the broader dynamics of knowledge and production networks in a number of ways. We had one speaker drop out (leaving five) but this worked to our advantage as we simply finished at 6pm rather than 6.30pm in the second session. Mainly (I hope) because of the timing (and to some extent location; tucked away in the Sheldon building) the sessions weren’t fantastically attended. However, this didn’t detract from – and may well have helped facilitate – some excellent and uninhibited discussion in both sessions. Indeed, I felt that not only did the time for group discussion make the sessions more dialogic, it also meant the papers were more substantial because of the extra time allowed. I would certainly recommend it as a format over trying to fit in 5 15 minute papers. After interest from at least one publisher who attended the session we are looking at the possibility of putting together an edited book on the theme using the papers as a starting point.


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