Expanded Territories and Arena (The European Architecture Research Network) hosted a major academic conference, ‘Re-imagining Rurality’ at the University of Westminster in February 2015. This drew attention to the ways that the highly contested and changing characteristics of rurality are conceptualised and represented in contemporary society. In so doing it questioned the role of designers, architects and planners in shaping contemporary perceptions and experiences of rurality and explored ways of re-thinking the city’s relationship with the rural.
It also learnt about new settlement formations and how rurality, in contrast to popular misconception, should be seen not only as a site of tradition, but also of great experimentation and change. Reimagining Rurality included 75 speakers from around the world including 6 outstanding keynote speakers, and was accompanied by an exhibition of work by about 30 international artists, photographers, filmmakers, academics and architects. It was organised by organised by Ben Stringer, Krystallia Kamvasinou, Sarah Milne and Andy Colley. Two publications, a special issue of Landscape Architecture and a book are currently under preparation
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