Caring for Space

Title: Caring for Space. Ethical Agencies in Contemporary Spatial

Author: Kim Trogal

Year: 2012

Abstract: Caring for Space: Ethical Agencies in Contemporary Spatial Practice, brings feminist ethics of care and feminist methodologies to bear on an examination of agency in contemporary practice. In following feminist theorists to define care as an ethical and relational way of acting, I identify four themes that are associated with care as a form of action. These are ecology and economy; the body; education and collectivity, which are explored through case studies of contemporary spatial practice. Care, is usually a form of unrecognised work, so through the thesis I aim to build recognition and valorise this form of action within the field. To build a language for doing so, I borrow concepts from care ethics as well as introducing a language of gifts, commons, hospitality, dialogue, radical and feminist pedagogies, mutual aid, transversality and trans-locality to the study. Caring for Space thus follows examples of practice that inaugurate and work with values other than the dominant ones of neoliberal capitalism, privatisation, exclusion, competition and so on. They propose instead different ways of making space with diverse economies and different affiliations and connections between us. They propose new institutions, new spaces and objects. In making these spaces and objects, practitioners help establish methodologies of collaboration, collective governance, and non-competitive modes of connection. I argue that in times of political, economic and ecological crisis, these practices are important and optimistic references for the future.