Week 24: 25th to 29th July 2016


Ethics approval number: 16-142 granted until 19 July 2019.


Literature review

Gleeson, B. (2015) The urban condition

Hannah Arendt “The Human Condition” talks of homo urbanis, over consumption –> economic world order and the good city.

–> self-limitation as a pathway forward

–> age of cities and  risk –> leading to crisis (troubled times)
–> dialectic of modernity –> continous remake by capitalist modernisation

–> collision course of humanity –> status quo thinking

“consumptive city” looming over global environmental consciousness

–> love affair with cities –> neoliberal urbanism (Arendt (1998 (1958): 178)

“The new always happens against the overwhelming odds of statistical laws and their propability, which for all practical, everyday purpose amounts to certainty, the new therefore always appears in the guise of a miracle.” –> often a rebirth of the old.

Whilst social conduct always moves to a new possibilities, human assertion maintains the right to choose regress over progress, to redeploy ideologies that serve power, not improvement.

Adorno and Horkheimer (2002(1944)) –> “The enlightenment that guided modernity was a dialectical play of flare and shadows: a rolling, roiling fight between the prospect of human emancipation and the claims of social domination.”

Gleeson: We witnessed in the second half of the 20th century “excessive rationalism” the sought ascendancy for power/ order and subordination of human realisation.” p.6

The agonising dialectic of moderinty was to create rationalities that would obscure its deepest cause, emancipation, in what Lefebvre memorably termed “the heavy cumulus of scientism”

Modernist planning is a failed cause (UN- Habitat 2009)

–> too much is coming to an end, too little is beginning

“The effects of urbanisation and the climate change are converging in dangerous ways that seriously threaten the world’s environmental, economic and social stability. –> Homo Urbanis will meet its destiny in the city.” p.9

–> rise of new technocratic thinking

–> talk to “knowledge society” is an euphemism of “modernity” –> We are living in a risk society where non-knowledge is in common

The argument cannot be won by “more and better” knowledge –> “it is the product of more and better science” (Beck 2009)

Anthroposcene an epoch of human natural superiority. –> new world –> “is the next world” cities are the new homeland carrying us through transition.

“in dubito ergo sum” Arendt (1998(1958):279)

–> expand  human awareness in an age of “unknowing” (Beck 2009) –> by defining possibilities and pathways for new human beginnings.

–> ecological modernisation (restructuring the human order)

–> principle of self-limitation (Ivan Illich 1977)

rise of collective rights rather individuals” p. 28

–> collective values of metropolitan management

–> everything depends on who gets to fill it with meaning.

— call to reshape the origins of the urban process, with its manifestations. p. 29

–> call for collective realisation –> to transform the state of urbanisation

most evidence points towards collective melancholia that overtakes homo urbanis p.30

–> the city air makes us free but infected by disillusionment and fear.

urban age is a melancholic era p.31

  • depression will be the second most devastating disease in the world by 2020 (Bayley 2013) p. 31
  • epidemic of loneliness is surrounding (Douthat 2013) p. 32
  • lack of positive definition of “humanity” Kristeva (2010): p. 35
  • overcoming the limitation of neo-liberalism and commercialisation, positivist reasoning. –> we should insist on a richer, more complete cosmopolitanism than what is found today in the “melting pot” of globalism –> in light of universalised and standardised by markets, media and internet. p. 35

–> politics should not be replaces by ” pure administration”.
–> the city (urbanism) must once again nurture the cause of human realisation.
–> homo urbanis must dismantle its own work
–> the material and ideological apparatuses of modernity p. 36

Social dimension is the front line for change –> never the economic

Erich Fromm (2009 (1942)) warned “that the destructive contradictions of modernity would ever reveal themselves in this manner. The great unheralded cost of individuation was alienation form Earth, kin and community. This rupture would drive an exodus of souls towards the consolation of consumerism and other compensations for the ‘terrible burden’ of ‘self-strength’. This fight from desolation has defined the consumerist age of neo-liberalism, but it does not explain exhaustively the origins of the current human predicament.” p. 50

“Urbanism may be regarded as a particular form or patterning of the social process. This process unfolds


Perception of environment

Debord, Guy (1958) Theory of the Dérive and Definitions; in Gieseking J.J., Mangold W., Katz C., Low S., Saegert, S (2014) The People, Place, and Space Reader, p.66: “Men can see nothing around them that is not their own image; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape is alive.” Karl Marx

Personal space

Sommer, Robert (1969) Spatial invasion; in Gieseking J.J., Mangold W., Katz C., Low S., Saegert, S (2014) The People, Place, and Space Reader, p.61:  “The best way to learn the location of invisible boundaries is to keep walking until somebody complains. Personal space refers to an area with invisible boundaries surrounding a person’s body into which intruders may not come. (…) Personal space is not necessarily spherical in shape, nor does it extend equally in all directions. (People are able to tolerate closer presence of a stranger at their sides than directly in front.)” –> referred to as breathing room.

“Dear Lost: People want to sit beside you while you’re playing because they are fascinated. Change your attitude and regard their presence as a compliment, and it might be easier to bear. P.S. You might also change your piano bench for a piano stool.” (Abigail Van Euren, San Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 1965)


Gibson, James J. (1979) The Theory of Affordances; in Gieseking J.J., Mangold W., Katz C., Low S., Saegert, S (2014) The People, Place, and Space Reader, p.56

“The affordances of the environment are what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill.(…) refers to both the environment and the animal in a way that no existing term does. It implies the complementarity of the animal and the environment.”

“Why has man changed the shapes and substances of his environment? To change what it affords him. He has made more available what benefits him and less pressing what injures him.” –> enabling longer survival, comfort and health. But when did we reach the tipping point and started to over consume the earth? Have we really peaked or are we looking forward to very grim times?

Gibson further notes: “In making life easier for himself, of course, he has made life harder for most of the other animals. Over the millennia, he has made it easier for himself to get food, easier to keep warm, easier to see at night, easier to get about, and easier to train his offspring.”

He further says: Its a mistake to think that men created a new environment or an artificial environment. It is the same as the artificial were created from the natural. “artifacts have to be manufactured from natural substances”. The cultural elements are also not separated from the natural. –> after all it is only one world! “We all fit into the substructures of the environment in our various ways, for we were all, in fact, formed by them. We were created by the world we live in.” –> and we will be taken by it if nature chooses to do so.

On surfaces

“Geometry began with the study of the earth as abstracted by Euclid, not with the study of the axes of empty space as abstracted by Descartes. The affording of support and the geometry of a horizontal plane are therefore not in different realms of discourse; they are note as separate as we have supposed.(…) The earth has ‘furniture’ or as I have said, it is cluttered. The solid, level, flat surface extends behind the clutter and, in fact, extends all the way out to the horizon.” p. 57

“A slope downward affords falling if steep; the brink of a cliff is a falling-off place. It is dangerous and looks dangerous. The affordance of a certain layout is perceived if the layout is perceived.” p. 57

On objects

Objects affordance is extremely various and one can distinguish between attached and detached objects.

Detached objects afford behaviour. –> astonishing variety of behaviours in a manufactured and manipulated manner. Lifting, handling, grasping
“it is not true that a tactual sensation of size has to become associated with the visual sensation of size in order for the affordance to be perceived.” p.57

Orthodox psychology asserts that we perceive these objects insofar as we discriminate their properties or qualities.(…) objects are composed of their qualities.” p.58

Gibson claims that “what we perceive when we look at objects is their affordance not their qualities.” p. 58

“Infants do not begin by first discriminating the qualities of objects and then learning the combinations of qualities that specify them. (…) Phenomenal objects are not built up of quality, it is the other way around.” The affordance of an object begins by child’s noticing.

Thought: In relation to the Flow theory of “quality experiences” this would mean as soon as objects are in play it would be more accurate to describe them as “affordance experience”.

Highest level of afforance are other animals or other people. “behaviour affords behaviour” p. 58

On places and hidden places

Animals are skilled at what the psychologist call place-learning. They can find their way to significant places. So do humans. An important place is a hiding place- which involves social perception. Every child discovers, a good hiding place for one’s body is not necessarily a good hiding place for a treasure.(…) An observer can perceive not only that other observers are unhidden or hidden form him but also that be is hidden or unhidden from other observers.(…) A good hiding place is one that is concealed at nearly all points of observation. A translucent sheet transmits illumination but not information” p. 59

In conclusion

The theory of affordance is radical different from theories on value or meaning. It rather starts with a new definition of what value and meaning are. p.60

– it is not a process of perceiving a value- free physical object –> it is perceiving a value rich ecological object. “Physics may be value- free but ecology is not.” p. 60


Disruption of restorative cycle of nature by human –> Anthroposcene, however, it may just be a temporary state of perception of human condition controlling the climate. Earth is a complex system and everything that originates from it will be naturally controlled by it. The question one may ask how long can we be part of it, before nature strikes back. Can playful behaviour of individual identities reconnect us to nature and bringing us collectively closer to realisation enabling a value shift towards global consciousness.







Week 22: 11th- 15th July 2016


Writing of an article in relation to play and posted on Synergies website and professional networks (reach 20000 people) to test the project and get some responses.


Meeting at Uni in relation to the Ethics (13th July):

  • will need to prepare a Poster and flyer
  • translate my consent forms and research information forms in the Vietnamese and German.
  • narrowed scope of research down to the urban morphology of different street scapes in correlation to speed environments. This has been considered in the amendments in the ethics proposal.
  • preparation of response to ethics in relation to issues raised, includes choice of cases based on connection and previous experience in these countries. Partners can be named.

Forms and response:

Ethic concern response;

Research Consent Form;

Nghiên cứu Mẫu đồng ý;


Teilnehmer Informationen;

Participant-Information Form GHM;


Tham gia mẫu thông tin;



Smith Sutton (Ambiguity of play) detailed typology of play will be useful to create subcategories based on Callois 4 types of play. This can make the coding and observation much more structured and easier to analyse.

Overseas contact

This week I’ve made contact with the National University of Civil Engineering in Hanoi in relation to support on research. Positive response have been received confirming the interest and support for research.

Reasoning behind units

Lived experience and work experience in the selected cities.

Reasoning behind subunits

Focus on street environments only. Based on research findings on the correlation with traffic speed (Sauter and Huettenmoser, 2008), streets with higher place functions have been chosen for the research (Department for Transport (UK), 2010).

  1. Pedestrian zone
  2. Shared space/ path
  3. residential streets


Week 21: 4 July – 8 July 2016

observation checklist (Spradely (1980). Participant Observation, New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, p. 78) :

  • space: physical place or space
  • actor: the people involved
  • activity: playful behaviour
  • object: the physical items/environment
  • act: single actions
  • event: set of related activities which people carry out
  • time: sequencing which takes place over time
  • goal: what are these people try to accomplish
  • feelings: felt emotions and expressions

fieldwork diary (Wilkinson (2003). Using Research Instruments-  a guide for Researchers)

used to plan dates, observation sessions, record time spend in the setting, length of major events

structured (counting of events and relationships) and/ or descriptive approach (look beyond measures to understand and explore the meaning of such events) p.129

data driven research benefit: can find questions and answers that cannot be found by any other means.

Ethics approval

Yesterday I’ve received an email from Ethics raising further concerns in relation to my research project. In order to respond to their concerns I worked today on a draft response, which can be discussed at tomorrows supervisors meeting. Also the supervisors received a copy of the one pager about my research intent.

Draft response the ethics concerns can be accessed here. ethic concerns

Supervisor meeting

Meeting with Milica and Andrew – discussion of ethics –> need to rework and have a meeting with Hendrik

Take children completely out, make contact with Hanoi to translate the consent form.

Need to scale down the scope: agreed on using the street as subunit across each unit.

Street research

Any street with more than 200 cars per hour, at any time, will be consider as a major road and therefore starts to destroy the neighbourhood identity. Alexander (1977) Pattern Language p. 84


people from all cultures have the general need of some kind of mixing, which is possible in a promenade. p.170

if there is a promenade within 10 min the more people will use it.

a place with less than 150-300 square feet of paved surface feels dead or uninviting

10-min walk accounts for 1500 feet –> perfect length for the promenade (needs 16.000 people.

use between 6-10 pm. p.171

Shopping street:

depend on access and need a location near major road, however the street itself needs to be quite, comfort and convenient from pedestrian path in surrounding areas.



can make






All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and woman merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;And one man in his time plays many parts,
His act being seven ages.

p. 140

Erik Erikson “Idenity and the Life Cycle” in Psychological Issues, Vol.1, No. 1, NY 1959.

8 phases of life
1. Trust vs. mistrust: infants
2. Autonomy vs. shame and doubt: very young child
3. Initiative vs. guilt: child
4. Industry vs. inferiority: youngsters
5. Identity vs. identity diffusion: youth, adolescence
6. Intimacy vs. isolation: young adults
7. Generativity vs. stagnation: adults
8. Integrity vs. despair: old agep. 141f.






Week 18: 14th – 17th June 2016

It has been quite a short but intense week. Major outputs were the submission of the DAAD UA 2016 grant application as well as the submission of the Ethics application.

Outcomes of the ethics can be expected by the end of the month. As for the DAAD and UA application results will be announced by November 2016.

Concurrent I am carrying out my literature review and was able to obtain further “rare” literature. In particular “Play of Man” by Karl Groos 1901 is quite a useful resource:

Literature: The play of man, Karl Groos

Carrying a walking- stick is another playful satisfaction in which the hand’s sensation of contact has a part. P.10

Water affords the delightful sensations of touch; in the bath of course, enjoyment of the movements and temperature is more conspicuous, but the soothing gentleness of the moist element is not to be despised.

As in all specialised pleasures, intensive emotion betrays itself.

Sensation of temperature

The stimulus of heat and cold is conspicuous, as ices and permint, hot grog, spices, and spirits witness. P.14

Sensation of taste




characterised as internal imitative creation. The purest, highest and most spontaneous pleasure is that in which we have no thought for the artist, but yield ourselves whole-heartedly to the beautiful object.


Power of rhythm (p.28)

Enjoyment of melody as a mental fusion of two kinds of association, one is the analogue of pleasing movement in space and the other one is the vocal expression of mental and emotional processes. Together both can create a new entity – an alternative reality.

Schopenhauer: nothing else produces the “idea of movement” in such purity and freedom as tone-beats.

Köstlin Aesthetik, p. 560: “glides, turns, twists, hops, leaps, jumps up and down, dances, bows, sways, climbs, quivers, blusters, and storms, all with equal ease, while in order to reproduce it in the physical world a man would have to dash himself to pieces or in some way become imponderable.”

The magic part of music is that our consciousness repeats, in voluntary and persistently, the varying dance of tones, and feed from all incumbrances, floats blissfully in boundless space p.28 f.

It is a kind of language, which the soul’s deepest emotions seek expression.

There are many points of resemblance between melody and the verbal expression of feelings. P.29

Focus on the enjoyment of melodies rather the origin of music. Thunder sounds like an angry voice. The song of birds provides us clues about their identifiable likeness between their vocal expression of emotion and the songs that call for the most direct response.p. 29 f.

children enjoy rhythm from very early age. Most songs for children originate from grown people and are childish in character and include elements that resonate with children most. p. 39

pleasure in overcoming difficulties is an essential feature of all play. p.39

playful experimentation becomes the mother of invention and of discovery.

On colours

Child display more interest in warmer colours such as red, yellow than colder ones. p.55

Movement as play

Perception of movement by means of the eye alone, and consequently the instinct of keeping absolutely motionless. P. 67

Practice is necessary for the mastery of this capacity. p.68

Fröbel described the pleasure of success which, together with gratification of instinctive impulse, makes learning to walk such a satisfaction. p.82

“As it becomes more mechanical, walking loses its playful character. Pleasure in simple locomotion is experienced by adults, as a rule, only when the discharge of their motor impulses has been hindered by a sedentary life, and even then motion is not the chief source of satisfaction. The regular rhythm of walking acts like a narcotic on an excited mind, which reacts to it unconsciously.” p.82

“exciting movement play which possesses, in common with other narcotics, the magic power of abstracting us from commonplace existence and transporting us to a self-created world of dreams.” p.91

“The simplest effects being a kind of anaesthesia, relaxation of all tension, unconsciousness of fatigue, and the illusion of being free from bodily weight, like a spirit floating about in space.”  p.91

“This illusion in itself productive of great enjoyment, explains our pleasure in such dances as we are considering.” p.91

“The hammock in cases can be considered as the prototype of the swing. The Brazilian Bakairi that the men when at home spend most of their time swinging in hammocks. Greeks has several forms of the swing, among them the joggling board, consisting of a flexible plank supported at its ends on fixed beams, and the ropes swing which with its comfortable seat supported by four cords was used by adults.”p.93

“In Athens celebrates an special holiday called after the swing. Pleasure in riding and driving being partly due to the control we have over the horses, such enjoyment is a combination of active and passive. Even when we are steering a boat the illusion is easily supported that we are to some extend responsible for its progress. Riding has other elements of attraction: besides the forward motion and lofty seat there is some peculiar enjoyment of each particular gait.” p. 94

Otto “Lilienthal recalls his experience of gliding through the air in a slanting direction affords a new and delightful sensation.”p. 94

6 different groups of movement play resulting from impulse (p.95):

  1. Mere “hustling”things about
  2. destructive or analytical play
  3. constructive or synthetic play
  4. plays of endurance
  5. throwing plays
  6. catching plays.

to 1. Exemplar cases: tearing paper, pleasure in shaking a well-fitted purse, turning handle on a coffee mill, pulling out drawers, handling smooth sand and clay.

Provides instance joy –> conspicuous in all play of this class

All connected with senses –> seeing, hearing, tactile play, desire for sensory excitement p.96 f.

To 2. Handling of external objects (toys) p. 97 f.

To 3. Constructive (synthetic) movement- play: similar to analytic play bears to the fighting instinct. p.99

This includes collecting things, or combative emulative spirit which is active in almost all play.p.101

To 4.



Schiller called play “aimless expenditure of exuberant strength, which is its own excuse for action. P.362


Herbert Spence characterised play in his work “Principles of Psychology” as a first attempted a scientific formulation of the theory, “nerve processes, that the superfluous integration of ganglion cells should be accompanied by an inherited readiness to discharge. As a result of the advanced development of man and the higher animals they have, first, more force than is needed in the struggle for existence; and second, are able to allow some of their powers longer periods of rest while others are being exercised, and thus results the aimless activity which we call play, and which is agreeable to the individual producing it.” p. 362

Its is a question about the origin of special forms of play must be answered.

Not imitation, but the life of impulse and instinct alone can make special forms of play comprehensible to us.

“The surplus energy theory assumes in the higher forms of life a series of inborn impulses for whose serious activity there is often for a longer time no opportunity of discharge, with the result that a reserve of exuberant strength collects forth an ideal satisfaction of the impulse, or play.” P. 363


“When we are tired of mental or physical labour and still do not wish to sleep or rest, we gladly welcome the active recreation afforded by play.” P. 364


Play can transcend its limits p. 364

“play is often begun in the absence of superabundant energy.” P.366

In our busy life, occupied as it is with the struggle for existence, we see substantial aims before us which we wish to realize as soon as possible, but we realize its power when a man steps aside from his strenuous business life.” P.366


Play is a distraction form the commonplace world. P.367

Play is repetition “endless delight putting rubber on a pencil and off again, each act being a new stimulus to the eye.” P.367

He concludes that “this impulse toward repetition is doubtless the physiological reason for carrying on play to the utmost limit of strength. The second point to be noticed is the trance-like state resulting from such repetition of some movements, and something with the added influence of rhythm.” P.367 f.

Groos concluded that “adult play must be considered from a biological standpoint. That the grown man long plays after he has outgrown the childish stimuli to play has been sufficiently shown” p. 378

movements, fighting, social play in adulthood is indispensable. artistic enjoyment is the highest and most valuable form of adult play. p.378 f.

Art is the capacity possessed by men of furnishing themselves and others with pleasure based on conscious, self-illusion which, by widening and deepening human perception and emotion, tends to preserve and improve the race.” p.379

Groos stresses further: “Play of adults has a still mote specialized significance, since, as it would be essential to a well-rounded culture, its office as preserver of hereditary race capacities.” p.379

Even the noble gift of imagination may from overindulgence degenerate into a deadly poison. p. 406








Week 14: 16th May – 20th May 2016

Session day with Tim

Going through the Ethics proposal

What am I allowed to observe in public spaces?

Don’t over think!

Focus on types not details –> observation, targeted interventions

Affrica Taylor Affrica.Taylor@canberra.edu.au contact her in UC Education

(nye-not yet examined)


Ethics approval

Completed on the 18/05/16 the Ethics form Ethics_Form_GHM180516

Consent form for ethics can be accessed here: Research Consent Form

To be submitted after supervisor approval to:   humanethicscommittee@canberra.edu.au

Access here revised Introduction presentation GHM

Things to do:

  • Amend title to “The phenomena of play in cities” (research office has been contacted)
  • finalise PhD proposal
  • continue literature review (focus on papers in order to prepare reading list for students)
  • submit ethics form to supervisor –> then submit to the ethics committee (next meeting is 28th June 2016, to be lodged on the 14th June 2016 noon electronically)


Week 8: 3rd-7th April 2016

Notes from reading on philosophical background:

Why am I reading this? Because it gives me a better idea for the definitions and thinking on on cities, spaces, places, observation and new thinking in the urban design space about how cities work!

The use of sidewalks: Contact from The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) by Jane Jacobs:

The simple needs of automobiles are more easily understood and satisfied than the complex needs of cities, and a growing number of planners and designer have come to believe that if they can only solve the problem of traffic, they will thereby have solved the major problem of cities. Cities have much more intricate economic and social concerns than automobile traffic. (p.83 Urban Design Reader)

The trust of a city street is formed over time from many, many little public sidewalk contacts. It grows out of people stopping by at the bar for a beer, getting advice from the grocer and giving advice to the newsstand man…Its cultivation cannot be institutionalized. And above all, it implies no private commitments. (p.84 Urban Design Reader)

Impersonal city streets make anonymous people, and this is not a matter of aesthetic quality nor of a mystical emotional effect in architectural scale. It is a matter of what kind of tangible enterprises sidewalks, and therefore of how people use the sidewalks in practical, everyday life. p.84 Urban Design Reader)

City privacy

Privacy is precious in cities. It is indispensable. (p.85 UDR) Further Jacobs notes that ‘A good city street neighbourhood achieves a marvel of balance between its people’s determinations to have essential privacy and their simultaneous wishes for differing degrees of contact, enjoyment or from the people around them. This balance is largely made up of small, sensitively managed details, practiced and accepted so casually that they are normally taken for granted.

When an area of a city lacks a sidewalk life, the people of the place must enlarge their private lives if they are to have anything approaching equivalent contact with their neighbours. They must settle for some form of “togetherness” in which more is shared with one another than on the life of the sidewalks, or else they must settle for lack of contact. (p.87)

Lefebvre Everyday life theories

Henry Lefebvre (2004, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life, Continuum, London, p.73) “(E)veryday life remains shot through and traversed by great cosmic and vital rhythms: day and night, the months and the seasons, and still more precisely biological rhythems … (T)his results in the perpetual interaction of these rhythms with repetitive processes linked to homogeneous time.

changing nature of everyday life time in itself. Butler points out that “Living in rhythm with biological and cyclical forms of repetition becomes more and more difficult as the everyday is subjected to relentless attempts to quantify time and increase productivity from previously non- productive parts of the day or time of the year. He describes Lefebvres observation as “commodification of social time and its transformation into a social product.” A similar claim is made with regards to space production and commodification. (Butler, 2012, p.32)

“(Q)uantified time subjects itself to a very general law of this society: it becomes both uniform and monotonous while also breaking apart and becoming fragmented.  Like space, it divides itself into lots and parcels:  transport networks, themselves fragmented, various forms of work, entertainment and leisure.” (Lefebvre,2004, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time and Everyday Life, Continuum, London, p. 74)

Role of festivals: social bonds were traditionally strengthened by communal participation in feasts, music, dance, sport and masquerades.(Lefebvre, 1991, Critique of Everyday Life I: Introduction, Verso; London p. 201-227’9.

Butler notes further that festivals are the way of celebrating regular and cyclical rhythms of nature with which human life is intertwined.

Lefebvres work Production of space reinforces the perceived fragmentation of the mental, physical and social field. –> strongest critique of both positivist models and the idealist currents in french poststructuralism. (compare Butler, 2012, p.39)

Space must move beyond the unhelpful dichotomy between the physical dimensions of space and abstract conceptions of it. (Butler,2012, p.39)

Benefit of Lefebvre to my research: he is trying to achieve an understanding of space that reduces this separation and explains the spatial relationships and connections between the mental, physical and social field. (Lefebvre, 1991, The production of space, Blackwell, Oxford, p. 11) –> How is space produced through a human agency. (Butler, 2012, p. 39)

Social Space is in accordance to Lefebvre simultaneously:

  1. a part of the means and forces of production which progressively displaces and supplants the role of (first) nature.
  2. a product that is consumed as a commodity and as a productive resource in the social reproduction of labour power,
  3. a political instrument that facilitates forms of social control
  4. the basis for the reproduction of property relations through legal and planning regimes which order space hierarchically
  5. a set of ideological and symbolic superstructures
  6. a means of human reappropriation through the development of counterspaces forged by artistic expression and social resistance.(Lefebvre, 1991, The production of space, Blackwell, Oxford,p. 349)

Lefebvre came to the conclusion that the human living body, as a deployment of energies, produces space and reproduces itself within the limits and laws of that space. (Lefebve, 1991, p. 171)

In relation to play in cities –> in which spaces are we play in mostly, eg. deploy our energy? mental, physical or social.

I would argue that pending on context or stage of urban development, we collectively move in western world towards the mental space, resulting is social isolation, and internalised view and consumption of physical space.

Ethics session (04/04/16)

  • Human Research Ethics Committee is meeting 11 times a year.
  • 15 Members
  • HDR needs to sign off the application
  • approved for 3 year (but could apply at the end of it for an extension)
    report annually

Include in my application the following:

  • protect the rights and welfare of research participants
  • protect the researcher (especially from unjustified criticism)
  • to protect institutions
  • to promote good research
  • to comply with regulatory provisions
  • to provide re-assurance to the public that research is undertaken in an ethical way.

Interaction with people so I will need ethics approval!
Stick to the University Coursework Guidelines
observations, case studies, online research, archival research as well as analysing media items such as video and / or audio recording and magazines, testing of ideas in practice as a means of improving  social, economic or environmental conditions and increasing knowledge.


  • Risk (harm, discomfort, inconvenience)
  • Participants (characteristics, recruitment, relationships, respect)
  • Benefit (personal, social, economic, educational)
  • Consent (informed, withdrawal rights)
  • Data (confidentiality, storage, disposal) –> Data must be kept for at least 5 years at Uni computer
  • Research merit (rationale, methodology, interventions)

Can’t store data on USB, or on Dropbox, but cloud is ok.


Human ethics manual

Submission dates (outcome after 5 working days)

out of session approval (2 days turnaround)

Application form

 Writing workshop session (05/04/16)

What is the next most important thing to do?

  • be specific
  • give myself another perspective
  • focus on that one that is the closest to be finished (Jumbo jet method, e.g. get it landed)
  • pick something

–> lack of certainty makes things harder!!

One way to look back on the paper from results and review the structure! –> do always the best you can do and give it a shoot

If I knew what to do what would it be? -> create a story or narrative!

  • Write before you feel ready!
  • Write down your ideas and do not worry about style or grammar!
  • Write as a 10 year old could understand it!
  • Avoid Readitis (believe of reading more articles in order to solve the problem) or Expermentitis (spending time in data in order to find the answer)
  • Get it clear in your head first and then write it down!
  • Writing is not reading
  • Writing is creative
  • Writing is clarifies your thinking
  • try tree bubble structure (5-6 stages until you reach your result)
  • 60 % of peoples papers lack of clarity in the narrative –> always make sure the red line is visible!
  • Writing is rigorous thinking!


Tree- bubble structure (image)

Suggested method:

  1. Write
  2. Read
  3. Write
  4. Read
  5. Write
  6. Read
  • Protect your narrative
  • Quality is in the story that I pull together
  • Write down the links to your next part of the story!
  • Be clear and simple!


  • write little but often
  • binge writing
  • regular snacks (time slots for writing)
  • 1-2 golden hours for writing every day –> try early in the morning when the brain is fresh!!
  • Park on the hill (link your thoughts to the theory, write dot points before stop writing at the end of each section)

What is new writing?

  • new words
  • Motivation kicks usually in after 15 minutes!


  • Purpose of feedback is to make my work as best as possible!


More reading notes on theoretical background

Appleyard and Jacobs (1987) Toward an Urban Design Manifesto, in UDR p. 100) Rasmussen, Kepes, Kevin Lynch and Jane Jacobs identified a new set of vocabulary for urban design which includes sights, sounds, feels, and smells of the city. Materials, textures, floor surfaces, facades, style, signs, lights, seating, trees, sun, shade –> all this from the perspective of the observer and user.

This has humanised urban design in their opinion. Appleyard and Kacobs see problems n modern urban design. Large-scale privatization and a loss of public life, especially in the american city, has become more private embracing the consumer society and their emphasis on the individual and the private sector.

My thoughts (writing):

Why is there nothing that brings the city and play together?

Theoretically “play” can happen anywhere, but it doesn’t. When people talk about play it is usually in the child context, but adults and older members of the community can play as well. Play is a powerful behaviour, not just because its fun and creative, but people can find purpose as well as become healthier. Play is good for physical and mental health. Play is a human right. Through play we can truly learn what it means to be human. This activity is social and has an impact on the environment around us. Spaces become places as they generate value for playful behaviour. In cities we see an increase in large scale privatisation and a loss of public life. In these private spaces, humans need to follow rules. Often this excludes play. Is that everywhere so or do other cultures value play in the city differently. In our western society we like to create special places for play. Compartmentalise, regulate and control as much activity as possible. However given that play is a human right and could by nature happen everywhere I ask myself why is that so and why can’t we be more playful in the city?

Play could solve a lot of problems in cities? As we know from child play, with an increase in automobile traffic we changed the perception of safety in adults, resulting in spatial restrictions of play in the public realm and in the neighbourhood street. Very dense urban environments marginalise play, it becomes internalised. Mental health and physical activity behaviour changes and generates in combination with bad diets a serious public health issue. If we acknowledge play as a human right for all we can find a pathway to create healthy cities.

The play instinct is in all of us and can be unleashed by the flow experience through all five senses. Hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and feeling can be experienced in space. If one revisits the concept of what noise level, amenities, smells, materials and feelings are positive towards play and pleasant play experience, we could find indicators/ determinants for positive play experiences in cities spaces. Based on playful human interaction they could become valued and if they are valued, they become meaningful and people start caring for them. This can result in social inclusion and social capital in neighbourhoods as part of everyday life.

My thoughts on culture:

The culture of dwelling, means in German “Baukultur”, the culture of constructing. The way we construct our environment is a result of our thinking, which translated into words/ language. Transmitting language from one human being to another enables us to share an experience and to construct a common understanding. This understanding can result into action, allowing us to shape the environment around us. The way we do that can be referred as  dwelling (Heidegger). Heidegger describes interlinks building with dwelling and dwelling means to him “the manner in which mortals are on the earth.”  Further he notes that “building as dwelling unfolds into the building that cultivates growing things and the building that erects buildings” (p.350). Dwelling does include the environment as “earth and sky, divinities and mortals- belong together in one.” (p.351) He concludes “What we take under our care must be kept safe.”

Heideggers highlights that “space is in essence that for which room has been made, that which is let into its bounds….space receive their essential beings from locals and not from “space”.

More notes on city:

The city is “a state of mind, a body of customs and traditions, and of the organized attitudes and sentiments that inhere in these customs and are transmitted with this tradition.” Further its noted that a city is not just “merely a physical mechanism and an artificial construction. It is involved in the vital process of the people who compose it; it is a product of nature, and particularly of human nature.”  (Park and Burgess, the city, 1970, p.1)

Research term: Dialectic –> try to find definition and apply to research problem!!

Good paper to inform the method:

The right space at the right time: The relationship between children’s
physical activity and land use/land cover

Grant application for German research form

Applications open on 4 April 2016 and close on 17 June 2016. Applicants will be informed of the outcomes in writing in November 2016. Project funding will commence in 2017.

The application form is available to download here (DOCX 832.6KB).

Meeting with Andrew in regards to mid term review on 6th April –> result blog post on research plan

GIS workshop all day on 8th April 2016


Week 5: 14th -18th March 2016


The concept of habitus, popularised by Bourdieu, has also been influential in terms of
understanding non-conscious influences on practices (Hitchings, 2012; Sallaz, 2010).

It refers to the way in which a person’s socialisation appears to embed in them a set of durable tastes, habits, and dispositions that then guide their later choices and practices (Bourdieu, 1984; Clarke et al., 2003; Sallaz, 2010; Setten, 2009). Habitus is understood as neither immutable nor deterministic, however it “ensures that individuals are more inclined to act in some ways than others” (Setten, 2009, p. 1).

However more people confirm with norm.

Structure  resulting of wide reading:

Status mind map on the topic “play” can be accessed by clicking the link: play


Ethic notes

  • professional and personals ethics
  • ethical responsibility towards material, profession, communities, owners and descendants
  • acknowledge limits of expertise
  • protection of scientific research
  • highlights responsibilities and change in planning practice, gender and indigenouse rights

–> rights of non human species
–> change in social justice

active vs. passive ethics
–> can’t derive from codes–> what questions to ask- they don’t provide the answers.

integration of active and passive implication of research
theories help to realise what to change in society

usual ethics issues from a cultural perspective:
– colonialism and neo- colonialism
– intellectual property
– informed consent
– human rights/ cultural rights
– ownership and access
– ethical issues in the digital domain

“Visibility is not only an effect of power, but also its condition of possibility” Foucault

–> ethics with children not an easy task to resolve

use around images and video footing interviews with people

How to capture cultural change between communities and play?

–> benefits of research must weigh up against constrains


Setting up your PhD research Project Session results from 15th March

by David Marsh

  • identify topic: interest and importance
  • search for existing literature in the field (omission or commission) –> meaning work has been done but not very good because; address faults in literature
  • value add is crucial


Research design
– depends on topic that comes out of literature review- different types of PhD means different conditions apply

Put a different twist on the topic –> use quantitative data and put a qualitative spin on it!

–> get a better understanding of the conceptual framework by using the case to develop the add value claim –> identification of the weaknesses of my claim

–> natural claim in research design: Literature review –> understanding before then overlay with my claim towards why we understand it better with my research method/ framework!

New method type for my consideration:
Photo dissertation –> figure out conceptional understanding of an issue

Understanding of adults what active play environment means to them?

Positivist analysis: test your theory against a hypothesis and revise as you look for the one truth!

Constructivist analysis: interpretation is crucial –> there is no one truth –> world is always constructed –> hermeneutic 1 dealing with peoples understanding, h 2 dealing with my understanding of peoples understanding, h 3 how will the readers understanding be based on my understanding

rational choice theory

Tip for interviews: always ask your interviewee if i can come back to them! Interviews usually improve over time..

Systematic approach to qualitative analysis

Idea: Write a letter about why am I doing this?

Tip: Always aim for short sentences.

Structure for PhD:

  1. Introduction (my add value, my research questions, my method, how is it structured) –> make it easy to read: character should be like an executive summary without result (4000-5000 words)
  2.  a) Lit- review to establish my add value through my research question
    b) brief discussion of my method
    c) report and discuss my findings by addressing the research question
  3. Summarise results: what did I find and the conceptual framework relates to it back, suggest other work that might be done


Philosophical section

Heidegger on truth:

The possibility of proportions being true or false (the possibility, as I shall put it, of reality’s becoming ‘intelligible’ to us) depends on there being things to which they refer and facts about those things to which they may or may not correspond, and since the identification of such a realm of facts depends on a horizon of disclosure which alone makes it possible, truth as correspondence is dependent on a something more ‘primordial’. This condition of the possibility of propositional truth Heidgegger calls ‘truth as disclosure’ or often, using the Greek word, ‘aletheia’ – a letheia, bringing out of ‘oblivion’ or concealment.

Truth as disclosure (Young (2002) Heigegger’s Later Philosophy, p. 7)

Further Heidgegger calls the truth a “constellation”. To achieve ‘insights into that which is (TT p.47) (and everything which we will discover that to entail) we must, he says, ‘look into the constellation of truth (QCT, p.33) p. 10 in Young

Heidgegger further notes ‘he who…knows what is known what he will in the midst of what is (OWA. p.67) this translates in Youngs view into: how you see things is how you act. The character  of a culture’s fundamental horizon of disclosure is the ‘essence’, the explanatory ground, of the fundamental character of its action. P.40 in Young


18/03/16 – Intensive full day course with Tim

Understanding moodle


  • Copyright: any photo before 1955 is not copy right
  • unpublished manuscripts are always copyright
  • Authors death plus 70 years –> then copyright ceases
  • Moral rights –> even when selling the rights you have to mentioned as the author.
  • Intellectual copy right –> I retain the IP but the UC will share the claim
  • National state library guide is useful for Moral rights and copyright
  • Film is very messy
  • open license –> creative commons –> share under conditions (www.creativecommons.com) based on copyright
  • cc by –> attribution
  • cc- by nd –> share but don’t change
  • cc by nc –> use but don’t make money out of it
  • cc zero –> public domain

Check out GIFITUP

Open Access Journals –> through an institutional embargo (green and gold)

hybrid access –> if authors pay then they make them freely available (often part of grants)

Directory of open access journals (www.doaj.org)

Institutional repository
Sherpa/Romeo –> publisher copyright policies in comparison http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php

  • Author agreement  with publisher possible
  • Author Addendums –> how to retail the copy right

Create a better online you http://www.library.qut.edu.au/a-better-online-you/#/