Lived Space, Past and Present

Graham Cairns's picture
December 1, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, Film and Film History, Fine Arts, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

Space and Image - Past and Present

Queen’s University Belfast, UK


Dates: 01-03 December 2022

Abstracts: 05 October 2022

Place: Virtual


This Conference Strand Call seeks to explore the relationship between space as “lived” and experienced in-person and its representation and experience on screen and, more broadly, as moving image.

Its starting point is the concept of ‘lived space’ as outlined by Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim and applied to the theory of film and architecture more recently by Juhani Pallasmaa.



German psychotherapist Karlfried Graf von Dürckheim coined the term “lived space” (der gelebte Raum) in 1932 to refer to the experiential and perceptual characteristics of space rather than its visuality and physicality. It has recently been popularised by Finnish architect and writer Juhani Pallasmaa who encourages us to think about space in terms of atmosphere and sensation, and the design of spaces from the perspective of how they will be “lived” and perceived. In many ways, he captures ideas relevant across multiple disciplines.

Narrative practices and memory-making processes in art and cultural projects help us signify the implications of “lived space” in physical settings. Mediated arrangements of space through the visual arts abstract lived experience, bringing it to our attention but also inviting us to question our relationship to various spaces. Installation art has, from its inception, blurred the boundary between art as an object and the live experience of art as a spatial entity. As Pallasmaa identifies, filmic representations of space generate lived images for the imagination of cinemagoers and experts alike.

Picking up on these current themes and “historic” practices, this conference call invites artists, designers and theorists to reinvent and reconsider the 90-year-old concept of “lived space.” As a concept that has morphed in terms of meaning, application and presentation over the decades we are open to a discussion of where it might take new theories of space, spatial practices, art, design and representation in the future. Particular areas of interest include:


- Lived Space in the Past and Present: Did Pallasmaa Get It Right? (architectural histories and theories, cultural histories, urban studies, psychology of space)

- The Role of Lived Space in Storytelling and/or Memory-making Processes: From Art Practices to Cultural Constructs in the Past and Present (creative arts, memory studies, visual and sonic arts)

Histories of Representation: Looking at Lived Space through Multimedia (film, painting, drawing, architecture, design, the digital arts)

If Film Spaces could Talk: Cinema and Architecture in and out of the City in the Past and Present (film histories and theories, filmmaking, creative arts, architectural theories, urban studies)


More details:

Contact Info: 

Graham Cairns, Gul Kacmaz Erk, Niek Turner, Raj Kumar