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P+ARG Biennial Graduate Student Conference: "Networks of Knowledge and Power"

P+ARG Biennial Graduate Student Conference: "Networks of Knowledge and Power"

The 4th biennial graduate conference of the Planning and Architecture Research Group (P+ARG) of University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning engages the fields of architecture and planning, as well as neighboring fields from the humanities and social sciences.

Knowledge in architecture and planning moves. It moves through networks of power and capital, through corporate establishments, governmental alliances, international organizations, transnational social movements, and media and technology. These networks of power deconstruct and restructure forms and relations of production—emergent and old. They also produce new social and material assemblages within which spatial knowledge is constantly re-visited and re-organized. The resulting socio-technical formations ultimately reconfigure both the products of, and knowledge within, the fields of architecture, planning, and affiliated disciplines.

How do we understand the networks of power and knowledge and the implicit human condition that sustains and transforms architecture and planning practices? At a juncture where our logic and systems of production are becoming digitized and automatized at an unprecedented pace, and when our understanding of the networks and technologies of information are increasingly inseparable from questions of hardware and software, of the accumulation and classification of electronic data, the human mediation of knowledge acquires a new significance. The global phenomenon of post-truth politics equally urges us to re-scrutinize the Foucauldian premise of “knowledge as power.”

In this highly networked era of the Anthropocene, we want to explore the interactions between people, ideas, institutions, infrastructures and material objects, especially as these pertain to architecture and planning knowledge, in order to reflect on issues including but not limited to: political economies, ecologies and geographies, poverty, inequality, warfare, mass re/dis-location of people, invasion and occupation of lands and territories.

Conference Keynote Friday, March 9: Kazys Varnelis, PhD, Director of the Urban Architecture Lab