Studio Studies: Operations, Topologies & Displacements, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Studio Studies

Operations, Topologies & Displacements, 1st Edition

Edited by Ignacio Farías, Alex Wilkie


226 pages

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Consider the vast array of things around you, from the building you are in, the lights illuminating the interior, the computational devices mediating your life, the music in the background, even the crockery, furniture and glassware you are in the presence of. Common to all these objects is that their concrete, visual and technological forms were invariably conceived, modelled, finished and tested in sites characterised as studios. Remarkably, the studio remains a peculiar lacuna in our understanding of how cultural artefacts are brought into being and how ‘creativity’ operates as a located practice.

Studio Studies is an agenda setting volume that presents a set of empirical case studies that explore and examine the studio as a key setting for aesthetic and material production. As such, Studio Studies responds to three contemporary concerns in social and cultural thought: first, how to account for the situated nature of creative and cultural production; second, the challenge of reimagining creativity as a socio-materially distributed practice rather than the cognitive privilege of the individual; and finally, to unravel the parallels, contrasts and interconnections between studios and other sites of cultural-aesthetic and technoscientific production, notably laboratories. By enquiring into the operations, topologies and displacements that shape and format studios, this volume aims to demarcate a novel and important object of analysis for empirical social and cultural research as well to develop new conceptual repertoires to unpack the multiple ways studio processes shape our everyday lives. 

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Studio Studies: Notes for a research program, Ignacio Farías & Alex Wilkie Part 1: Operations 2. The Design Studio as a Centre of Synthesis, Alex Wilkie & Mike Michael 3. Bringing the World into the Creative Studio: The ‘reference’ as an advertising device, Tomás Ariztía 4.From the Squid’s Point of View: Mountable cameras, flexible studios and the perspectivist turn, Emmanuel Grimaud Interview 5. For a Sociology of Maquettes: An interview with Antoine Hennion, Antoine Hennion & Ignacio Farías Part 2: Topologies 6.Theorizing Studio Space: Spheres and atmospheres in a video game design studio, James Ash 7. Inter- to Intracorporeality: The haptic hotshop heat of a glassblowing studio, Erin O’Connor 8. Architecture in the Wild: The studio overflowed, Sophie Houdart Interview 9.Temporalities, aesthetics and the studio: an interview with Georgina Born, Georgina Born & Alex Wilkie Part 3: Displacements 10.Rediscovering Daphne Oram's Sound-House: The home-studio as domestic experiment, Laurie Waller 11. The Studio in the Firm: A study of four artistic intervention residencies, Ariane Berthoin Antal 12.Studio Operations: Manipulation, storage and hunting in desert landscapes, Ignacio Farías Afterword13.Afterword – Studio Studies: Scenarios, supplements, scope, Mike Michael

About the Editors

Ignacio Farías is a sociologist and an Assistant Professor of the Munich Center for Technology in Society and the Faculty of Architecture at the Technische Universität München. Ignacio works on science and technology studies, urban studies and cultural sociology with a focus on infrastructural transitions and participation. He is co-editor of Urban Assemblages. How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies (Routledge 2009) and Urban Cosmpolitics. Agencements, Assemblies, Atmospheres (Routledge, Forthcoming).

Alex Wilkie is a Senior Lecturer in Design and a sociologist. He leads both the MA: Interaction Design programme and the Ph.D. programme in Design Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. Alex works on user studies, design, HCI, inventive methods, practice-based research, process theory and science and technology studies. He is co-editor of Inventing the Social (Mattering Press, Forthcoming) and Transversal Speculations (Forthcoming) and is currently preparing a monograph for MIT Press.

About the Series


Culture, Economy and the Social

This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.

We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Cultural economy
  • Cities and urban change
  • Materiality, sociality and the post-human
  • Culture and media industries
  • Culture and governance
  • Emerging forms of cultural and economic practice

The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General