British ‘Red Brick’ universities have a specific history pertaining to the civic university movement developed out of the modernist focus on industry and private funding. While sharing many qualities with other Red Bricks, the University of Leeds has a unique relationship with its city: in order to develop the campus precinct, it was a condition of the council that the university be responsible for excavating a new ring road. The road connects the university to the city, but also separates it by introducing a cutting which scythes through the strata, dramatically altering the terrain. This project provides a cultural history of a specific campus and the manifold implications of its ongoing spatial negotiations.
Intrinsic to the development of the university is a history that can be excavated through the space that has been (re)developed over time: a history of social relationships and human interaction. The topography provides a story of relationships between the university, outside agencies and individuals that occupy campus space. By entering the territory performatively, through psychogeographical methods and remapping space, questions can be posed around space/time, language and meaning-making.
I have termed the remapping of space “schizocartography”, developed from Félix Guattari's term “schizoanalysis”, which enables alternative existential modes for individuals in order to challenge dominant representations and power structures. This provides an opportunity for multiple ways of operating in space and reading the environment, it critiques the conventional ways of viewing, interpreting and mapping space.
|Keywords:||Psychogeography, Schizocartography, Redbrick University, Education, History, Social Relations, Topography, Urban Planning, Human Geography, Urban Geography, Situationist, University of Leeds, Felix Guattari, Bill Readings, Spectacle|
Tutor and PhD Student, The School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK