Retheorizing the Bodies, Habits, and Durations of Temporary Urbanism

  • Catherine J Midwood

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)


The prominence of temporary urbanism in urban space is growing and requires more variety in how it is assessed in geographical research. This project fills a gap in the existing literature on temporary urbanism by re-theorizing temporary urbanism through a relational perspective, moving away from the Marxist urban theory lineage that informs the majority of current research. This approach, aligned with affirmative critique (McCormack, 2012), emphasises the sensory and affective relations that interact during a temporary urbanism event. Theoretically, I work through three key ontological terrains within this relational approach: bodies, habits, and durations, all of which are informed by Deleuze and one other key thinker: Spinoza, Ravaisson, and Bergson. To put this into practice, I developed my own temporary urbanism events in the form of participatory chalk art drawing events. Chalk’s pliability and dispersive nature reveals various sensory relations between human and more-than-human bodies as well as illuminating how temporary events leave traces beyond their intended time or space. Under the headings of bodies, habits, and durations, the chalk art events are analysed through the use of ethnography, writing, and images that are constructed into creative ethnographic vignettes. By engaging with affirmative critique and a relational approach to temporary urbanism, this project contributes another way of theorizing the processes and politics of temporary urbanism.
Date of Award28 Nov 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorMerle M Patchett (Supervisor) & Andrew C Lapworth (Supervisor)

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