Monica Degen

Senior Lecturer
Sociology and Communications

Room: Marie Jahoda Room 149
Brunel University
Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265940



  • PhD Cultural Sociology (Lancaster University)
  • MSocSc Cultural Studies (Birmingham University)
  • BA Culture and Communication (Lancaster University)

Personal Biography

I joined Brunel University in 2004 after having worked as a Research Fellow in the Human Geography department at the Open University on a ESRC funded project: 'Habitable Cities' (graded 'outstanding' in end of award review). I completed my MSc at the Cultural Studies Department, Birmingham and my PhD at the Sociology Department, Lancaster University.


Research Overview

As a cultural sociologist my research is interdisciplinary. My key areas of research are urban life and culture with a specific emphasis on spatial politics; the senses and embodiment with a focus on the relationship between material environment and experience, the politics of the senses and the organization of urban life; sociology of everyday life; and material cultures focusing on design and architecture and the diverse entanglements between human non-human relations.

My current research explores how digital visualization processes and technologies are affecting architects' working practices and production of buildings and urban designs. It's interested in how new digital technologies are working as part of architecture and urban design, shaping new kinds of architectural work practices, as well as envisioning social life.


Current Projects

Architectural Atmospheres:The impact of digital technologies on architectural design practice'
October 2011 - September 2013
Monica Degen (CI)

AGAUR (Agencia de Gestio d’Ajuts Universitaris i Recerca)Catalan Government
Evaluating the social politics of urban regeneration in el Raval, Barcelona
5,840 Euros
January 2012 – January 2013
Monica Degen (PI)


Recently Completed Projects

Urban aesthetics: a comparison of experiences in Milton Keynes and Bedford town centres.
Sept 2007 – April 2009
Monica Degen ( CI)


PhD Supervision

Iain Lindsay: Olympicisation: life in the shadow of the Olympic torch; 2009 - 2012

Nessa Adams: Identifying Multicultural Audiences: An Examination of the Practice and Future of Communication Agencies; 2010 - 2013

Danil Mikhailov (sponsored by English Heritage): Problems of Authority in the Emerging Online Culture; 2010 - 2015


Undergraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • Introduction to Social Inquiry
  • Sociology of Everyday Life: Current Issues in Popular Culture
  • City Lives and Urban Cultures (yr3)

Module contributor

  • Globalization (Yr 1)
  • Writing your dissertation (Yr 3)

Postgraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • Cultural Industries


  • School Senior Tutor
  • Departmental Erasmus Co-ordinator
  • Staff-Student Liaison Officer

External Activity

  • Organizer of “Urban Salon”, a London based seminar group analysing international urbanism, in collaboration with Prof. Robinson (OU); Prof. Lees (Kings), Prof. Gandy (UCL).
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Revista de Estudios Urbanos y Ciencias Sociales
  • Visiting Professor, Barcelona University, Spain
  • Visiting Professor, Gothenburg University, Sweden
  • Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Communication & the City Research Centre, City University, London



Journal Papers

(2012) Buckingham, S. and Degen, M., Sensing our way: Using yoga as a research method, The Senses and Society 7 (3) : 329- 344

(2012) Degen, MM. and Rose, G., The sensory experiencing of urban design: The role of walking and perceptual memory, Urban Studies: an international journal for research in urban studies 49 (15) : 3271- 3287

(2012) Degen, M. and Garcia, S., The Transformation of the ‘Barcelona Model’: An Analysis of Culture, Urban Regeneration and Governance, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 36 (5) : 1022- 1038

(2010) Degen, M., Rose, G. and Basdas, B., Bodies and everyday practices in designed urban environments, Science Studies 23 (2) : 60- 76 Download publication

(2010) Rose, G., Degen, M. and Basdas, B., More on ‘big things’: Building events and feelings, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 35 (3) : 334- 349

(2009) Rose, G., Basdas, B. and Degen, M., Using websites to disseminate research on urban spatialities, Geography Compass 3 (6) : 2098- 2108 Download publication

(2008) Degen, M., DeSilvey, C. and Rose, G., Experiencing visualities in designed urban environments: learning from Milton Keynes, Environment and Planning A 40 (8) : 1901- 1920

(2007) Degen, MM., Hinchliffe, S., Whatmore, S. and Kearnes, M., Ecologies and economies of action - sustainability, calculations and other things, Environment and Planning 39

(2005) Hinchliffe, S., Degen, M., Kearnes, M. and Whatmore, S., Urban wild things: a cosmopolitical experiment, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 23 (5) : 643- 658

(2003) Degen, M., Fighting for the global catwalk: formalizing public life in Castlefield (Manchester) and diluting public life in el Raval (Barcelona), International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27 (4) : 867- 880

Book Chapters

(2014) Degen, MM., The everyday city of the senses. In: Paddison, R. and McCann, E. eds. Cities and Social Change. Sage (Forthcoming)

(2010) Degen, MM., Consuming urban rhythms: Let’s ravalejar. In: Edensor, T. ed. Geographies of Rhythm. Aldershot : Ashgate Publishing Download publication

(2010) Degen, MM., The urban green: passionate involvements with urban natures. In: Miles, M. and Degen, M. eds. Culture and Agency: Contemporary Culture and Urban Change. Univerity of Plymouth Press

(2008) Degen, MM. and Garcia, M., Introduction: Barcelona: spaces, cultures and societies. In: The Meta-city: Barcelona – Transformation of a Metropolis. Barcelona : Anthropos

(2008) Degen, MM., Modelling a new Barcelona: the design of public life. In: The Meta-city: Barcelona – Transformation of a Metropolis. Barcelona : Anthropos

(2004) Degen, M., Barcelona's games: the Olympics, urban design, and global tourism. In: Sheller, M. and Urry, J. eds. Tourism Mobilities: Places to Play, Places in Play. London : Routledge (1) : 131- 142


(2010) Degen, M., Culture and agency: contemporary culture and urban change. Plymouth University Press

(2008) Degen, M. and Garcia, M., La metaciudad: Barcelona: transformación de una metrópolis (The meta-city: Barcelona - transformation of a metropolis). Anthropos

(2008) Degen, MM., Sensing cities: regenerating public life in Barcelona and Manchester. Routledge

Page last updated: Wednesday 11 July 2012