Performing City Resilience (emergency planning, hazard mitigation and resilience strategy)
Performing Place: Architecture and Environment
There are two key strands to my research.
Performance, Place and Resilience: I am a Co-Director of Performing City Resilience, an internationally focused research-led consultancy that develops creative practices of resilience and emergency planning in the UK and internationally. This is highly collaborative work, and Dr Patrick Duggan and I have been leading this project since 2017. Since 2020, we have been working on a UKRI-funded Rapid Response Covid-19 project exploring intersections between arts and resilience strategy in UK cities. On this project, we have worked closely wth UK local authoriites and the Emergency Planning Society, and have developed innovative invitations for pandemic response. Internationally, we have worked in New Orleans since 2018. Following an intial survey of arts and resilience practice in that year, we were invited to contribute to the development of the City’s five-year Hazard Mitigation Plan and the grassroots Cultural Masterplan in 2019. In June 2019, we delivered bespoke workshops for key city stakeholders including New Orleans Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) – together with departments across City Hall, the Arts Council of New Orleans, and the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans. As a direct result of our work, NOHSEP are engaged on ‘a long-term path of embedding arts and cultural practices in our strategic planning’.
Performing Place: Architecture and Environment: In 2019, I published Performing Home (Routledge), the first book to consider performances of home in domestic dwellings. This book speaks to research and practice in installation, performance and architecture, and looks directly at practices of enquiring into, making, adapting, mobilising, and being resident in domestic dwellings. It considers artists’ responses to place and to the possibilities, but also difficulties, of practising home. That same year, Matthew Wagner and I published The Dramaturgy of the Door (Routledge), the first book length study of the performance of the door – a key architectural element. In this, we explore the importance of doors in stage and place-based practice, and thereby issues of borders, thresholds, bodies, environments and practices of access and limit (project funded by British Academy/Leverhulme). Additionally, I have published a range of essays identifying ways in which ideas and practices from performance can help identify, reflect on and address urgent contemporary challenges. In particular, I reflect on new ways of responding to the effects of climate change.