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The trash bin on stage: on the sociomaterial roles of street furniture

Wirdelöv, Johan (2020). The trash bin on stage: on the sociomaterial roles of street furniture. Urban planning. 5 , 121–131
[Research article]

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They are easily overlooked, but benches, trash bins, drinking fountains, bike stands, ashtray bins, and bollards do influence our ways of living. Street furniture can encourage or hold back behaviours, support different codes of conduct, or express the values of a society. This study is developed from the observation that the number of different roles taken on by street furniture seem to quickly increase in ways not attended to. We see new arrivals such as recycled, anti-homeless, skateboard-friendly, solar-powered, storytelling, phone-charging and event-making furniture entering public places. What are typical sociomaterial roles that these things play in urban culture of today? How do these roles matter? This article suggests a conceptualisation of three furniture roles: Carnivalesque street furniture takes part in events and temporary places. Behaviourist street furniture engages in how humans act in public. Cabinet-like street furniture makes itself heard through relocating shapes of other objects. These categories lead to two directions for further research; one concerning the institutions behind street furniture, and one concerning how street furniture shapes cities through influencing different kinds of ‘scapes.’ The aim of this article is to advance theory on an urban material culture that is evolving faster and faster. By conceptualising this deceptively innocent group of things and articulating its relations to the everyday structures of the city, I hope to provide a framework for further studies.

Authors/Creators:Wirdelöv, Johan
Title:The trash bin on stage: on the sociomaterial roles of street furniture
Series Name/Journal:Urban planning
Year of publishing :2020
Page range:121–131
Number of Pages:11
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Landscape Architecture
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 6 Humanities > 604 Arts > Design
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 6 Humanities > 605 Other Humanities > Cultural Studies
Keywords:everyday life, material culture, public space, sociomaterial densification, street furniture
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Type of IDID
ID Code:19149
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 Dec 2020 13:45
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:47

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