CRC 1265/1: Re-figuration of spaces


The collaborative research centre (CRC) investigates the transformations in socio-spatial orders since the late 1960s. We proceed from the assumption that – given the intensification of transnational forms of economic activities, the radical changes in the global political geography and the development and proliferation of digital communication technologies – the world has been changing in ways that cannot simply be described any more in terms of globalisation. Our central hypothesis is that these – often highly contested – processes of transformation become most clearly visible if they are understood as a re-figuration of spaces. In contrast to modernity’s ho-mogenous and scaled spaces based on the container model, we argue that nowadays the con-stitution of spaces is, first, polycontexturally structured, i.e. an ever increasing number of different spatial arrangements become operative in human actions simultaneously. Secondly, we as-sume that polycontexturalisation correlates closely with and is conditional on the mediatisation of communicative actions which, in turn, is due to the digitalization of communication technologies, a fact that allows and forces actors to act on different spatial scales simultaneously, and to operate both in a virtual as well as face-to-face mode. Mediatisation of actions and circulation of hu-man beings, things and technologies leads – that is our third main hypothesis – to translocalisation processes, i.e. coupling of interlinked localities and places. To be able to define the characteristics of re-figuration empirically in a precise and analytically relevant manner, our investiga-tions involve various levels spanning from the level of subjective experience and knowledge of space, to the level of spatial interrelations between circulation and order, and to the level of communicative actions, interactions and practices connecting both previous levels. Accordingly, empirical research of the 14 subprojects is divided into three topical key areas: “knowledge of space”, “spaces of communication”, and “circulation and order”. The projects are conducted in a joint multi-disciplinary approach by researchers from six different fields in the engineering and social sciences.


Principal Investigators
Helbrecht, Ilse Prof. Dr. (Details) (Cultural and Social Geography)

participating organizational facilities of the HU

Duration of Project
Start date: 01/2018
End date: 12/2021

Research Areas
Geography, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

Last updated on 2021-08-04 at 09:17