Changes in 2009 themes
The new scientific scheme centres on three main topics:
ambiance and environment,
ambiance and project,
ambiance and society.
It marks a shift in the place and function of the notion of ambiance in the overall scientific project of the research unit (UMR). Our goal is no longer just to study architectural and urban ambiances from the inside, exploring them for their own sake (how they are experienced, how they express themselves and how an ambiance is created), but also to relate them to other fields, testing them there.
Ambiance remains the central theme in our scientific scheme, but taken in conjunction and articulated with three other terms: environment, project and society. In a sense our aim is to propose a research standpoint from which to start anew on ambiance and to work outwards from it. By proceeding in this way ambiance becomes an operational concept – while remaining a thematic concept - opening onto contemporary social problems and taking advantage of its practical, heuristic potential.
Ambiance and Environment
This line of research hinges on the question of elements.
The notion of environment can be compared with that of ambiance, in so far as it belongs to the same semantic field. Much as the landscape, habitat or ambiance, environment belongs to the same conceptual family as ambiance, and accordingly opens up a perspective that is close to yet distinct from ambiance. This line of research explores the gap between the two terms, their complementary qualities and the dynamic they share. More exactly the articulation between ambiance and environment highlights and calls into question the “objectifiable” side of an ambiance by way of its physical and material properties and characteristics.
nature, air, water, vegetal, energy, soil, climate, ambiance, sustainable development, eco-neighbourhood, built, urban forms, topography, images, resources
• Elements and materials
calling into question the material basis for acting on ambiance.
• Representations and mediations
problematizing the link between an ambiance’s cultural and physical resources.
• Ecological developments
integrating ambiance in contemporary ecological problems.
Pascal Amphoux (Cresson) et Marjorie Musy (Cerma)
Ambiance and Project
This line of research hinges on the question of ‘manufactures.’
The notion of project can be compared with that of ambiance, in so far as we conceive it as a field of both scientific investigation and practical intervention. The notion of project enables us to adopt a posture of involvement, thanks to which the processes of grasping and changing an ambiance are closely interconnected. The term ‘project’ above all connects to architecture and planning, but it also opens onto other fields with a social, artistic, educational or political content.
design, construction, spatial device, references, application, prototypes, scheduling, studies, expert appraisal
• Tools and methods
developing methodological instruments and tools specifically for dealing with ambiance.
developing an experimental posture to bring ambiance to bear on various forms of understanding and know-how.
• Operational and pedagogical implications
learning from real-life experiments in architectural and urban design.
Grégoire Chelkoff (Cresson) et Pascal Joanne (Cerma)
Ambiance and Society
This line of research focuses on the stakes involved.
In this case society can be linked to the notion of ambiance in the sense that an ambiance always has a social, historical and social context. Whatever its nature, tonality or scale, an ambiance cannot be dissociated from a way of life that makes it possible and gives it meaning. Our aim is therefore to root our understanding of architectural and urban ambiances in contemporary ways of living and being together, in such a way as to highlight the social intercourse to which they give rise. Our concern is the place and role of ambiance in the changing face of today’s urban world and the complex processes it deploys.
practices, mobility, social bond, experience, aesthetics, imagination, theory, programme, typology.
• Culture(s) and sensory perception
contributing to a sensory culture of inhabited spaces.
• Movement – Mobility – Mobilizations
developing a sensory ecology of the body in motion.
• Epistemological openings
specifying the irreducible character of an approach guided by ambiance.
Rachel Thomas (Cresson) et Nathalie Simonnot (Cerma)