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The City After Dark: Air Space Workshop and Night Walk

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


“The city after dark is always in a process of becoming, arguably even more so than the city during the daytime, since boundaries of identity and place may appear more ambiguous and be less easy to perceive”
(Dunn, 2022: 4)

Creative Manchester and the Air Space research team invite you to join us for an evening with Nick Dunn, where we will explore nocturnal urban atmospheres and the changing shape of the city after dark.

A key aspect of the Air Space project has been engaging with air and socio-atmospherics in the urban landscape. With a focus on developing an ecological attunement in this context we have been walking and talking with participants to explore their experiences and concerns in relation to air, atmospherics, and local environment. In this data we have hints and references to nocturnal atmospheres, but no direct experience. The history of cities emphasises the ever-expanding reach of artificial lighting, with darkness associated with fear and danger. Yet increased illumination does not necessarily equate with safety and the type of lighting used has significant impacts on human health and biodiversity (Dunn and Edensor, 2023).

Nick Dunn will introduce us to night walking as a practice and a methodology for accessing nocturnal atmospheres. Following the workshop there will be the opportunity to join us on a night walk, exploring that various ways the familiar becomes uncanny and unknown, encouraging a form of ecological attunement that may be harder to access in daylight hours.

Nick Dunn is Professor of Urban Design and Executive Director of Imagination, the design and architecture research lab at Lancaster University. Nick's work examines the ways we think, envision and analyse the futures of people, places, and planet. Nick is the founding Director of the Dark Design Lab, exploring the impacts of nocturnal activity on humans and non-humans. He is also an Ambassador for the Design Council and a Director of DarkSky UK. Nick has authored numerous books, journal articles, and commissioned reports. His expertise on cities, design, futures, health, and darkness have led to curated exhibitions and invited talks at public festivals and conferences around the world.

External organisation (External collaborations)

NameHOME Manchester
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom