The purpose of this conference was to bring together students from within the Programme (most of whom had not met before), and other invited postgraduate students working in the field. Specific aims and objectives included to -
Ensure Landscape and Environment Programme commitment to early career researchers
Showcase some of the findings of the studentships within the programme and others beyond the programme in similar fields
Examine common issues of collaboration between disciplines and with non-academic stakeholders
Discuss innovative approaches to research in terms of theory sources and methods
Explore career paths for postgraduates working in a multidisciplinary field
Delegates were drawn from a wide variety of disciplines, including Geography, History, Anthropology, Archaeology and English Studies. Comprising a balanced mix of student presentations and workshops, the event format offered opportunity for everyone to participate, encouraging participants to discuss common issues arising from their experiences which included thoughts on interdisciplinarity and collaboration, methodologies and careers.
The keynote lecture, 'Starting Points: Gilles Clément and the Recuperation of Space' was given by Matthew Gandy (Director of the Urban Laboratory at UCL, and Principal Investigator of 'From the teachnological sublime to the urban pastoral' workshop series and 'Liquid City' smaller grant project). The lecture introduced the French landscape architect Gilles Clément (b. 1943), and his particular interest in urban nature, particularly the ecological, aesthetic interest and diversity present in abandoned tracts of land. Matthew’s film Liquid City (part of the project of the same name), was shown in the evening of day one. The film is a thought provoking intervention concerned with water, urban infrastructure, landscape and social formation in 21st century Mumbai (predicted to be the largest city in the world by 2020), and it opened up questions regarding alternative methods of disseminating research and engaging with the public.