Prof. Dr. Christian Schmid | Sociology
Henri Lefebvre’s theory of the production of space is one of the most important contemporary contributions to the analysis of urbanization and socio-spatial processes. It is of special importance for the transdisciplinary research in social sciences and architecture. The long-standing engagement of the Chair of Sociology with this theory resulted in many publications. This theory is also one of the focal points of teaching and serves as an analytical basis for many research projects of the Chair of Sociology.
Two of Prof. Christian Schmid’s most prominent publications about Lefebvre are his co-edited volume, Space, Difference, Everyday Life, and Stadt, Raum und Gesellschaft. Henri Lefebvre und die Theorie der Produktion des Raumes, which is currently being translated into English and is expected to be released in 2021.
While Lefebvre’s theory has inspired, since the 1980s, many debates about the current processes of urbanization, urban empirical studies based on this theory are still very rare. In order to promote a debate on this topic, the Chair of Architecture Theory and the Chair of Sociology of ETH Zurich, the Delft School of Design and the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht organized two conferences: Rethinking Theory, Space and Production: Henri Lefebvre Today (TU Delft, November 11–13, 2008) and Architecture and Social Sciences: Urban Research and Design Beyond Henri Lefebvre (ETH Zurich, November 24–26, 2009). Both conferences focused on the application and further development of Lefebvre’s theory in today’s empirical urban research and design. They gained significant international attention and gathered scholars from various disciplines, including architecture, urbanism, sociology, geography, and political sciences.
Encouraged by the great international interest in the two conferences as well as by the high quality of the presentations, a book project by Ákos Moravánsky, Christian Schmid, and Łukasz Stanek
was established, combining a selection of the conference contributions with commissioned essays. The ambition of this publication, The Urban Revolution Now, was to advance Lefebvre’s theory beyond the limitations of current theoretical debates; to develop a general theoretical and methodological framework for the analysis of contemporary urbanization processes; and to conceive new design tools in response to today’s urban challenges.