Ideal Spaces Symposium: “Managed Spaces”

Karlsruhe, Germany
24-26 September 2015

What does it mean to ‘manage’ space and time, as opposed to living in space and time? As a precondition for the ‘human condition’ of today, we need to reassert the following assumptions: that space and time are only managed – like everything else since the market has conquered every niche of human existence – and no longer lived. To live in space and time is also an unavoidable premise that begs the question if we are human at all. Or more precisely: what is this ‘human condition’ up to now?

Irrespective if we are consciously aware of it, we have all been living in managed spaces that encompass ‘natural’ refuges and new spaces of sociality provided for by diverse spatialities. Our aim is to establish a dialogue on the relations between management and space, their mental backgrounds in terms of the history of ideas and outcomes in terms of spatial practice. This could manifest in ways related to urban environments, city planning, conceptualizations of public space and the emergent phenomena encompassing hybrids of ‘old’ physical spaces with ‘new’ social ones. New formulation of the ‘human condition’ such as man-machine interfaces, world perception and mythologies need to be reconsidered, especially through the proliferation of global online platforms such as social media that influence the concepts of hybrid cities, smart city applications and gamification of historical contents within the cityscape.

What is lacking so far is a synopsis of these different topics, now dispersed among different fields of research, and disciplines; and in-depth investigation into their mental background in terms of a history of ideas and practical outcomes. This symposium serves as a cooperation of ideas and practice in which we visualize such ideal spaces through various “artifacts” related to management and space. These artifacts in all its potential manifestations will showcase an evolution of various formats comprising of functionality, origins and characteristics in order to deepen our understanding of what the new human condition might entail. With this, we hope to create a symposium that would be interactive, integrate experiential insights with technologies and incorporate trans-medial and storytelling platforms, so that a collaborative authoring process will emerge.

Personal statement

Please submit a personal statement of not more than 300 words, or in other formats such as images, film music, to The intent of this submission is to deviate from the traditional abstract, ie. the purpose is not to prove your eligibility, but to facilitate your involvement within the focus of the symposium. Hence, please feel free to be as creative as you deem fit.

Ideal Spaces Symposium Conference Chairs

Ulrich Gehmann: Editor-in-Chief of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts ( KIT; head of working group Formatting of Social Spaces, KIT (University of Karlsruhe, Dep. of History)
Matthias Wölfel: Professor in Interactive Media, Furtwangen University
Desmond Wee: Professor of Tourism Sciences and Spatial Theories, Karlshochschule International University

Registration Fee

100€: includes 2 lunches, 1 dinner and refreshments.
Please make this payment to: DE11 6605 0101 1021 3926 08
Account Owner: Ulrich Gehmann

Ideal Spaces Symposium Programme

Thursday 24 Sep 2015

1800: Welcome reception at Karlshochschule International University
1900: Welcome address by Conference chairs

Friday 25 Sep 2015

0900: Registration
0930: Opening ceremony by Conference chairs
0945: Presentations – Randolph Langenbach and Gerd Stern
1030: Coffee break
1045: Roundtable Introductions (showcasing latest projects for example)
1145: Topic selection and grouping
1230: Lunch
1400: Group Work
1530: Go for Walk
1600: Coffee Break  (Kaffee und Kuchen)
1900: Dinner
2100: Night walk

Saturday 26 Sep 2015

0900: Coffee
1000: Present and discuss findings
1300: Closing ceremony and lunch

© 2015 Ulrich Gehmann All Rights Reserved