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First supervisor: Professor François Penz; secondary supervisor: Dr Janina Schupp

Research overview:

This study seeks to propose a cinematic method to broaden the understanding of certain types of lived space, such as the traditional Hutong neighbourhood in the old/inner city of Beijing, through the lens of the everyday. Given the fact that the everyday life is hard to be grasped, film presents one of the best ways to peek into others’ lives on account of its capability of providing abundant evidence of humans’ lived experiences that are often taken for granted. Therefore, I intend to propose a cinematic urban modelling (CUM) – a ‘soft’ cinematic skin that embodies the experiential, the social and the emotional dimensions of the lived and practised everyday spaces over the ‘hard’ skeleton of the city. It is not only an atmospheric fashion to perceive the urban spaces, but also a way of complementing the conventional urban modelling that is mainly based on the “hard” facts such as maps and other statistics. To build the CUM, living data of different aspects (for instance, time of the day, activities, behaviour patterns, social relations, spatial nodes, emotions, etc.) are collected from films with the aid of the ‘Pandora’ platform where relevant scenes are annotated and labelled. Besides, considering the limitation that films might not always represent the reality, data are also collected through ethnographic observation in a selected Hutong neighbourhood as proof of concept. 

 

Biography:

Yiqiao Sun ‘s research interests focus on film and the everyday life. She previously completed a B.S. and a M.S. (with Distinction) in Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.