UCL Urban Laboratory


Andy Pratt - Urban Laboratory Lecture Series

13 November 2018, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

Urban Laboratory Lecture Series - Andy Pratt

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Room G03, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP

Knowledge curation as a relational and an embedded process

This presentation is concerned with a critical reflection on the normative notions of hub/centre/cluster. It argues that normative conceptions trade on atomistic modalities of exchange of goods, ideas and social processes. Their concern is with the origins and destinations; and, assumption that the 'it' that flows is unchanging and consistent.

To challenge this orthodoxy, the paper contest simple notions of distribution and diffusion of knowledge. It also challenges the binary implied by embedding (and non-embedded); distinct micro and macro flows. Additionally, this questions the lack of attention paid to the practices and agency of 'exchange' embedded in a market metaphor (seeing them as automatic and as a trade in absolute quantities, and of known values).

The paper takes three instances of the performance of knowledge exchange based that are embedded in particular creative practices: the recording studio, the incubator, and the crit. These mini-case studies highlight the social achievement of knowledge exchange, and knowledge valuing, which are active, relational and embedded processes, which might better be known as curation (despite the unpopularity of the term in common usage).

This 'knowledge curation' process challenges the ontologies of common innovation models and policy making. It suggests a concern with the 'made in translation', and the processes of 'stabilisation' (by the construction of routinisation and institutionalisation). The paper suggests that researchers look for motilities rather than stabilities: the making rather than the made. Finally, the paper poses the question of whether such insights are restricted to creative fields, and might be extended to those of science too.

  • Andy Pratt is Professor of Cultural Economy and the Director of the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City, University of London. He is an internationally acclaimed expert on the topic of the cultural industries, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Royal Geographical Society, and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.
  • This lecture is chaired by Dr Andrew Harris (UCL Geography / UCL Urban Laboratory)


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Urban Laboratory Lecture Series

The talk is part of our new autumn fortnightly lecture series, investigating the meaning and renewed relevance of the term 'urban laboratory'. The lectures are free and no booking is required. Step free access to the room at 26 Bedford Way.