Restorative, Heterotopic Spacing for Campus Sustainability

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Jones, David (2017)

This paper proposes an alternative spatial form for a university campus, which embeds itself within the region, in which it is located. The proposed campus spacing is inspired by recent research from the environmental psychology discipline, around Attention Restorative Theory (ART), along with its central four principles. Furthermore, the paper explores how a critical interpretation of Foucault’s six heterotopic principles, following Harvey, maps onto ART principles and reflexively unmasks the dialectic tensions of what is termed ‘restorative, heterotopic spacing’. In order to focus on the potential implications to campus sustainability, a specific campus initiative called the Oberlin Project will be critically explored, in relation to the potential enactment of ART, from an academic and local community perspective. It reflects on the significance of an artistic, regional set of trans-disciplinary integrated initiatives for such restorative spacing, within the expanded urban and regional notion of Oberlin campus. However, it concludes by expressing a concern over the extent to which the generative embrace of diverse Oberlin actors, both on and off campus, is being fulfilled.
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