Please note that this Research Seminar will be held virtually via Zoom at the normal time [24 February, 2021 (Wednesday), 13:00 p.m.]
Please be ready 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time.
The talk considers the concept of synoptic vision – “the few” gazing at “the many” – to analyse elite messaging on urban policy and planning. Originally articulated by sociologist Thomas Mathiesen to describe a mass-media driven viewer society, the synopticon has also been used by researchers to analyse state-messaging in the neo-liberal city. The talk looks at the synoptic mediation of the development of a newly established state capital in southern India – Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh – where an “all over, all at once” infrastructure strategy scattered construction across a 217 square kilometer site. Decisions about planning, land-accumulation and build-out were broadcast to diverse stake-holders in ways that demonstrate the entanglements of synoptic power. The talk argues that technology-driven communication platforms promoting the new capital’s development enacted synoptic viewership and the concurrent staging of the site’s ultimately disastrous physical transformation.
About the Speaker
Mr. Sony Devabhaktuni is assistant professor of design in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). His research and teaching looks at collaborative processes in architectural design and at urban infrastructure. Current projects include: research funded by the Hong Kong SAR government’s University Grants Committee on collaborations between dance and architecture ; HKU funded research on the planning, development and ultimate failure of a new capital for the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh; and an ongoing study on the ‘curb-scale’ infrastructure of the Hong Kong street.
~~ ALL INTERESTED ARE WELCOME ~~
Enquiries: 3917 2721
CENTRE OF URBAN STUDIES AND URBAN PLANNING
THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG