Theorizing the City

We explore the city as a typical example of a complex system, which interconnects different layers (social, natural, and technical) and at the same time results from various mutually constituting processes (intentional planning, spontaneous development). We follow both the current organization of urban space and, together with paleo-ecologists and archaeologists, its history since the Middle Ages. Our group researches e.g. the nature and role of empty, functionless space (terrain vague), deliberately confronting complementary perspectives of urbanism, social anthropology, philosophy and biology. We pay special attention to suburban lifestyle for its architecture reflects specific dreams of life and aspirations. And finally, in cooperation with physicists and biologists, we work towards a macroscopic study of mutual analogies between the city and a living organism concerning the morphology of the systems and infrastructure and time series of their development. The general idea is to reach a deeper understanding of processes that led to the shape of current urban sites, where most of the world's population has lived since the beginning of the 21st century.


Michal Ajvaz [detail]

Philosopher and writer. He writes poems, stories, novels, essays and theoretical studies.

email: michalajvaz@seznam.cz

Radan Haluzík [detail]

Social anthropologist. His fields of interest include current ethnic conflicts and nationalism, the relation between politics and aesthetics and the social life of things.

email: haluzik@cts.cuni.cz

Petr Meduna [detail]

Archaeologist.

email: meduna@cts.cuni.cz

Karolína Pauknerová [detail]

Anthropologist and archaeologist.

email: pauknerova@cts.cuni.cz | website: http://pauknerova.wz.cz/

Petr Pokorný [detail]

Biologist. He is interested in quaternary paleoecology, development of vegetation and landscape.

email: pokorny@cts.cuni.cz

Cyril Říha [detail]

Philosopher and architectural theorist. He is interested especially in research of contemporary cities.

email: riha@cts.cuni.cz

Selected bibliography:

Ajvaz, Michal (2015): Prázdné prostory ve městě

Kapitola v knize, která vyjde v roce 2016.

Říha, Cyril (2014): Le Corbusierovo skryté dědictví

In: Lucie Stejskalová, Myslet město. Současné městské strategie, UMPRUM: Praha, str. 247-263, ISBN 978-80-86863-47-4. [detail]

Pauknerová, Karolína; Gibas, Petr (2014): Walking the Stream: Prague Cityscape and Research Guided by the Water

In: Shortell, Timothy - Brown, Evrick (eds.) Walking in the City: Quotidian Mobility and Ethnographic Method. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate. pp. 173-187. ISBN 987-14-72416-16-2.

Meduna, Petr; Sádlo, Jiří; Novák, Jan (2010): Archeologie (nejen) středověké krajiny, aneb o Bezdězském lese

Živá archeologie 11: 87-91

Kozáková, R.; Pokorný, Petr; Havrda, J.; Jankovská, Vlasta (2009): The potential of pollen analyses from urban deposits: multivariate statistical analysis of a data set from the medieval city of Prague, Czech Republic

Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 18: 477-488