The first CREAte Open Lecture will be given by Professor Barbara Penner, ‘Cuddleficition’ on Tuesday 22 January at 6PM in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.
‘Cuddlefication’ refers to a pervasive new phenomenon in the design of public spaces. Public spaces, including libraries and museums, are softening under the influence of free wifi: users are being encouraged to spend time in, linger in and even recline in public – a lopsided arrangement in which it feels normal to lie down on the floor of a national institution to work or nap or both. This talk suggests that cuddlefication is one result of the way digital technologies are being grafted onto our analogue lives, a process that changes bodies, work patterns, spaces and the protocols that govern their use. The new city is not only smart; it is soft.
Barbara Penner is Professor in Architectural Humanities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She is author of Bathroom (2013), awarded the 2014 RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding University-Located Research. She is co-editor of Sexuality and Gender at Home (2017) and Gender Space Architecture (Routledge, 2000). She is a regular contributor to the architectural journals Places and Architectural Review.