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Performing Pandemic: A Study into Socially Performative Thresholds within a Pandemic City Informed by a Critical Analysis of the Balcony as a Place ‘In Between’

Part 1 Dissertation 2021
Daniel Jordan
Loughborough University | UK
Throughout the pandemic, two distinct performances emerged within the urban dwelling. Firstly, the performance of isolation, whereby the social isolating expediencies of the built environment exposed themselves within the intramural lifestyles of the urban dweller, whilst perpetual habitation dismantled existing work/life thresholds provoking a mundane, reclusive lifestyle. Secondly, the performance of balcony, whereby impromptu performances and planned events became a form of national solace against monotony, fostering social connectivity amongst deserted streets, inviting people to reconsider the social values of previously neglected threshold spaces.

This study is concerned with the conditions of the built environment that lead to these performances. Through an understanding of Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1990) and Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed (2008), this dissertation situates dramaturgical discourse within the context of urban dwelling spaces. By performing a series of critical methodologies, the research explores the built environment’s role in affirming or
transgressing isolation. Urban dwelling spaces are critiqued, highlighting thresholds as socially performative spaces. Furthermore, by contextualising critical architectural practice within concepts of performativity, this dissertation imagines the built environment as an actor within these forms of dramaturgy, problematising conditions of urban isolation as a means of exploring social performance by design.

Daniel Jordan

Cagri Sanliturk
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