Subprojects | Project Area B | Spaces of Communication

B02
Centres of Coordination: The Polycontexturalisation of Power in Control Rooms

The focus of the research project “Centres of Coordination” is on control rooms and coordination centres, in particular those of “Smart Cities” that are equipped with technical information and communication systems and infrastructures to monitor, record and regulate specific processes within a controlled area. Since these centres are an emblem for the translocalisation and mediatisation of spaces, the aim is not only to observe and explain particular changes, but also to use this information as an indication for the overall re-figuration of spaces in late modernity.

Considering recent developments of communication technology, we are, on the one hand, interested in the mediatisation of communicative actions within and between control rooms, as well as in transformations concerning the relation between control rooms and their external environment. On the other hand, we investigate the impact of ever-changing mediatisation processes on modes of control, the ways in which they influence communicative action in control rooms, and how this leads to changes in the way space is perceived, performed and synthesised.

In order to capture long-term changes since 1990, former control room data will be compared to videographic surveys from currently operating control rooms, in addition to research on advanced “integrated operations centres” in Smart Cities.

We are confident that our empirical analysis has ample potential to further clarify the polycontexturalisation of space, particularly in terms of shifts in social control and power.