A European Haniel Program Summer Academy

May 17–21, 2021.
Joint kick-off: 06.05., 16–18

“If the city is a text, how shall we read it?”
Joyce Carol Oates, Imaginary Cities: America

“The city is not only a text to be decoded, it is also a space to be written.”
Graeme Gilloch, Myth and Metropolis

“In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.”
Guy Debord, Theory of the Dérive

At the beginning of the 21st century, cities are, once again, at the center of intellectual and political attention and debate. Cities are laboratories for the configurations and significations of (post-)modernity, brimming with creativity and entrepreneurship. Nowhere are there so many potential fields of interaction as in the urban habitus: potential specialist or different vocations, dispositions or lifestyles will find articulations somewhere within urban spaces. Simultaneously, cities are the first to sense and to respond to new changes, whether economic, political, cultural, social, or religious. In an ongoing process of social formation and deformation, participants of urban life invent ways of making their voices heard. Urban spaces are contested arenas where a multiplicity of interests, perspectives and discourses make their claims.

When urban spaces become the focus of inquiry, they tend to be perceived as architecturally built environments, physical containers for human conduct, put into place and remodelled by city planners and builders. By focussing on the distilled material forms, however, the dynamic production and reproduction of city space is too often left aside.

Departing from simple but detailed and personal yet reflected experiences of urbanity, we will focus on theories and observations which allow to understand the city as a geographic, discursive, cultural, social, and above all, affective and atmospheric space. We will inquire how the ordering and organization of urban life is continuously forged and challenged where new possibilities for work, citizenship and lifestyle emerge. There is movement and change, desires and passions, tensions and conflicts, politics and ideology that shape and reshape a city (and are shaped and reshaped by it in return). Studying urban spaces thus presents a potentially endless variety of observations, exemplifications and interpretations as well as potentially-to-be-written stories that re-vision and change the images and representations of public life in our cities.

In this year’s Academy, the city will be looked at as “inventive and creative spaces of affects and atmospheres” with surprising possibilities and perpetual uncertainties where creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation become realized in specific neighbourhoods. Often, this entails the contestation of established urban realities and (re)constructions of urban publics, which bring along such different affects as hope, anxiety, frustration or liveliness. This year’s course will focus especially on the multiple atmospheres and affects through which the neighbourhoods of various European cities can be experienced and felt, and lived and enlivened as they cope with multiple challenges (e.g. increasing tourism, gentrification, refugees, pandemic and ‘social distancing’) and respond locally with inventive and entrepreneurial dynamics. We ask the question how city life is differently produced and organized through various affects, rhythms, intensities, sensations and atmospheres as we walk different neighbourhoods of the city or get involved in some of its new activities or entrepreneurial projects.

With the various European cities (Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, Venice and Zürich) as empirical base, teams of students are expected to conduct small ethnographic field studies by looking for and identifying themes in connection with various affective qualities and intensities that move and bring movement to urban life, its people and creative projects. Studying urban life through atmospheres and affective cartographies can be done through, for example, interviews, observations, pictures, sound recordings and video-takes, drawings and maps, reports and articles; the teams will then transform their empirical work into stories and performative accounts of affective and atmospheric space, by comparing the fieldwork from different European cities and so contributing to the affective cartography of Europe’s entrepreneurial neighbourhoods. As different projects are joining together their mappings and stories, the colours, sounds and rhythms of this creative cartography of affects and atmospheres comes alive.

Faculty and Speakers

Armin Beverungen is (since October 2019) Junior Professor for Organisation in Digital Cultures at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and has held previous research and teaching positions at the University of the West of England, Leuphana University and the University of Siegen. He is a founding co-editor of the journal spheres: Journal for Digital Cultures ( and the book series Digital Cultures (meson press). During the summer of 2019 he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies in Bochum. His research takes place at the interstices of media and organization studies, and is currently focused on the phenomenon of algorithmic management. His most recent publications include Markets (with Jens Schröter/Phil Mirowski/Edward Nik-Khak, meson press and University of Minnesota Press) and an edited issue of Organization on the theme of “the organizational powers of digital media” (with Lisa Conrad/Timon Beyes).

Timon Beyes is Professor of Sociology of Organisation and Culture at Leuphana University Lüneburg. He is a director of Leuphana University’s Centre for Digital Cultures, and holds a fractional professorship at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. He has a background in Sociology and Management Studies and has done his doctoral and post-doctoral research at the Institute of Sociology and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of St.Gallen, Switzerland. His research focuses on the spaces, technologies and aesthetics of organization in the fields of media culture, art, cities as well as higher education.

Antoine Blanc is assistant professor of Strategy and Organization Theories at Paris-Dauphine University PSL. He is a member of the DRM Laboratory (UMR CNRS). He is the co-director of the Post-Master Humanities and Management. He teaches Organization Theories, strategy and qualitative methods for master and PhD students. His research interests are related to institutional dynamics and discourse analysis in cultural industries. His has published several book chapters and research articles in journals such as Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Paula Bialski is an Associate Professor for Digital Sociology at the University of St. Gallen and a research fellow at Leuphana University’s Center for Digital Cultures. She is an ethnographer of digital technologies, looking at contexts of usage as well as production, and she frames her research within cultural, social and media theory in general, and science and technology studies in particular. She is currently completing a book project that looks at mediocrity and slowness of corporate software work and its relationship to our digital infrastructures. Her previous book, “Becoming Intimately Mobile,” (Peter Lang: 2012), ethnographically researched hospitality networks (, and ride-sharing websites ( in order to understand the relationship between new media, mobility and intimacy, trust, and strangerhood.

Monica Calcagno is associate professor of Design and Innovation management at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Management. Co-founder of the laboratory on Management of arts and cultural activities (m.a.c.lab), and coordinator of Master’s degree curriculum in Innovation and marketing. Her research interests refer to the following main topics: innovation from the engineering turn to the rhetoric of creativity, design attitude in management education, user language and narratives in exhibition contexts, archives and the process of organizing, cultural entrepreneurship and social innovation. She teaches courses on Design and innovation management, and Management of cultural organisations. Among her most recent publications, “Interpreting innovation. Design creativity art” published in 2017 and a contribution on “Innovation” in Timon Bayes and Jörg Metelmann (edited by) “The Creativity Complex. A Companion to Contemporary Culture” in 2018.

Simon Denny is a contemporary artist from New Zealand now living in Berlin. His sculptures and installations result from extensive research into the practices and aesthetics of technology products and the companies developing and marketing them. Denny had solo exhibitions at MOMA PS1 and Serpentine Gallery, among other venues. In 2015 he represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Since 2018 he is a professor for time based media at the HFBK Hamburg.

Silvia Gribaudi – born in Turin, her language as an artist and choreographer intersects performing art, dance, and theatre, focusing on the research on body and on the relationship with the audience. Her artistic language could be summarised as the encounter of dance with a raw, empathetic humour. Among other projects, Silvia is also developing a new work, Mon Jour!, co-produced by Torino Festival / Teatro Stabile di Torino (as part of the European project Corpo Links Cluster) and by Teatro Stabile del Veneto, premiering in 2020.

Rasmus Johnsen is an associate professor of Humanities and Business School Education at the Department for Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. Originally trained in philosophy and literature, he has published broadly on themes such as institutional pathologies—boredom, stress and depression—but also on leadership, pedagogy and ethics. His current research includes an interest in the affective dimension of time and how it is being attended to in organization studies. Right now, he is finishing a book project with the working title A pessimist’s guide to strategy on world literature and strategy. In this book he explores strategy broadly as the human art of creating power in response to a lack of natural instinct—as a symbolic artifice that cushion us from a direct relation to reality.

Lydia Jørgensen is a post doc at the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP), CBS. Lydia’s areas of research centers on atmosphere, space, design and organizational aesthetics, a.o. in relation to aesthetic modulation of the social, the senses and the political. Further, she is interested in and works with experimental qualitative methodologies and performative research. Her recent publications include ‘The Theatricality of Organizational Atmosphere’ (2020) and ‘Organizations, atmospheres and digital technologies’ (2019).

Andrea Costanzo Martini was born and raised in Italy where he received his first education in contemporary dance and ballet. After few years in Germany where he danced with the Aalto Theater Essen, he moved to Tel Aviv to Join the Batsheva Young Ensemble and later the Batsheva Dance Company.
Trained in both ballet and contemporary technique , since 2007 Andrea is also a Gaga instructor and leads dance workshops around the world.

Claus Pias is Professor for History and Epistemology of Media at the Institute for Culture and Aesthetics of Digital Media (ICAM) at Leuphana University Lueneburg. He studied Electrical Engineering in Aachen and Art History, German Studies and Philosophy in Bonn and Bochum. In 1993 he became research assistant for History of Architecture at Bauhaus-University Weimar. 1996, he became scientific assistant at the chair of »History and Theory of Artificial Worlds«. In 2002 he was appointed an assistant professor (Junior-Prof) for »Media-Technology and Media-Philosophy« at Ruhr-University Bochum. From 2006 to 2010 he was full professor for »Epistemology and Philosophy of Digital Media« at the University of Vienna. Since 2010 he works and teaches in Lueneburg. He was Senior Fellow at the International Research Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM) Weimar, the International Research Centre for Cultural Studies (IFK) Vienna, and the Institute for Advanced Study / Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin. Claus Pias also is currently the director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (mecs), the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) and the Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL) at Leuphana University in Lueneburg. In 2015 Claus Pias was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“ Konstanz. Main areas of interest are the media history and epistemology of computer simulations, the history of media studies, and the history and epistemology of cybernetics.

Costanza Sartoris is a Ph.D. student in Management at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy. With a background on management of cultural institutions and curatorial practices, her current research is on culture and technological development. She is doing field research in the Khasi tribal area of Meghalaya, India.

Maximilian Schellmann, PhD, is currently PostDoc at the Copenhagen Business School, Department for Management, Politics and Philosophy and visiting lecturer at the University St.Gallen His research interests include Migration Studies, Urban Studies, Organization Theory, Cultural Entrepreneurship and Aesthetics. Last publications: ʺThe Politics of Organizing Refugee Campsʺ (2018), CBS [PhD]; ʺStageʺ (2018), in: The Creativity Complex, T. Beyes & J. Metelmann [Eds.]. Transcript.

Florian Schulz is a postdoctoral researcher, psychotherapist and lecturer at the Research Institute for Organizational Psychology at the University of St. Gallen. His interests lie at the interface between psychology and organizational theory. He has taught and conducted research on management coaching, positive work relationships, the impact of networked technologies on work processes as well as on reflexive practices of self-management.

Chris Steyaert is Professor for Organizational Psychology at the University of Sankt Gallen. He has published in international journals and books in the area of organizational theory and entrepreneurship. He is teaching courses on creativity in relation to the field of team dynamics, entrepreneurship and urban creativity, and experiments with pedagogical approaches drawing up aesthetic forms such as drama, dance, design, documentary and (digital) display. He edited the Routledge Companion to Reinventing Management Education (2016) with Timon Beyes and Martin Parker.

Massimo Warglien is a professor at the Department of Management, Ca’ Foscari University, Venezia and a member of the Center for Humanities and Social Change. He has been publishing both in general science journals (Science, PNAS, Nature: Scientific Reports) and in specialist journals of different fields (Management Science, Organization Science, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, Theoretical Linguistics, Journal of Semantics, Synthèse, Games and Economic Behavior, Physica A). He has held visiting position in numerous institutions in Europe, US and India.