Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Habilitation à diriger des recherches

Une critique sensible de l'urbain

Abstract : This Habilitation à diriger des recherches (HDR) aims at questioning the possibility of formulating a critique of the urban - defined in this work as the way the city, as designed and planned, organises the public life forms and environments - from a focus on ambiances and their transformations: what are their effects on the pedestrian's sensory experience, on his ways of proceeding, of perceiving, of being in public? The critique is not missing from works on urban and architectural ambiances. However, it is commonly implicit and solely formulated towards the design and planning fields. We criticise their omission of sensory dimensions of space and their focus on technical and prescriptive dimensions instead. Admittedly, these works have established the interest for the ambiances concept in order to better understand the nature of relationships between man and his environment. However, they have set the societal challenges aside - perhaps political and moral issues as well -, which influence the physical and sensory transformations of our living conditions. This HDR thesis aims at dealing with this question and at proposing research tracks to theoretically build what I call a sensory critique of the urban. It is also a question of transferring the social and political critique to the sensory field. In practical terms, my work is focused on the ambiances' part in the setting up of the standardisation of pedestrian conducts that can disturb the civility mechanisms, enhance the citizen's vulnerability, replicate forms of exclusion. What do the spatial and sensory frames do to the pedestrian's body and senses? What is their contribution to the deployment of urban practices, to the commitment to the living environment, to the possibility of "taking part" in society? How do they participate in the production and duplication of "alienations", indispositions to action, impossibilities of engagement and sharing?
Document type :
Habilitation à diriger des recherches
Complete list of metadatas

Cited literature [443 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Françoise Acquier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 6:11:26 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 9:40:03 AM


Files produced by the author(s)


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


  • HAL Id : tel-01818999, version 1



Rachel Thomas. Une critique sensible de l'urbain. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes : Ecole Doctorale 454 Sciences de l'homme, du politique et du territoire, 2018. ⟨tel-01818999⟩



Record views


Files downloads