Abbas › Re-Locating
ABSTRACT: Stress is an undesirable offshoot of any kind of travel, forced or voluntary. To soothe the stress of travel, today’s mobile individuals — neo-nomads — engage in tactics of re:location, the practice of re-assembling a familiar and cushioned personal space, an image of home. The spaces and objects we design with mobility in mind should focus on bringing comfort to these mobile individuals. We learn however that in today’s consumerist, “liquid” and hypermobile world, linkages between PIGS — People, Information, Goods and Spaces — matter more than PIGS themselves. The territories of neo-nomads relate to linkages and are dynamic as a result.
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BIOGRAPHY: Yasmine Abbas is a French DPLG architect (Paris Val-de-Marne / now Paris Val-de-Seine 1997) who graduated with a Master of Science in Architecture Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an Aga Khan scholarship (SMArchS 2001) and a Doctor of Design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design (DDes 2006). At MIT and Harvard, Abbas researched how mobile individuals — neo-nomads — Re:locate, i.e. construct and reclaim a sense of belonging to places through physical, mental and digital means. Abbas has traveled extensively and worked internationally in the fields of art and architecture, consumer research and social sustainability. This led her to develop a strong understanding of applied research and design innovation. She is the founding director of neo-nomad a research blog/consultancy which deliver urban intelligence, people-informed research and design strategy for the built environment. Her latest publications include Digital Technologies of the Self, a book co-edited with Fred Dervin (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009) and the chapter “Neo-nomads and the Practice of Re:location — Designing for Mobilities” in Tsigaridis, D. and Jungclaus J. (eds) Tracing Mobilities — Designing Ubiquities (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Graduate School of Design — Design and Technology Report Series, forthcoming publication 2010). She joined Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, UAE as a Professorial Research Fellow and the Program Director of RURL, the Responsible Urbanism Research Lab, Zayed University’s transdisciplinary research platform dedicated to advance knowledge in the field of sustainable urbanism.