Helen Jane Rix Runting

by helenjrr

Helen Runting

I was trained as an urban planner (Bachelor Urban Planning & Development, Melbourne Uni) and an urban designer (Postgrad Dip. Urban Design, Melbourne Uni; Masters Urban Planning & Design, KTH). I grew up, was educated and worked in Melbourne, Australia, before moving to Sweden in 2007. Right now, I’m a doctoral student in the research group “Critical Studies of Architecture” at the School of Architecture at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.

My research is still in its formative stages; it broadly addresses “the ways in which critique is practised within the field of urban planning” – the ways in critique is variously performed, ignored, idealised or outsourced by planners in situations where the future city is to be regulated into being. For me, the term “critique” describes the possibility both for resistance, but also for transformation, and the objects of critique in planning are multiple: the market; the State; the “design”, the “project”, or the “proposal”; and the multitude of disciplines and “actors” that enter the space of the planning process seeking legitimacy in one way or another. I’m interested in working with fiction as a method of writing theory; and with performance as a way of undertaking research. I hope that through my PhD research I will, in the end, find a way to combine these two methodological positions.