Conference: The Global Petroleumscape

17 May 2017 09:00 till 19 May 2017 17:00 - Location: Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment - By: Communication BK

From 17 to 19 May the conference ‘The Global Petroleumscape’ organised by convenor Prof. Dr.-Ing. Carola Hein will take place at the faculty.

Petroleum – its extraction, refining, transformation, and consumption – has shaped our built environment in visible and invisible interconnected ways around the world over the last 150 years. Industrial structures, buildings, monuments, urban forms, and infrastructure stand as material witnesses to the ubiquity and power of petroleum. Many people will orient themselves in space referring to gas stations, others will point to oil headquarters as local urban icons, and a select few will be aware of local oil industry facilities or the educational, housing or leisure facilities of the petroleum industry employees. But while observers recognise the connection to oil in select buildings, they do not picture the enormous collective presence of oil in the built environment, its impact on production processes, financial flows, and associated social and cultural patterns in our everyday environment, or the long history of oil’s impact on our lives.


This workshop will argue that Petroleum flows, the finances, and people associated with them, have shaped cities and buildings around the world in visible and invisible interconnected ways. Studying these flows, their spatial impact and their representation in advertisement, art and architecture, provides novel insights for historical analysis of the built environment and for future planning. This workshop compares the spatial impact of oil and its representation in North West Europe, in the Middle East and in China over the last 150 years from an interdisciplinary perspective. It argues that a thorough understanding of “oil modernity” is a necessary foundation for perspectives beyond oil.


Several speakers have already confirmed their participation, notably Professors Imre Szeman, Xu Suning, Stephen Ramos, and Pamela Karimi.


For an up-to-date schedule of the conference and more information about the exhibition click here.

More information