Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The production of informal space: A case study of an urban community garden in England

Rice, Louis


Louis Rice
Associate Professor in Architecture


This research explores the production of informal spaces in England. Informal spaces are those used by people who do not own the land. The research focused on how such a space is produced, through a variety of processes and activities. The use and function of informal spaces is rarely prescribed by governmental agencies and is often determined on an ad hoc basis by its users. These users are sometimes consensual and symbiotic, however there is often conflict and dissidence amongst users. The sub-text to these myriad inter-relationships is the production (and re-production) of power. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is employed to address the research question ‘how is informal space produced’ using an empirical case study. A multi-method approach using: interviews, observations and documentary materials/mediated data yielded a thick description of multiple actors in the research site and augmented the ANT methodology. The research contributes to knowledge in three principal areas: empirical, theoretical and methodological. The empirical contribution relates to the specific case-study area that has previously not been studied. The theoretical contribution to knowledge concerns the combination of ANT ‘translation’ framework enmeshed with the fine-grained accounts and intricate ethnographic type work generated from the fieldwork, particularly to such a ‘spatial’ field of study. Thirdly, the adoption of a hybrid methodological approach drawn from a range of transdisciplinary practices contextualised within ANT contributes to new methodological knowledge.


Rice, L. The production of informal space: A case study of an urban community garden in England. (Thesis). University of the West of England

Thesis Type Thesis
Keywords informal, hybrid, actor-network, space, power, urban


You might also like

Downloadable Citations