Image © Oliver Reetz.

Dr. Louis Volont

HafenCity University Hamburg
DFG Research Training Group 2725
Henning-Voscherau-Platz 1
20457 Hamburg

+49 (0)40 42827 4362

Louis Volont is a postdoc in cultural sociology. His work generally focuses on the architectural, aesthetic, and artistic dynamics unfolding within Western metropolises – Rotterdam, London, Hamburg – between the post-war years of modernist redevelopment and the current condition of postmodern malaise. Three theoretical foci pervade his work: commons, time, and ritual. In the realm of the commons, he has contributed to the emergence of the concept of ‘cultural commoning’, focusing specifically on the role played by activistic architects in the creation of commons-based forms of urban life. His PhD, entitled Shapeshifting: The Cultural Production of Common Space (2021), and the edited volume (with Pascal Gielen and Thijs Lijster) The Rise of the Common City (2022) are dedicated to Louis’s interest in the culture of urban commoning. On the level of time and ritual, his current postdoc project merges the sociology of time with Jeffrey Alexander’s theory of social performance. Using exhibitions and conferences in the field of urban future-making as explanatory cases, Louis explores how urban eco-imaginaries are ritualistically performed. Before arriving at HCU he was a visiting Fulbright scholar at MIT’s Art, Culture, and Technology program, where he participated in the ‘Choreographing the City’ project. The latter endeavour asked how insights from choreography might inform more sustainable forms of urban design. Louis earned his PhD at the University of Antwerp, and his work has been featured in journals such as City & Community, Space and Culture, Social Inclusion, and Antipode. He has thought cultural theory at the University of Groningen and methods of urban research at HafenCity University Hamburg.