The Open University's Centre for Geographical and Environmental Research
OpenSpace was founded in 2009 to promote research into geographical and environmental questions. We are motivated by the broad challenges that face the world, including: how can we live together better; how can we inherit the past responsibly; and, how might we bequeath better futures to others?
Our approach to these questions is distinguished by a commitment to open up geographical and environmental problems in an inter-disciplinary and collaborative context. OpenSpace advances research that aims to be empirically rich, theoretically embedded, conceptually innovative, methodologically rigorous, and socially relevant. Our focus is on the spatial, temporal and social processes that determine the outcomes to geographical and environmental problems. We develop these issues by exploring their cultures, materialities and practices; by attending to questions of justice, power and responsibility; and, by extending the application of geographical and environmental thinking.
OpenSpace operates through collaborative and experimental collaborations amongst its core researchers, drawn from across the Open University. It also has a strong external orientation, with a wide international network of individuals and institutions both within and beyond the academy. Its vibrant research culture is underpinned by a range of events, including a seminar series, with internal and visiting scholars, the annual Doreen Massey lecture, opportunities to workshop research in progress, reading and writing groups, and so on. Our aim is to stimulate ongoing and sustained conversations across a range of research topics, with an emphasis on the exchange of ideas. These collective practices have nurtured theoretical and applied collaborations and research projects, nationally and internationally. OpenSpace champions innovative approaches to knowledge dissemination and transfer, especially around engagement with new and diverse publics.
OpenSpace activity is centred on:
OpenSpace has recently launched a newsletter with information about the Centre, forthcoming events, latest publications and research funding successes.