Material Behaviour: Behaviour

Lecture 3 in a lecture series by Visiting Professor Roland Fletcher (University of Sydney).

2018.06.08 | Christina Levisen

Date Mon 25 Jun
Time 12:00 13:00
Location Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, DK-8270 Højbjerg Denmark, Building 4230-232



An introduction to the boundary conditions which constrain viable community life. All communities have to interact and communicate in order to function. The operational parameters of viable interaction and communication are very simple and, for human communities. function through Material Behaviour. The constraints on interaction and communication delimit viable community sizes and densities, for which the materiality of residential packing, the degree of screening and signal transmission provide by materiality, and the material extent of the settlement are crucial.  These material characteristics have defined the punctuated equilibrium of settlement development transitions, at least over the past 15,000 years, such as the formation of agrarian-based urbanism. Materiality has also generated three major trajectories of settlement growth - a dynamic high-density trajectory, a stable mid-density path and a low-density terminal trajectory. Cultural evolution does not progress by stages. Though stage theory is much criticized it is still retained by default, a situation which we may now hopeful begin to obviate through the recognition of transitions and  plural trajectories each with differing kinds of outcomes.   

About the lecture and workshop series

The series consists of three lectures held on Monday from 12:00-13:00 at UrbNet, AU Campus Moesgaard (bldg. 4230, room 232). Questions sent by email to about each lecture would be most welcome.

Each lecture is accompanied by a discussion workshop on Tuesday from 14:00-15:00 at UrbNet, AU Campus Moesgaard (bldg. 4230, room 232). The questions and the workshop discussions will help to identify what needs to be clarified, to identify new issues and to reveal new research possibilities.

The aim is to use the lecture series in 2018 to develop the first three chapters for a nine chapter book on Material Behaviour.

Lecture/talk, History and archaeology