The Comfort Pursuit

Month in review: August 2017

This month was a great one in regards to research. A paper published, a few accepted in journals and conferences, a few projects progressed, and my research got a bit of media attention. The newspaper article was about a study I have just started at JCU, on the Economic Benefits of Urban Comfort, and more on this one will be coming soon. For now, this is what happened this month…

 

Research

First of all, a paper I’ve been working on for a while – A case-based methodology for investigating urban comfort through interpretive research and microclimate analysis in post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand – has been published in the Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science.

Another article in Portuguese entitled Urban Comfort: The physical and social landscape as constituent of the climate experience (in Portuguese Conforto Urbano: A paisagem física e social como constituinte da experiência climática) has been accepted to the published in the Cadernos do PROARQ.

Data analysis for the ‘Urban Climate Adaptation: A New Zealand Contribution’ has started and the study has been accepted as an oral presentation at the International Urban Design Conference which will happen in the Gold Coast, here in Australia, in November.

A new project entitled ‘Podcasting Urbanism: Promoting Urban Sustainability through Accessible Education and Community Engagement‘ has got ethics approval, data collection has started AND it has been accepted for the On Sustainability conference, which will happen here in Cairns in January.

I also started working on another new project related to the BLING grant and entitled ‘Blending technology and studio teaching: Non-face-to-face learning by doing’. This one is at the literature review stage and I am fortunate to have a research assistant working with me.

Finally, I have confirmed I will be a keynote speaker in an event that will happen in my hometown in Brazil (working in Portuguese again!) in December. The event is the 6th International Symposium of Cities, Contemporaneity and Urban Morphology (in Portuguese Encontro Internacional Cidade, Contemporaneidade e Morfologia Urbana)

 

Writing

In the writing front, I have been working on a book chapter, of which I have submitted a first draft, and on the interview guide for one of the above projects.

I have also worked on a proposal to make JCU an Associate Partner of the World Urban Campaign. The proposal has just been accepted at the end of August, and this means exciting events coming up next year. Another exciting and related proposal is an application to the Fulbright Specialist Program which my colleagues and I have been working on. Let’s wait and see what happens next!

 

Teaching 

In July I participated in an Urban Design Studio in Innisfail, and as part of that I delivered a couple of lectures on ‘Seeing the City’ – based on Chuck Wolfe’s Seeing the Better City – and this month I marked the workbooks which were part of their studio output.

I also delivered a lecture about Urban Landscapes into a Human Geography subject (EV1008), and coordinated a tutorial on Space Syntax and accessibility.

Finally, one of this month’s top moments was to teach the Smithfield State High School (SSHS) Tropical North Learning Academy students. Students from SSHS came to JCU to learn a bit more about Urban Design and work with Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City principles.

Learning

Not much in regards to formal workshops happened this month, but I tried to put myself a goal: reading at least one paper or work-related book chapter a day. It wasn’t easy and I need to get better organised to make it work. Any tips for making it work or being on top of the ‘state of the art’ of research in your field?

2 thoughts on “Month in review: August 2017”

  1. The only suggestions that I have are:
    – Download or put together what you want to read in batches, so that when you have time to read, you do not have to waste time accessing the paper / book chapter. Maybe use one afternoon per month to do that.
    – Skim the paper or book chapter. If you are reading just to get an idea to what is being said and done in your area (which I agree is very important to do), then you don’t really need to read the details of the research design, for instance. I read the Abstract, Introduction and Discussion / Conclusion in detail, and skim through the rest. Then, if I want to use it in my research or teaching, I will read it in detail.
    – Create some external accountability. For instance, commit to tweeting or posting an image about the paper; or create a public spreadsheet or list of what you are reading; or something along those lines. I know someone who, every Sunday, posts a picture on Facebook of what she has read during that week.

    Wishing you a very productive September. Your August looks great from this side of the screen.

    1. Hi Ana,
      Many thanks for your comment. Very helpful!
      I confess when I saw ‘one afternoon a month’ I thought that’s not enough, but to be honest, I don’t think that actually gets done once a month if it isn’t scheduled. And it hasn’t been. So that’s a great idea!
      I have also realised recently that I need accountability to keep motivated. I am currently doing a 30 day exercise challenge (sharing on Instagram stories everyday), perhaps the reading habit will be the next goal. 🙂

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