Shrinking Domesticities Global Seminar Series: Buenos Aires

Location: Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani | Map
Language: English and Spanish

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Shrinking domesticities

This event is part of the USF Seminar Series Award grant funding for “Shrinking domesticities: towards a global research agenda on urban micro-living.”

In cities across the world, small spaces are becoming big business. From co-living developments in London to micro- apartments in Singapore, there is a growing urban trend for housing models that shrink private living space. But there is a significant gap in urban studies critically exploring the issue of shrinking domestic space outside of the Western European, US and Australian context. This event seeks to bring researchers across Latin America together to discuss the phenomenon of shrinking domestic space. We welcome scholars whose work has either a direct or indirect relationship to shrinking domesticities.

Contributions may focus on:

  1. The relationship between state/market-led and autonomous/self-organised forms of micro-living – from backyarding, inner city shared spaces and informal settlements to inclusionary housing and micro-units.
  2. How shrinking living space is narrativised and marketed by developers, governments, and other stakeholders.
  3. The everyday experiences of life in shrinking domestic space.
  4. How shrinking domesticities are manifesting differentially in cities across a range of regional contexts.
  5. How emergent forms of micro-dwelling in western cities are imagined in relation to those associated with ‘underdevelopment’ in the global south.
  6. The relationship between shrinking domesticities and urban trends including touristification, studentification and gentrification.
  7. The relationship between shrinking domesticities and social inequalities, including class, gender and race.
  8. The radical potential of shrinking living space;
  9. The social and political implications of shrinking domesticities.

The event will take place at Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani (Universidad de Buenos Aires) across Monday May 15th and Tuesday 16th 2023. Each day will include a seminar where participants will present their own research on shrinking domestic space followed by a comparative group discussion where we hope to come towards some larger research questions on the topic. Logistics permitting, we also hope to arrange for a smaller group of participants to visit case study sites in Buenos Aires with us.

The event is part of a Urban Studies Foundation-funded seminar series which aims to expand the discussion on urban shrinking domesticities beyond the Western, anglophone context, with an eye to developing a global research agenda on the topic. Other events have taken place in Johannesburg in 2022 and will take place in Tokyo in 2023, bringing together scholars researching micro-living across Saharan Africa and East Asia.

If you intend to present a paper, please submit an abstract (max. 250 words) by February 20th. If you wish to take part in the discussion without presenting a paper, please submit an outline of your interest in shrinking domesticities (max. 250 words) by February 20th.

Contributions are welcome in English or Spanish and discussions will take place in both languages.

There is a limited amount of funding to assist with internal and international travel costs for early career researchers. Please let us know when you submit your abstract if this might apply to you.

Send abstracts and queries to and

Please label your email Buenos Aires Seminar 2023 – Abstract.

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"The USF International Fellowship helped me write two journal articles with an internationally renowned scholar in a world-class research environment. As a visiting scholar at Cardiff University, I was provided with convenient working space, good access to university resources, and regularly participated in enriching seminars and workshops. The very generous USF grant helped me cover all the costs related to my activities in Cardiff, making my life and work easier. Moreover, the fellowship boosted my motivation to further pursue my career in Urban Studies."

Dr Engida Esayas Dube, International Fellowship

Urban Studies Foundation is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC039937.

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