This digital resource has evolved out of a pilot research project funded by Brunel University London: “The Changing Feel of Smithfield: exploring sensory identities and temporal flows” led by Dr. Monica Degen (PI – Brunel University London), Dr. Camilla Lewis (University of Manchester), Prof. Astrid Swenson (Bath Spa University) and Isobel Ward (King’s College London). The aim of this website is to experiment with different ways of communicating and visualising the various temporal flows, sensory engagements and fluctuating atmospheres that characterise the Smithfield Market area over a 24 hour period.

The research addressed the following questions:

  • What is the changing ‘feel of place’ around the Smithfield Market area?
  • How can we understand the sensory character of the area?
  • What do the temporal flows around the site tell us about the unique ‘feel of place’?
  • What are the past, present and future identities of the Smithfield Market area?

Our Approach

The information for these maps was gathered from our mixed method approach which produced different types of data (including photographs, sound recordings, oral histories, interviews, observational notes and streetscape maps) which helped us to make sense of the various sensory and temporal dimensions of Smithfield.
Rather than creating a representative history or fixed map of the area, we regard these mappings as analytical tools that allow us to evoke the distinctive feel of place at particular times and moments that tend to be difficult to grasp through words alone. These maps were compiled and developed as a digital resource with a digital artist, Manuela Barz. We have developed a range of mapping techniques that evoke how:

  • the past (both historical past and subjective memories) shapes current experiences of place
  • the sensory landscape influences our perception of the different atmospheres across Smithfield and how these vary at different times
  • different social groups experience different place identities depending on how they spend time at Smithfield
  • the sensory characteristics of place differ across Smithfield

Please click on the below maps to explore the sensory and temporal flows of the area which indicate the unique feel and atmosphere:

Our Story