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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Copenhagen 2017

Dreams always take place: Spaces, places, rooms and furniture, inside and around us

Publisher Location:

ISPSO 34th Annual Meeting
Copenhagen 3rd - 9th July 2017

Dreams always take place: Spaces, places, rooms and furniture, inside and around us
Studying Organisational Dynamics through a Psychoanalytic Lens

Organizational life takes place in spaces, outside: between trees and houses, on streets and fields, in cars and trains and flights, and in rooms: between walls with windows and doors, between ceilings and floors and between all kinds of furniture, on chairs to sit on and at tables to work at, with laptops to write on and to communicate by, with all the people that are not physically present in the room, but also participate in organizational life.

Life starts inside the mother, birth passes, and the baby´s life is transformed, as the baby is held by parents and brought ‘home, where we start from’.Creative imagination is stimulated by wondering about what’s inside the mother and what’s inside the oven and other hidden spaces that the parents try to keep for themselves. Hierarchies lend metaphors from positions in space that may be related to the differences in heights between parents and child. Projections go onto or into the bodies of others, that maybe are able to contain the material and return it in a matured way – or not. The inner world is built up of separated spaces like the Ego, the Id and the Super-ego with the unconscious part of the Ego taking care of regulating the traffic between them. Our memories are often organized by the interior of a house or otherwise related to landscapes and buildings.

In the late 20th century, the Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells, saw the globalized world as holding a tension between the space of flows and the space of places, the first for the rich and smart in timeless time, for money and trade, the last for the workers trapped in a local existence and bound to clock time. Later he realized that the space of flows and the space of places co-exist and that contradicting interests are articulated in both spaces.

The utopian days of the information age are over and they have given birth to the recognition of the dystopian aspects of the IT-revolution. The refugee challenge in Europe has made it quite clear, that the network society isn’t a global safety network. Boundaries that have been invisible suddenly become present in a very massive way. The freedom to travel all over the world on the www meets another reality, that body, room, boundary, space, and place doesn’t fly that fast.

Many organisations are located across borders where work is going on round the clock. Employees are online 24/7, but still they have bodies with needs and desires. People need lunch, coffee breaks, sometimes hit the doorframe when entering a room, sit on comfortable or uncomfortable chairs, enjoy the perfume of a colleague, etc.

Groups, organizations, and individuals construct, deconstruct and destroy physical structures that provide protection, hierarchy, identity, etc. according to their conscious and unconscious dreams, thoughts and feelings. The interaction between structures and actors provide and restrict possibilities inside and around us.

Changes happen all the time. Organisations merge and divide, offices are rearranged, new open spaced are established. New buildings are built in old places and old buildings with new internal designs are created. For the employees, it is a challenge to adapt to new arrangements, and if no “inner rearrangement” takes place, the organisation might remain as always. As Bridges put it: “When a change happens without people going through a transition, it is just a rearrangement of the chairs.”

The dream of one person might be a nightmare for another. Spaces, places, and rooms affect us deeply. A question could be: why are some rooms better suited to their purpose, than others? Why do some places make us feel lonely and scared, while others make us feel home away from home? How do we design and create spaces, places, rooms, and furniture, with room for creativity, collaboration, and authority…?

The following video: ISPSO 2017, Dreams always take place by Nuala Dent
was posted 7/12/2017 after the Annual Meeting.

This video represents drawings made by Nuala Dent, the resident artist in the social dreaming host team at the 2017 ISPSO Annual meeting in Copenhagen. As well as the emergent images that were drawn ‘in the moment’, the video includes images that were dreamt in the lead up to the meeting and artwork developed after the meeting. Set to music by The Avett Brothers, it captures something of the experience(s) related to the conference theme: the hope and beauty of working towards integration; and the doubt, fears, splitting and debilitating terror arising from the many shifting spaces and places we experience within and around us.


————FRIDAY 11.45-13.00—————

Rachel Ellison
Exploring the architectural and emotional ‘spaces’ of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Moderator: Paula Kliger

Paolo Dal Bo
Behind repatriation distress: a Lacanian perspective
Moderator: Jinette de Gooijer

Rose Mersky
An integrative theory of dreaming underlying Social Dreaming
Moderator: Alexey Volokhov

Ross Williams
Home of the Homeless
Moderator: Katherine MacPherson

Angela Eden, Ryan, Ringer & Bock
Building a virtual Library as a dream for organizational containment.
Moderator: Marc Maltz

————FRIDAY 16.00-17.15—————

Thibault de Swarte
Transitional spaces vs domestic spaces: psychoanalytical reflections on companions robots
Moderator: Heidi Rose

Nuala Dent
Working across Time and Space
Moderator: Bethina Hamann

Marie-Louise Bjørn
Good Will Hunting
Moderator: Brigid Nossal

Louise Tonelli & Michelle May
Transmogrification: An apprehensive RIDE through dusk or dawn .. towards gelassenheit
Moderator: Dorte Sandager

Elisabeth Henderson
Creative Developmental Space: Orthodoxy or Experimentation?
Moderator: Annemette Hasselager

Susan Long
Dreaming and Semiotics
ROOM: 7.0.40
Moderator: Irina Izotova

————SATURDAY 11.00-12.15—————

Grys Osnes & Liv Hök
The In-between Space for Incubation of Entrepreneurship; Family Owners and New Ventures
Moderator: Joost Levy

Rachel Ellison
Location Coaching: Walking and talking outside the office – a psychoanalytic interpretation
Moderator: Sandy Henderson

Gerard Fromm
When Place Takes Dreams: Social Dreaming in Nazi Germany
Moderator: Renate Grønvold Bugge

Antoaneta Mateeva & Zlatko Teocharov
An Interactive Model of Group Work with the Issues of Ethnicity, Stigmatization and Tolerance
Moderator: James Krantz

Sari Mattila
Dreams within Dreamers: Potential, Reality and Spaces
Moderator: Kristoffer Lande Andersen

————SATURDAY 13.45-15.00—————

T. Martin Ringer & Judit Gáspár
Experiencing outdoor spaces and places from within
Moderator: Jeffrey Axelbank

Gabi Bonwitt & Amnon Baror
The Deserted Dining Hall in the Kibbutz: A Dialogue between an Architect and a Psychoanalyst
Moderator: Halina Brunning

Ross Allen Lazar
The Reconstitution of psychoanalytic Institutions in Germany and its Consequences
Moderator: Stanley Gold

Matias Sanfuentes
The dream of citizen participation: institutional dilemmas in the democratization of a territory
Moderator: Åse Lading

Mark Argent
Bach is the answer: what is the question?
Moderator: Kenneth Eisold

————SUNDAY 09.30-10.45————–

Francesca Cardona
The consultancy stage ‘third’ dimension in the The engagement between client and consultant
Moderator: Rose Redding Mersky

Mark Stein
The space of the whistleblower: The territory of the lost good self
Moderator: Susan Long

Philip Boxer
Creating value in ecosystems: the place of the well-bounded organisation
Moderator: Thomas Kretschmar

Brigid Nossal & Wendy Harding
The ‘Dream Keepers’: exploring the conscious and unconscious interplay
Moderator: Aaron Nurick

Mina Fies/Thomas Hoffman
Psychoanalysis and Architecture – Crossroads of Personal and Organizational Understanding
Moderator: Kim Kabat

————SUNDAY 11.00-12.15—————

Franca Fubini
Space, dreams and identity in the workplace and not only
Moderator: Marieke van Dam

James Walker & Katherine McPherson
Design as Mirror of the Ages: The Room, the Culture and Psycho-Social Development
Moderator: Sari Mattila

Susan Long
Dreaming and Semiotics
Moderator: Irina Izotova

Rob Ryan
Creating “good enough” psychic and physical workspace in a refugee support organisation
Moderator: Susanne Broeng

Ajeet Mathur
Design secrets hidden in plain sight: discovering resonances
Moderator: Niels van Stenbergen

Professional Development Workshops

PDW 2. Richard Morgan-Jones and Halina Brunning: The Trilogy Event: a new tool of our trade
1-day workshop, Monday 3rd July
ROOM: 7.00.01

PDW 3. Nicola Wreford-Howard, Marc Maltz & Angela Eden: Exploring the architecture of social dreaming
1-day workshop, Monday 3rd of July
ROOM: 7.00.08

PDW 4. Susan Long: Socioanalytic Methods
2-day workshop, Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th July
ROOM: 7.00.18

PDW 6. Philip Boxer: Leadership and consultancy in networked environments
2-day workshop, Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th July
ROOM: 7.00.01

PDW 7. Rose Redding Mersky: Social Dream-Drawing: A Valuable Professional Transitional Learning Space
1-day workshop, Tuesday 4th July
ROOM: 7.00.08

PDW 9. Jessica Burlingame: Uses of Space, Uses of Self: Experiences from theatre, art making, and Montessori teaching on organizational work
1-day workshop, Wednesday 5th July
ROOM: 7.00.08

PDW 10. Aaron Nurick: Writing for Publication – a Crash Course
1-day workshop, Wednesday 5th July
ROOM 7.00.18

Tove Skrumsager Frederiksen & Thea Mikkelsen: Inner and outer space and objects. The psychodynamics of architectural space and design objects
2-day workshop, Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th July
ROOM: 7.0.22

Convenors: Caroline Farmer & Nuala Dent
With presenters: James Krantz, Mary Joyce and Susan Long
1-day workshop, Thursday 6th July
ROOM: 35.03.13