Floating in space: Teaching atmosphere in human geography

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This article explores the teaching of atmosphere for undergraduate geography students. Though many scholars have observed an ‘atmospheric turn’ in the discipline, teaching on atmosphere in human geography has received less attention. To this end, the article examines the design and delivery of a ‘floating workshop’ that engaged students in thinking and feeling the meteorological and affective qualities of atmosphere. Practically, the floating workshop involved the preparation, launch and floating of two solar-powered balloon-like sculptures made by the international artistic community Aerocene. In contrast to practices of mapping or remote sensing with aerial devices like kites or drones that are familiar to geographical pedagogy, this creative practice-based workshop foregrounded sensual and affective observations of atmosphere, from the feeling of wind speeds to the transmission of emotions. This shared atmospheric experience and pedagogical experiment linked theory with practice, activated situated learning processes, and generated critical inquiry into the affective, aesthetic and material dimensions of air and atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geography in Higher Education
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2023


  • Atmosphere
  • Air
  • Affect
  • Workshop
  • Floating

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