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River Rights: The Thames Assemblage - A Common Goods Resource in London

Part 2 Dissertation 2022
Margarita Andreeva
London South Bank University | UK
What if the River Thames was granted legal rights? To address this question, the conceptual and methodological framework of the Assemblage Theory, Actor-Network Theory and New Materialism is fully deployed. The dissertation investigates and represents a segment of the River Thames, the London Bridge and its surroundings, as an assemblage of the current actors and networks involved. Thus, the significance of this research is the attempt to push the architectural debate on climate change in the direction of considering all actants in an assemblage equally.

Starting with human-centred techniques, the dissertation re-enacts 19th- and 20th- century methodologies. The author departs from such conventional paradigms to arrive at 21st-century thinking and represent the segment as an assemblage.

The findings of the primary research are then projected into the future, which leads to a line of argumentation that suggests a detachment from the subject-object dichotomy, inherited from an anthropocentric way of thinking. This, in turn, leads to a discussion of current environmental movements concerned with the rights of nature, and more specifically, river rights. The dissertation considers the potential assignment of legal rights to the River Thames and its inherent social, political and environmental implications.

Margarita Andreeva

Maria Theodorou
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