Seeing regulation differently

This project is current and running until March 2018.

Regulation is a contested and flexible term, and so can be difficult to define. Much of the thinking on regulation concerns how government, business or professionals negotiate or respond to regulation. This neglects the experience of individual citizens, who often experience a complex web of regulatory mechanisms that have not been designed with their experience in mind.

Within the Productive Margins programme, the defining characteristics of regulation are considered to be:

  1. process oriented (not defining outcomes, but governing how outcomes are to be achieved)
  2. codified (there are rules of the game, most are explicit but they can also be tacit)
  3. seeking behaviour modification
  4. engaging regulator and regulatee (i.e. both have agency) in the process (this gives it a negotiated character)
  5. facilitative, enabling experimentation (allowing for innovation) in terms of how things get done.

One part of the regulation project is a year-long artists residency with artists Sophie Mellor and Simon Poulter (aka Close and Remote).  In early workshops project members were asked to create a model of regulatory frameworks using simple tools and materials.

Watch The Live Model workshop videos on food regulation  and immigration regulation on Vimeo

The artists devised immersive performances to demonstrate the spatial regulation of localities such as Cardiff, Bristol and Merthyr Tydfil. The final artwork, The Live Model, makes regulation less abstract and more visible

The regulation project has also undertaken work on women and data.

Productive Margins, University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1HH

Tel: +44 (0)117 3940042