The Spatial Knowledge of Young Adults: The Constitution of Online, Offline and Hybrid Spaces
SFB 1265: Re-Figuration of Spaces
© Prof. Dr. Angela Million
2022 – 2025


In the first funding period of the research project, trends in the refiguration of spaces of childhood and adolescence were identified. It became clear that, amid ongoing processes of refiguration, widely used “action space” models no longer adequately describe the lifeworld of young people. Simultaneity and overlaps between different spatial logics increasingly shape young people’s spatial knowledge. In the second funding period, we aim to consolidate our findings on a longitudinal basis. The aim of the second phase is to capture the increasing heterogeneity of adolescent lifeworlds by formulating different types that map the spectrum of adolescent spatial constitutions and thereby reveal different patterns of interweaving spatial figures. The project will moreover investigate the effects of digital mediatization on spatial knowledge. We determine the spatial knowledge of young people on the basis of spatial practices, communicative actions and spatial perceptions.
The subproject’s main research questions are: (i) Which characteristic spatial practices, communicative actions and spatial perceptions shape the spatial knowledge of young people and what are the different types of spatial constitutions that can be inferred from this? (ii) How do young people connect different spatial figures (including territorial space, network space, trajectorial space, and place) in their everyday actions? (iii) Which influencing factors are particularly formative for young people’s spatial knowledge and to what extent does this establish different types of spatial constitutions? Above all, how does digital mediatization (especially smartphone use) shape young people’s spatial knowledge? And to what extent, how, and with what results are spaces constituted as online, offline, and as hybrid, or are spatial orders increasingly hybridized?
With an innovative multi-method approach developed specifically for the project, we aim at a comprehensive perspective that reconstructs the constitution of “online spaces” and “offline spaces” not as separate processes, but as mutually dependent processes that also produce “hybrid spaces”. The methodological design also allows for in-depth insights into the role of materialities (including the shape of concrete places and the meaning of individual artifacts) in young people’s spatial knowledge. The continued comparison between Germany (Berlin) and Peru (Lima) enables the project to determine to what extent global types of spatial constitutions can be made out – in view of (partially) converging (urban) spaces of childhood and youth worldwide as well as the effects of digital mediatization on the spatial knowledge of young people.


Project management

Prof. Dr. -Ing- Angela Million
Dr. Anna Juliane Heinrich
Dr. Ignacio Castillo Ulloa
Kéan Koschany