Mr Adam Guy

Mr Adam Guy

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)

Research interests

AdamGuy – MPhil/PhD Architecture

School of Art, Design & Architecture

Culture | Theory | Space


Dark Waters – Revealing, measuring, and communicating the 'value' of rivers.

Paraphrasing Levi-Strauss 'rivers are good to think with' (Lévi-Strauss,1974) but do we really value them given the increasing decline in the extent, quality, and biodiversity of the wetlands through which they run?

The Dark Waters PhD project steps back from the dominant cost-benefit or aggregation of individual preference driven modes of environmental management (Chan et al.,2012) and the binary notions of nature/culture oppositions that underlie much of these evaluations (Latour, 1996),to an appreciation of the dynamic networks of people, things, and thoughts that actually constitute the rural and urban riverscapes of South Devon.

Capitalising on the power of water to arouse emotive feelings the project seeks to not only answer the questions of what is significant in local places (human and non-human things and their properties), and how they act (their interconnecting processes), but also why they are important to the people that live, work, and play beside, on, or in, these rivers (their values)?

Through eliciting, recording, and analysing these affective values toward waterscapes (Wallace, Wagner & Smith, 2016), in the context of multi-sector, multi-interest, partnership work the project aims to contribute to emerging practices of knowledge co-creation, and collective goal setting.

Fieldwork,set in the rural, urban and peri-urban catchments and estuaries of South Devon,will focus on the deliberative elicitation or operational constitution, through an engaged workshop setting, of the values as of those who live, work, and play by, or upon these rivers.


Chan, K. M. A., Guerry, A. D., Balvanera, P.,Klain, S., Satterfield, T., Basurto, X., Bostrom, A. N. N., Chuenpagdee, R.,Gould, R., Halpern, B. S., Hannahs, N., Levine, J., Norton, B., Ruckelshaus,M., Russell, R., Tam, J. & Woodside, U. (2012) 'Where are Cultural andSocial in Ecosystem Services? A Framework for Constructive Engagement'. BioScience, 62 (8), pp. 744-756.

Latour, B. (1996) 'On actor-network theory: A fewclarifications'. Soziale Welt, 47(4), pp. 369-381.

Lévi-Strauss, C. (1974) The savage mind. (New ed.). edn. London: London : Weidenfeld andNicolson.

Wallace, K. J., Wagner, C. & Smith, M. J.(2016) 'Eliciting human values for conservation planning and decisions: Aglobal issue'. Journal of EnvironmentalManagement, 170 pp. 160-168.