Choreographing atmospheres in Copenhagen: Processes and positions between home and public

Mikkel Bille*, Bettina Hauge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article explores how people choreograph spaces to feel particular ways through material objects and intangible phenomena like light and sound. Drawing on theories of atmospheres and ethnographic fieldwork in Copenhagen, we argue that while there has been a proliferation of research on atmospheres in urban studies, we also need to attend empirically to the processes through which they come into being, consolidate and coagulate. Through exploring the interplay between domestic and urban spaces, we highlight the volatility and inherently social character of atmospheres. This entails how people's dynamic positioning within an urban atmosphere comes to matter for people's sense of the city. We exemplify with one such sensation of the city through the concept of 'midding', as the feeling of comfortably being on the perimeter of a situation. Exploring atmospheric positionings and processes enlightens our understanding of the urban atmosphere and shows how shared atmospheric moments connect people in time and space, stressing the importance of urban design to allow for such sharing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2076-2091
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Atmosphere
  • Denmark
  • Light
  • Midding
  • Public spaces


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