Public debate

Michel Lussault

Times Square is the perfect example of a hyper-location: aggravated, with humanity at its boiling point.

A renowned professor of geography specialising in the spatial, Michel Lussault questions, in his latest works, globalisation and the creation of new urban spaces which he describes as "hyper-locations".

Updated on 04/07/2019

2 min

Born in Tours in 1960, Michel Lussault obtained a higher-education teaching certification in geography in 1983, before becoming a full professor in 1997. Professor of urban geography at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon since 2008, he chaired the Higher Council of National Education Programs in 2014-2015.

Since 2017, Michel Lussault has directed the École Urbaine de Lyon – one of the “Convergence Institutes” created as part of the Future Investment Plan to in order to organise large-scale multidisciplinary research centres.

The last three essays by Michel Lussault, published by éditions du Seuil, describe the investigations of this esteemed researcher specialising in space and spatiality.

In The Spatial Man: The Social Construction of Human Space (“L’Homme spatial. La construction sociale de l’espace humain”) (2007), Michel Lussault discusses social and spatial phenomena and proposes a way of using human and urban space.

In The Dawning of the World: Essay on the Human Habitation of the Earth ("The L’Avènement du monde. Essai sur l’habitation humaine de la Terre”) (2013), he addresses the topic of globalisation and the resulting new spatial organisation of social realities.

Finally, his latest book, Hyper-Places. The New Geographies of Globalisation (“Hyper-Lieux. Les nouvelles géographies de la mondialisation”) (2017), offers a new perspective on the geography of the world under the influence of globalisation. A world of contrast, as localised as it is globalised – a phenomenon explained by easier access to information around the world, thanks, notably to social media.

With the whole world as his research location, Michel Lussault is particularly interested in "hyper-locations", those places on the planet that he defines as locations of intense life, at once connected to the rest of the world and standardised by globalisation. Examples include Times Square in New York, airports and train stations, as well as iconic places like Fukushima, the place de la République in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attacks on 7th January 2015 or the Calais “jungle”, where migrants wishing to travel to England are gathred. These places have in common the fact that they are locations of shared experience, translated into a return to the local community in a globalised world.

Michel Lussault présents his book :" Hyper-Lieux"
Michel Lussault présents his book :" Hyper-Lieux"
  • 1983


    Michel Lussault obtains a higher-education teaching certification in geography.

  • 1992


    He publishes Towers. Images of the city and urban politics. ("Tours. Images de la ville et politiques urbaines").

  • 2003


    Michel Lussault is appointed President of François-Rabelais University in Tours.

  • 2008


    He becomes a full professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon.

  • 2014


    He is appointed President of the Higher Council of National Education Programmes.

  • 2017


    Michel Lussault publishes Hyper-Places. The New Geographies of Globalisation.

The Institut français and the intellectual

Michel Lussault is part of “New French Intellectual Arenas” supported by the Institut français. Notably he organised the 2018 Nuit des idées at the École urbaine de Lyon around the theme “Power to imagination”, which was coordinated by the Institut français.

L'institut français, LAB