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Transcript of Thinking Space
French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, and literary critic
Explores the relationship between power and knowledge, especially how social institutions use these to exert power over the individual
Contributions to spatial theory include: the panopticon; heterotopia
1901 - 1994
Marxist, philosopher, sociologist, and urban theorist.
Explores spatiality, urban social life and its economic and symbolic dimensions, the modernization and industrialization of suburban France where he saw the traditional way of life being drastically changed.
Contribution to spatial theory: Lefebvre’s theoretical unification of the mental, the physical, and the social dimensions of space, the trialectics of space.
Paris Universal Exposition 1867
Aims and Objectives
to get an overview of three prominent spatial theorists
to highlight theoretical pathways for using space as a critical tool
to apply some of their ideas to a case study
Who are you?
Why are you here?
1925 – 1986
Historian, psychoanalyst, philosopher, social scientist, and sometime Jesuit priest.
Explores mysticism, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis.
Contribution to spatial theory includes: concepts of strategy and tactics, the 'everyday'
How does this subject experience space?
In what different ways can they use space?
The viewing public
The exposition was opened on 1st April, 1867 by Emperor Napoleon III. The event continued for 217 days, closing on 3rd November 1867.The setting of the Exposition was the townscape of Paris, radically renewed by Baron Haussmann.
The venue was the Parc du Champ-de-Mars, Ile de Billancourt. The exposition covered an area of 68.7 hectares.
Participants came from 41 countries across the world.
An estimated 11,000,000 - 15,000,000 visitors came to Paris during the Exposition.
Foucault, Lefebvre and de Certeau
... it serves to reform prisoner, but also to treat patients, to instruct schoolchildren, to confine the insane, to supervise workers, to put beggars and idlers to work. It is a type of location of bodies in space, of distribution of individuals in relation to one another, of hierarchical organization, of disposition of centres and chanels of power, which can be implemeted in hospitals, schools, workshops, prisons.
Discipline and Punish 205
'The panoptic schema, without disappearing as such or losing any of its properties, was destined to spread throughout the social body...
We are neither in the amphitheatre, nor on the stage, but in the
, invested by its effects of power, which we bring to ourselves since we are part of its mechanism'
Discipline and Punish,
the internalization of rules and regulations
rehabilitation rather than cruel and unusual punishment
the rise of information society
Walking in the City
- City states, despots and divine-kings, Egypt
- Political states, Greek city-states, Roman Empire
- Capitalism, political-economic space of property
- Contemporary Global capital versus localized meaning
- Future space re-valuing difference and lived experience.
A History of Spatializations
Users navigate these strategies and subvert/co-opt/manipulate them for their own purposes via
Institutions and power structures implement frameworks for production called
Spaces of Representation
Production and reproduction of Society
Verbal signs and codes
Space of scientists, Planners, urbanists, technocrats and social engineers
Abstraction of Space
Non-verbal images, signs and symbols
Underground side of social life
the ontological reality of social life
Landmarks, monuments, squares
To be lifted to the summit of the World Trade Center is to be lifted out of the city's grasp. ... His elevation figures him into a voyeur. It puts him at a distance. It transforms the bewitching text by which one was possessed into a text that lies before one's eyes. It allows one to read it, to be a solar Eye, looking down like a god. The exaltation of a scopic and gnostic drive: the fiction of knowledge is related to this lust to be a viewpoint and nothing more.
The ordinary practitioners of the city live “down below,” below the thresholds at which visibility begins. They walk -an elementary form of this experience of the city; they are walkers, Wandersmänner, whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban “text” they write without being able to read it. These practitioners make use of spaces that cannot be seen; their knowledge of them is as blind as that of lovers in each other’s arms. The paths that correspond in this intertwining, unrecognized poems in which each body is an element signed by many others, elude legibility. It is as though the practices organizing a bustling city were characterized by their blindness. The network of these moving, intersecting writings compose a manifold story that has neither author nor spectator, shaped out of fragments of trajectories and alterations of spaces: in relation to representations, it remains daily and indefinitely other.
January 22 1840
... something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture are simultaneously represented, contested and inverted.
Of Other Spaces
'Why Mettray? Because it is the disciplinary form at its most extreme, the model in which are concentrated all the coercive technologies of behaviour. In it were to be found cloister, prison, school, regiment.'
Effects of this organisation of space:
’ is a separate space where difficult or transformative moments in life take place out of sight. They have now been largely replaced by '
heterotopias of deviation
’ where we place individuals whose behavior is outside the norm.
2. Society, as history unfolds, can make heterotopias function in different ways. For example, cemeteries.
3. Heterotopia can be a single real place that juxtaposes several spaces. A garden is a heterotopia because it is a real space consisting of fragment of other environments (plants from around the world).
Heterotopias of time
' enclose in one place objects from all times and styles. They exist in time but also exist outside of time because they are built and preserved to be physically insusceptible to time’s ravages.
Heterotopias of ritual or purification
' are spaces that are isolated and penetrable yet not freely accessible like a public place. To get in one must have permission and make certain gestures.
6. Heterotopia has a function in relation to all of the remaining spaces. The two functions are:
heterotopia of illusion
creates a space of illusion that exposes every real space, and the
heterotopia of compensation
is to create a real space—a space that is other.
Representations of Space
Spaces of Representation
The Production of Space
, Donald Nicholson-Smith trans., Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Originally published 1974. ISBN 0-631-14048-4
Michel de Certeau,
The Practice of Everyday Life
. Translated by Steven Rendall. University of California Press. 1984.
Of Other Spaces
De Certeau explained that
"a place is the order (of whatever kind) in accord with which elements are distributed in relationships of coexistence"; a place is thus "an instantaneous configuration of positions. It implies an indication of stability" (p. 117). When outsiders look at an unfamiliar building from afar, such as through a photograph of its exterior, they see a seemingly stable, concretely distinguishable “place.”
Contrary to place, De Certeau explained that a "space is composed of intersections of mobile elements" (p. 117). On any given day Flowing Wells is a space. It is composed of/by students learning (or sleeping, texting, giggling) in the classroom, security personnel driving around the grounds, teachers hurrying to staff meetings, and delivery trucks moving through the parking lot. Although the school is designed as a place for education, that is not always what occurs in the classroom or on the campus. Or sometimes, it is exactly what occurs. In this sense, "space is a practiced place" (p. 117).