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Displaying: 61-80 of 118 documents


book review
61. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Richard Wilson Elemental Philosophy: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water as Environmental Ideas by David Macauley
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62. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
John A. Scott Who’s Where?
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Central to several current philosophical projects is determining which conversational conventions will best locate and accommodate all the required participants. This article follows Troy Paddock’s lead in exploring a number of conventions currently on offer, particularly Heidegger’s aesthetic nearness-to-hand and Latour’s scientific Actor-Network-Theory. This article also introduces Donald Davidson’s social triangulation as a complementary model of approach: one thatimplicates propositional agents in potentially revealing relations. It concludes that a close study of implicational, as distinct from inferential, argument and judgment may prove profitable in establishing a secure and productive environment, and may foster the emergence of modeling techniques and metrics that could help in designing such conversations.
63. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Małgorzata A. Dereniowska Contested Concept of Sustainability: A Consumer Society and Dialectic of Human Desire
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This article argues that sustainability is essentially a contested concept that not only cannot be sufficiently defined in a one-forall blueprint, but requires a new mode of self-actualization of human potential in dialogical, cooperative learning processes. Inherent aporias and their ethical implications are illustrated by an analysis of the mainstream interpretation of the sustainability concept in the context of the relationship between the logic of accumulation and improvement and insatiable human desires as off-springs of a deeper ontological transformation of modernity. A philosophical account of technology and modern sciencewill be introduced in order to investigate overconsumption driven by mimetic desires and the transformative and dialectic dynamics of desire. A contemplative learning model is suggested as a useful basis for a reasonable interpretation of the sustainability concept.
64. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Michael Marder On the Mountains, or The Aristocracies of Space
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Mountain peaks, like all uninhabitable and barely accessible environments, stand in the way of a clear-cut distinction between “place” and “space.” Building on the environmental thought of Aldo Leopold, as well as the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and twentieth-century phenomenology, I draw attention to this obscure in-between region and argue that the conceptual distinction must be subject to careful adumbration, depending on the concrete place where it is employed. Subsequently, mountains are theorized as the sites of friction between earth and world, where sovereign authority and objectivizing thinking are equally suspended.
65. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Jason P. Matzke Walking in Nature: Thoreau’s Local Ambles or Muir’s Wilderness Treks?
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It has been argued by philosophers and cultural historians that the notion of wilderness as it has been developed in the West problematically separates—conceptually and practically—humans from wild nature. The human/wilderness dichotomy, it is said, potentially leads even well-intentioned, environmentally minded people to work for wilderness preservation at the expense of paying attention to our local, lived environment. Although Henry David Thoreau and John Muir are often taken to be key architects of the inherited notion of wilderness, I draw from their differing descriptions of spending time in wild areas in orderto argue that Thoreau provides a view of the human-nature relationship that is not susceptible to this particular worry. Thoreau, much more than Muir, provides us with reasons to not ignore our local lived space in favor of protecting only more wild (i.e., less humanized) places. The contrast between the two does not diminish the value of Muir’s work, but it does remind us that key figures—Thoreau in this case—in the development of the dominant wilderness paradigm should not be set aside as unhelpful in our own efforts to better understand our relationship with local place.
66. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Luis O. Arata Modeling Environments Through Narrative
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This article examines how narratives mediate human interactions with environments to create a sense of place and identity. We begin with a review of the Greek poem Phaenomena to see how constellations brought a human dimension to the cosmos as well as a sense of predictability. A review of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea illustrates the conception of indifferent space that erases the human presence, and how the imagination comes into play to fill the void. We examine how narratives work to model aspects of environments and draw out meaning where before there was raw substance. Two seminal poems of Baudelaire then present a more subjective modeling of the environment. Pablo Neruda let his poetic vision be reflected in his three homes as protective playgrounds for his imagination. The article concludes that the models we examined are sheltering niches that help us feel at home in the world. As environments turn out to be more interactive, fragile, and complex than previously thought, our narratives also have to reflect on their impact on the sense of home they propose.
67. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Scott Tate Everyday Life, Tinkering, and Full Participation in the Urban Cultural Imaginary
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Cities around the globe are immersed in transnational projects of place reconfiguration and attraction. Urban places, intent on competing in the globalized experience-based economy, undertake identity projects—on-going, dynamic processes through which places are produced and reproduced by conscious strategies of place making and identity building (see, for example, Nyseth and Viken 2009). In this article, I employ Henri Lefebvre’s conceptions of a “right to the city” in order to explore the right to full participation in imagining and shaping urban futures. Spatial practices, such as those I term civic tinkering, may offer one way to help enable such imagining.My discussion draws from scholarship on imaginaries and place identity, as well as on my own qualitative field studies conducted in Roanoke, Virginia, in the United States, and Belfast, Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. While my precise research questions differed in these two sites, I explored, in each instance, the processes of place identification and development centered on arts and culture, and the extent to which marginal groups and their concerns were engaged or considered in such processes. I also explore “tinkering” as a set of activities that hold potential for residents to more fully participate in the urban project byconstructing, altering, and disrupting spatial meanings. Tinkering may be any impermanent, unsanctioned, and informal activity endeavoring to positively alter a city’s identity. Henri Lefebvre described the relevance of such practices in his vision of the city as oeuvre, or ongoing project.
68. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Malcolm Woollen The Stockholm Exhibit 1930: Reinventing the Everyday
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This article attempts to explain how the Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 was uniquely different from previous exhibitions and sought to resolve a longstanding tension between a vision of the future and longing for the past. In particular, it addresses how ideas of the everyday were redirected towards functionalism in a joyful festive context through the agency of consumer desire. It also explains how the exhibition attempted to relate to Skansen, a nearby museum of the Swedishvernacular and how Gunnar Asplund’s concepts of functionalism reflect Heidegger’s principles of dwelling. Finally, using Foucault’s concepts of ‘other’ spaces, it shows how the Stockholm Exhibition served as a heterotopia of the future that collaborated actively with a heterotopia of the past to make a more convincing case to a mass audience about the appropriateness of functionalism in Sweden.
69. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Roger Paden Aesthetics and Sustainable Architecture
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Discussions of green design and sustainable architecture have become common in the architectural profession, but not in philosophy. This is unfortunate, as philosophers could make important contributions to this discussion, given that these terms rife with ambiguities and that the relationships between these ideas and the traditional Vitruvian values of architecture (beauty, structure, and utility) are unclear. In a recent article, Tom Spector addresses some of these issues to assess whether the notion of sustainability could underpin an entire design philosophy. He concludes that it cannot. I argue that Spector’s argumentsare flawed. After discussing the history of green design, I connect a number of theories in the new field of environmental aesthetics to the question of architectural aesthetics to show how sustainability might inform architecture.
70. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Christophe Van Gerrewey Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926-2000): Architecture Protected by Phenomenology
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The Norwegian historian Christian Norberg-Schulz (1926-2000) is held responsible, in general, for introducing phenomenological methods and concepts into the field of architecture theory, criticism and history. This article examines his legacy and his writings by focusing on one text on the Pyramide-Le-Perthus, built in France in 1976 by the Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill. In an exemplary way, this text shows how Norberg-Schulz used phenomenology not to ‘experience’contemporary architecture, but rather to protect it from the problems of the modern world. Norberg-Schulz wrote that architecture should “tell us what being in the world implies,” but the world he constructed by means of a phenomenological reading of architecture, proves to be very narrow and almost absurd.
71. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Alex Zukas Worker’s Festive Spaces in the Weimar Republic: May Day and the Berlin Lustgarten
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May Day was the most popular holiday of the two major wings of the German labor movement, Social Democratic and Communist, during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). While the political importance and ideological significance of May Day celebrations for the German labor movement have been extensively researched, its geographicity, the inherently spatialized and spatializing moment of lived experience, as well as the content of that geographicity have been relatively neglected. Examining working-class May Day celebrations in a specific built environment like the Lustgarten permits detailed consideration of the ways that the festive has involved spatializing and spatialized moments of lived experience which were part of the spatial reproduction of class relations and class experiences at the local level in Berlin in the Weimar Republic.
72. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Phillip J. Nelson The Art of Sailing: An Exploration of Memory, Imagination, and Place
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Edward S. Casey offers a phenomenology of memory and imagination in his book Spirit and Soul, which provides a unique opportunity for thinking about the very ethereal and aqueous activity of sailing. Imagination and memory are as much a part of everyday life as most forms of mentation; but sailing, as much as it is a physical activity, is just as much a suitable analogy for engaging with these particular psychic forms. In their collaboration, memory and imagination are a means for balancing the sails with the wind just as much as they provide equilibrium to the temporal expanse of conscious unification. But perhaps mostimportantly, in their spiritual and soulful employment, imagination and memory provide a place and a home for dwelling and sailing.
73. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Jude Elund Imagining Space in the Lost Gardens of Apollo
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Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) are unique spaces that defy materialist interpretations of space and place. In drawing upon Edward Soja’s work of spatiality, CVEs can be considered as thirdspace, a space that has as much relevance as that typified by our physical, or ‘real,’ existence. Virtual space undermines the rigid polemic of the ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ by revealing lived experience as a combination of both real and imagined experience. The virtual illuminates experience as a relativist combination of perception and interpretation that inhabits both the corporeal and the virtual realms. Using the example of Second Life’s Lost Gardens of Apollo this article will illuminate the fluidity of real and imagined place through an environment of rich visual experience. Inaddition, such spaces will be discussed as places of potential social and political reconfiguration by challenging the traditional socio-cultural and historical aspects of space.
74. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Panizza Allmark War Zone Rhetoric, Photography and the 2011 Riots in England
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In the August riots in England 2011, web sites provided up-to-date access to bare witness to the unsettling events that conveyed the essence of contemporary war and crisis reporting. These characteristics include events happening in real time, dramatic accounts, continuous coverage and multimedia footage, with also the inclusion of eyewitness stories and images. The rhetoric of war was used and dramatic photographs played a pivotal role in conveying the civil unrest as a ‘war zone.’ Significantly, the local environment becomes the place for potential trauma, but also a space where the spectacle of violence, destruction, as well as community spirit are foregrounded. This article examines the background to the riots and the vernacular of war photography and the cultural landscape civil unrest and urban space.
75. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Andrew Cox, Steve Spencer Sheffield Then and Now: Myths of Place in Local History Picture Books
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One significant way in which place is represented is through books based on old photographs and postcards. Recontextualised in such books, historical photos can be used to create mesmeric myths about a locality. This paper explores the genre through four works about areas in Sheffield, a city in the north of England. The book for the well to do suburb, Crosspool, constructs a quaint rural past. Two representations of a working class district are perhaps a little more successful in recovering a personally significant past. The history of a local steel firm avoids issues of social conflict and exploitation by adopting a documentary tone. Thegenre trades on the active interest of seeing familiar scenes as they were in the past, but fails to develop interpretative strategies, such as asking about the context of photos’ original creation or reflecting on how they have been reused.
76. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Glen A. Mazis The Sky Starts at Our Feet: Anasazi Clues about Overcoming Mind/Body Dualism through the Unity of Earth/Sky
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Looking at the finding of several archeoastronomers, who examine the relationship of built cultures to celestial bodies, this essay speculates on the unique relationship of the inhabitants of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to the earth and sky. The Anasazi who populated this region suddenly disappeared around 1000 A.D. and little is known about their culture, religion, and world except by studying the structures they left behind. This essay looks at their kivas, dwellings, the puzzling “Sun dagger” monument, and the petroglyphs throughout the canyon to understand the many ways that each structure through use of light andspace marked the occurrence of a surprising number of celestial events. There is good evidence that the Anasazi dwelled within the sky and felt a continuity between earth and sky in a way to which postmodern cultures have little access. The unity of body and surround, especially as ascending into the sky from the earth, is linked to a spirituality at odds with the legacy of Plato and others, who oppose the celestial to the earthly, as an inferior realm.
77. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Laura Menatti From Non-Place to Rhizome: A Geophilosophical Analysis of Contemporary Globalized Space
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Rosario Assunto, an Italian philosopher of aesthetics begins one of his most interesting and dense essays with a terrifying image about the Earth where we live—“calvizie della terra dissacrata” (1983, 15)—meaning that the Earth becomes bald because of the actions of the man and loses every characteristics of beauty and sacredness. According to Assunto’s theory the homo oeconomicus is the author and the promoter of a Promethean, titanic, industrial, and malodorous town where the sense of art, beauty, and the harmony in landscape are forgotten and erased. The Modern homo oeconomicus is satisfied in his thoughts and works with such a desecrated and raped Earth, rather, he desires this kind of landscape as a symbol of his own progress. I remember that when I first red this essay I asked myself what kind of philosophy I could propose in such a horizon and what kind of analysis I could develop. Maybe geophilosophy could now give some answers. Geophilosophy, according to the version I will propose, deconstructs the usual and reductionist grammar about the concept of space and place, suggesting a new expressive, perceptive and, finally, ethic possibility for the relation between human beings and places. In this article I provide my interpretation of geophilosophy, inspired by Gilles Deleuze’s words, the first philosopher of XX century who wrote about this concept. Then I will analyze nonplaces according to the famous definition proposed by the Marc Augé and I will go beyond the French anthropologist’s definition suggesting a new interpretative model for places and non-places by linking my idea of geophilosophy to Deleuze’s concept of rhizome. The aim of this article is to demonstrate the complexity of the concept of place and finally put into evidence that places, which constitute our roots, are all the spaces we have around, even non-places. The Post-modern era mainly producesnon-places: geophilosophy has to explain the philosophical and cultural reasons for this production by pointing out which possible modalities of connection we can find between contemporary human beings and places.
78. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Jeffrey S. Debies-Carl Mapping the Residual Landscape: Dilapidation, Abandonment, and Ruin in the Built Environment
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Th is article examines the extent to which spaces are structuring influences on, or targets of, action. Two factors and their interactions are presented: the extent to which a space is 1) maintained and 2) used. As these factors increase in strength, the structural influences of a space increase while agential opportunities are diminished. Conversely, as spaces become dilapidated and abandoned, structural forces are weakened and the potential for creative action heightens. These spaces can be conceptualized as elements of the ‘residual landscape’: spaces left behind by socio-historical processes and practices. Special cases are considered where the factors are inversely related and issues of structure and agency are complicated. A brief case study serves to illustrate each type of spaceand the factors which operate therein.
79. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Luis O. Arata Modeling Festive Space
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This article explores what enables a space to become festive. We start by reviewing how the festive has been deeply connected with play, to the point of being considered a type of play, or more generally, a type of interaction. What enables the festive is the ability to interact with the substance on which participants feast. The question we will then explore in more detail is: given a subject matter from which to build a festive occasion or space, how do we go about making it happen? How do we model the festive space? It is impossible to show that there is only one way of going about enacting the festive. For this reason, it is more productive to propose a model of how to achieve such task. The model that emerges in this article proposes that dismembering the festive substance, in a participatory way, facilitates its enactment. We then examine two cases of festive enactment in different mediums: the textual feast of Julio Cortázar’s novel Hopscotch that turns the printed page into a festive space, and the making of festive theatre, including the creation of the festive play Fire ’Scapes.
80. Environment, Space, Place: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Claudia Bosch “Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit” The German Beer Hall as Place of Cultural Performance
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Festzelte are the beer halls (actually tents) of German Oktoberfest style celebrations—generally called Volksfest. Being transient buildings, the tents can be massive and intimidating. 5,000 or more visitors may find a place to drink, eat, sing, dance and celebrate wildly. Chants proclaim the “Gemütlichkeit” [coziness/snugness] despite an atmosphere supercharged with wild behaviors and heavy drunkenness. Norm breaking, liminal behavior is not only tolerated but even expected and intended (up to a certain point).Victor Turner’s concept of cultural performance helps explain the revelry in a beer tent. The tents with their specific rural and folkloristic decorations, spatial structure, and furnishings facilitate the joyous actions. Their staging, as well as the celebratory actions themselves, provide a sacred play-space for anti-structure and communitas, flow and performative reflexivity. The active celebratory participation creates a place where alterity reigns and enables a sense of belonging.