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41. 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.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.