Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture, and the Everyday

Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture, and the Everyday

Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture, and the Everyday

Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture, and the Everyday

Synopsis

This text is a collection of essays by architects, artists and theorists of locality and space, which reflect what it means to speak architecturally, and the innate relations between the artist's and architect's work.

Excerpt

Thirdspace: expanding the scope of the geographical imagination

Edward W. Soja

My purpose here, and in the writing of Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places (1996), is to encourage the development of a different way of thinking about space and the many associated concepts that compose, comprise, and infuse the inherent spatiality of human geography. In encouraging geographers and others to “think differently” about such familiar notions as space, place, territory, city, region, location, and environment, I am not suggesting that you discard your old and familiar ways of thinking, but rather that you question them in new ways that are aimed at opening up and expanding the scope and critical sensibility of one's already established spatial or geographical imaginations.

In this essay, I compress what I have written in Thirdspace into five summative arguments or theses. Each is rather boldly stated, and expansive and open in its implications for human geography today. The brief commentaries following each statement amplify and, I hope, help to clarify the fundamental points being made, while at the same time providing cumulative and fugue-like variations on the many ways of defining Thirdspace. There is no singular definition presented for this different way of thinking about space and spatiality, but rather an open-ended set of defining moments, every one of which adds potential new insights to the geographical imagination and helps to stretch the outer boundaries of what is encompassed in the intellectual domain of critical human geography.

Thesis I: Contemporary critical studies in the humanities and social sciences have been experiencing an unprecedented spatial turn.

In what may in retrospect be seen as one of the most important intellectual developments of the late twentieth century, scholars have begun to interpret space and the spatiality of human life with the same critical insight and interpretive power that has traditionally been given to time and history (the historicality of human life) on the one hand, and to social relations and society (the sociality of human life) on the other.

Few would deny that understanding the world is, in the most basic sense, a simultaneously historical and social project. Whether in writing the biography of a particular individual or interpreting a momentous event or simply dealing with the intimate routines of our everyday lives, the closely-associated historical and social

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