This post is the first in a series highlighting channels we’re paying attention to on Are.na. A Whole New World focuses on channels related to geography, spatial studies and mapping.
when nature takes over…
To the computer, there is little difference between rendering an aircraft fuselage and a museum facade. Yet in the city, space takes on far greater significance than its pure geometry would indicate. Henri Lefebvre, the French intellectual best known for extending Marxist theory into urban scholarship, focused his writings on understanding the latent politics governing the operation of cities. In The Production of Space, he proposes that all of human territory is comprised of a tripartite structure, dominated by what he termed conceived space: the policies and city plans of urbanists, architects and bureaucrats. These spatial instruments of state power are ‘designed to manipulate those who exist within them.’ Superimposed on this is perceived space, the material reality in which people interact with their physical surroundings. Finally, lived space is the mental zone containing the collective dreams and memories of citizens. Lefebvre argues that the continual interplay between these cultural spheres allows society to reproduce itself, and that inhabitants of the city only gain agency through understanding the mechanism of their environment’s production.