Monday, July 27, 2009

Readings week 2: What is place anyway?

Question of week! (all):
What fields or disciplines do you think the author you are reading is operating from?
From the author you are reading what are the key characteristics defining "place"?

Casey, E. S. (1998) Disappearing places, from The fate of place, a philosophical history. Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, ix-xv
1- Identify some reasons why Casey believes that the idea of place has been hidden in philosophical discourse, both historically and in more recent times. (your should find at least 4).
2- What does Casey mean by the term universalism? Give an example. Why is this detrimental to place based thinking?
3- Casey says that disruption to a place, in the aftershock, can bring about "a revitalized sensitivity to place". He gives the possibility of nuclear annihilation as an example. Can you think of some historical examples where this new sensitivity to place might have occurred in this way?
4- Casey says that even the 'virtual' can provide elements of a place based experience, and can make us feel 'in place' though physically distant. Think of a virtual experience that you frequently have (online banking / computer gaming / using mobile phone) and analyse it in terms of providing a places based experience.

Calvino, Italo. (1972) Invisible Cities. Harcourt, Orlando Florida. 10-11, 88-89
All read and answer question of week!

De Certeau, M. (1984) Spatial Stories. From The Practice of everyday life. Berkely: University of California Press. 115-130. (Start at page 117, end at new section on page 122)
1- List the attributes on place and the attributes of space in terms of De Certeau's analysis.
2- What do stories do in terms of places and spaces?
3- Summarise the difference between maps and itineraries.
4- De Certeau identifies an important historical change in mapping practices. What is this change, why did it occur and why does De Certeau think it is important?

Wortham-Galvin, B.D. (2008) Mythologies of placemaking. Places: forum of design for the public realm. Vol. 20, No. 1. 32-39
1- Wortham-Galvin suggests a number of motives for the enactment of place. What are these? Locate some visual materila of examples. (Hint, think advertising.)
2- What does the term tabula rasa mean? Why is this an important concept in terms of the example of North America that the author discusses?
3- Why does Wotham-Galvin think that shared myths of place are powerful and important? Why does this have implications for virtual and technologically mediated places?
4- Summarise the critique of New Urbanism given in this article. Find two other discussions of New Urbanism, one from a founder of it and one from another commentator. What are their views?

NB* When copying images make sure you reference the source.

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