Space and Place

The Perspective of experience


Author: Yi-Fu Tuan


In this book geographer Yi-Fu Tuan considers the ways in which people feel and think about space, how they form attachments to home, neighbourhood, and nation, and how feelings about space and place are affected by the sense of time. Throughout the chapters He suggests that place is security and space is freedom: we are attached to the one and long for the other. It is a long essay in form of a book, it emphasizes on how we as humans, as emotional and movable beings, view and interact with space and place. 

Space, argues Tuan, is not a single thing but can rather be approached as a multiplicity of mental constructions which all rely on the interaction between the human body and its environment. He describes it as an “objective” dimension, space is always the result of a process of thinking and representation. For Tuan, a place is merely a location, but has to be a location “in itself,” a “small world:” he says “Place is not only a fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it is also a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning. He starts  discussion on phenomenology and humanistic geography. The author has illustrated quite well the idea grounded in the humanistic discipline by dividing place into objective and subjective. The subjective dimension embraces individualistic meanings attached to place basically in the representational level whereas the objective denotes to the ’naturalistic qualities of place’. Calling the betweenness of places is the meeting point for the subjective and objective space, place where meanings and objective reality encounter. It also stretches the meanings which a person attaches to places are similarly influenced by personal experiences and global politics.

On Place making and attachment

A lot of attention has been given to the meanings people attach to places in individual level and how it contributes to their identity. One of the reasons, in fact, why people give meanings to places is the need to discover and evolve their identity. Places have a great role in reminding us of our past. On the individual level they act for us as connections with special times or occasions in our life (Shamsuddin and Ujang, 2008). A place can remind us of a certain occasion or can be like a path mark of the point we were back then. Places can also remind us of some particular periods in our life through nostalgia (Hay, 1998*Gustafson, 2001*), usually childhood memories. Places are also used for awaking certain feelings like comfort, security, belonging, being anchored, self-expression.

Finally, the connection between the place meanings and identity also needs to be reviewed. Place identity, when using the simplest clarification, characterizes people as meaning characterizes places. People’s identities are created through defining themselves in relation to places (Jorgensen and Stedman, 2001). As meaning-making, also this process takes place in a complex pattern of conscious and unconscious ideas, beliefs, preferences, memories, ideas, feelings, values, goals and behavioral tendencies and skills relevant to this environment (Vorkinn and Riese, 2001*)


An introduction to supermodernity

By anthropologist Marc Augé's

I am happy that Lois Rowe suggested me this book.  The invasion of the term by what Marc Augé calls “non-space” results in a profound alteration of awareness: something which I like to  perceive, but only in a partial and incoherent manner.

unlike conventional "anthropological places" (the symbolic site of an altar), these "spaces of circulation, consumption and communication" exist beyond history, relations and the game of identity. Yet, the anonymous solitude of these non places offers the transitory observer the illusion of being part of some fugitive glimpse of a fascinating dream like interior place.

Marc explains in the book when the forces of globalisation and urbanisation are creating ever more of these Ballardian non-places, symptoms of a Muzak-filled supermodernity in which "people are always, and never, at home". Augé uses the concept of “supermodernity” to describe a situation of excessive information and excessive spaces like airports and hotels, super markets etc or such as Heathrow, Asda, Selfreiges, the Shard, places in London. these are the places where human presence is not static . Such places are effected by the passage of time and movement. This new place that Auge describes makes me stop and think again about the spaces I have been reading and making in my works till now. when I talk In terms to the spaces I compose through my artworks I feel - the world of non places does not exactly match to the one in which I believed I was living, for I was living in a world that I have not yet learned and discovered to loom at. Non places also means to me the spaces which can be listed, promoted to the status of places of memory assigned to a circumscribed and specific position.

I believe when the word space is used it means a space in which the individual fells himself to be a spectator without paying much attention to the spectacle. the combined experience of existence of anthropological place and something which is no longer a place but enables the observer to hypnotize the existence of past experience and produce glimpse of the possibly desired anonymous future. In my observation after reading this book , these shifts of gaze and plays of imagery , restructuring of a place​ in a systematic arrangement into a imaginary place can be characterized by what Marc Auge proposed to call Non- Places.

Starting with the course in 2018, this book by a celebrity psychologist Dr Paul Keedwell is a great attempts to link what the science of architecture, psychology tells us about how the world of brick and concrete affects how we think, feel and behave.

There is a saying “we shape our building’s and afterwards our building’s shape us” Winston Churchill – great historical leader of UK famous phrase was uttered after the house of common was destroyed in the blitz.

Architecture psychology is a major arrangement in Keedwell writing who has a keen interest in how evolution has shaped our emotions. He has conducted and mentioned about his survey on emotional attachments to the home. The book illustrates the notion of buildings and the spaces between them, enriches or enervate our lives, affecting  how we perceive, think and feel. Each theory in reference to psychology of city living and its impact on daily happiness on human is heavily supported by obscure , surveys and experiments of the following type: survey when calculated that if you were to devise an equation to determine the emotional added value of a home it would look something like this-

Efforts put in to home + good experiences+ feeling of security- bad time in home + emotional added value.

Another test with 19 students at a university living in Jordon were shown photos of interiors and more women than men preferred the smaller windows, which proves apparently that women want homes that are more secure. Also when 67 men felt that they were calmer in the presence of paintings of trees and bushes. These are small mashing of the actual surveys and test I have quoted . hope it give a gist of it.

Headspace is a great source and help to influence me where I am not that well good reader or do not enjoy reading  in general. However this has completely grasp me with sources of evidence , to my simultaneous way of thinking in response to build environment or  would like to say in other words, that science is concerned with the knowledge, while art is concerned with the expansion of experience. Architecture psychology bridges the gap. At this point I felt I have started situating myself satisfactorily familiar with subject matter I concern in life personally additionally in my art practice.  The book was published in 2017 which is competently structured like a journey- from the inside of the home to the wider cityscape with its public buildings, workplace, play, school, hospitals, its makes me travel through the different domains of living of ever increasing scale each with their influence on our human mental well-being.

What interest me furthermore are small references to certain writing by the author or explanation for an example extracting from the book one theory by Abraham Maslow hierarchy of need who could be thought as 1st evolutionary psychologist. And this hierarchy represents a useful model for understanding what an interior space like home and its surrounding environment like neighborhood and things can do to help or hinder our happiness.












Since then I believe Paul Keedwell has become my consistent influential response for research and inspiration even in future. This book is the latest edition by the author where he clearly attempts to tell the readers like me and human evolution as whole to take control of the surroundings, where we can find restoration in the busiest cities like London by adapting, harnessing our power for change while taking lessons from mistakes done by designers in history while also prioritizing what matters to us as human individuals.