robertogreco + placemaking + spatialization   1

SAGE: Spatial Questions: Cultural Topologies and Social Spatialisation: Rob Shields: 9781848606654
"Our understanding of space is crucial to the way in which we understand major social problems and issues and the way we develop and maintain our worldviews.

Building from a history of philosophical and geographical theories of space, Shields convincingly presents the importance of spatialisation and cultural topology in social theory and the possibilities that lie within these theoretical tools.

Innovative and thought-provoking, this book goes beyond traditional ideas of spatiality and temporality to understand the multiplicity of spatialisations and relate them to everyday life."

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"The ill-defined concept of ‘space’ itself presents an immediate problem. ‘What space is’ is of universal social interest and the topic of some of the most historic knowledge projects and texts produced by human cultures. How is space known? How might we take stock of our spatial knowledges, placemaking and spatial practices across cultures? What are the elements of a topology of space? If history and geography have a descriptive bias, a genealogy of space would go in a different direction, attempting to avoid describing within an unquestioned framework, while critically exposing the conditions for discourses on space and the framing effect of spaces. A ‘critical topology’ might take this even further, to ask how different formations or orders of spacing might coexist and not succeed but modify or warp each other. Borrowing from the insights of mathematics and theoretical physics, it would deploy a spatial method: a dynamic, set-based and topological rather than stratified approach. This book develops a ‘cultural topology’ as a critical theory and method for social science and geography by considering the recurrent quality of orders of spacing and placing – what I will call ‘spatialisations’. These will be presented as ‘virtualities’: intangible but real entities. Cultural cases, including the history of philosophies of space, will be used to illustrate the diversity of social spatialisations and their impacts."

"The first geographers are mythographers then travellers; their books are
histories then atlases."

"The argument presented over the course of a review of the nature of space as spatialisation and the history of theories and cultural representations of space, is that we require a set of theoretical tools to analyse multiple spatialisations at the same time. We need to be able to also analyse these as time-spaces: flows of matter, time and energy, not to mention interests, ideas and bodies. This toolset is provisionally referred to as cultural topology. We need to be able to work with our everyday three-dimensional interactive environment, at the same time as understanding what new media theorists have called an ‘augmented reality’ of digital representations and wider socalled ‘spaces of flows’. Non propinquitous communities of practice and networks of influence and inscription have material effects. These are not merely socially constructed but will be argued to be real if not actual or tangible to the body. Other space-times, other dimensions enter the sensorium of the local. Explanations that cast situations predominantly in one sole spatialisation are doomed to incompleteness. We need to seek the topological coordination and entraining of multiple spatialisations around situations or events, futures and pasts."

[via: and ]

"Rob Shields' new book on "flows of matter, time and energy, not to mention interests, ideas and bodies." (Rob was my PhD supervisor. I learnt an awful lot from him.)"
via:anne  robshields  mapping  maps  geography  spaces  topologies  spatialization  culture  philosophy  spatiality  temporality  culturaltopology  placemaking  time  space 
august 2013 by robertogreco

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