Week 19 – Tara’s book club « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Week 19 – Tara’s book club

Tara introduced the comprehensive analysis of space entitled ‘The production of space’ by French sociologist and philosopher, Henry Lefebvre to the team today. Lefebvre’s hypothesis is that people and social situations produce space, and we are constantly creating these spaces everyday. There are three types of space; mental, which is the abstract notion of space; social, which are the worlds we create through social practice; and physical. Social and physical spaces feed into one another, for example the social space of the art world creates physical spaces such as galleries, studios and art shops.

Deeply philosophical, this work brought a number of topics to debate such as ‘society as spectacle’, the theory that we often are living an aspirational idea of life, rather than real life. Another controversial point was the three stages in making space, from ‘absolute space’ which is something without meaning, such as a well to ‘abstract space’ where a space is given quantifiable value through capitalism. Despite it’s complexity and deeply academic approach, Tara surmised the key points in a much more user-friendly fashion, helping us to understand the cycle of spaces, the relationship between City and space and how we can add to social structures.

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