Sunday, September 23, 2007

Between the settled space and the nomadic space, a thesis

The city is not a static, built object. Over-simplified, it is a relationship of the settled space (buildings) and the nomadic space (streets) that together create the urban system.

Although we inhabit this architecture that we have created, we do not do so statically. Humans are still roaming beings, with our territories in continuous transformation. An analysis of census data over ten years shows the very nomadic quality that lies within this urban system of buildings and streets.

Once we become aware of this nomadic quality, we must acknowledge that the urban system is more than just solid and void; places of exchange exist between these two extremes. It is within these grey areas that we can discover the visual evidence of our nomadism.

Just as the Paleolithic man who roamed the earth, we still use menhirs to orient space and claim and define territories within the solids and voids of the city. In these grey areas (between private and public, street and building), graffiti and murals become our menhirs. Through walking and experiencing these spaces of exchange within the urban system, one can begin to understand the intricate system that attempts to symbolically construct our landscape as we continue to roam.

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