Earlier notions of the periphery and collage, such as those defined by Joel Garreau or Colin Rowe, provided well defined characterizations of urban space, even though they broke with the standard definitions of 'urban'. It is interesting that the next step in this evolution is the nomadic space which is defined, or discovered, in various histories by visits, deambulation, drifting, and ‘zonzo’. The nomadic spaces discussed here are most compelling in that they no longer follow rules, and they appear, shift and disappear before they can be defined and cataloged. They are freespace, unconstrained, chaotic. On some level I’m reminded of our discussion last week about Nueromancer and other literature & film within the genre such as Blade Runner.
While these spaces are of great interest to me, I often find myself wondering if these are the type of places that should be celebrated. They often contain (as much as a nomadic space can ‘contain’) the darker side of the urban condition. While we may enjoy that this is the “last place we can feel we are beyond surveillance and control”, it is for this reason that criminal activity and human depravity can be dominant features. Do we embrace this? Try to change it? Could we even if we wanted to? According to Careri ‘nomadism’ is not anti-architecture. But we need to adapt, perhaps moving beyond conventional notions of site, program, and building (see standard thesis prep documentation). We would at least become part-time wanderers. Then there may be a place for us. If not, we could always just start writing about it.