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Title: Void Spaces : apprehending the use and non-use of public spaces in the urban
Author: Huijbens, Edward H.
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis builds up a three part genealogy of the theoretical apprehensions of space through a three part narrative of a recently constructed public square, serving as the gateway to Edinburgh's new financial quarter, the Exchange. The aim of this genealogy and its narrative counterparts is to re-imagine the ways in which public spaces in the urban environment can be understood with reference to their materiality and use or non- use. This re-imagining aims to move away from all subjective accounts that focus only on varying degrees of use and the use-value of materiality and can lend themselves all to easily to ideals and aspirations of city planners and various scripted political projects. The thesis argues that of key importance in this re-imagining is to give space a clear role to play in its own apprehension. The argument of the thesis is that in order to apprehend public spaces in terms of their own materiality at one with use, a detailing of their materiality and use or non-use is insufficient if set up in juxtaposition to each other or made to interact through a dialectical confrontation. The thesis maintains that a strong empirical focus on the relations between materiality and use or non-use, on the most general level, will yield the most productive way of apprehending public spaces in terms of not reducing interactions between its materiality and use or non-use to a scripted theatre of determined functions and their subversion.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available