Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A sense of place

There is a term used called an English man's home is his castle I feel that where we choose to live and how we set out our living space in our homes gives a sense of place.
In my house, the main living room is of great importance to me, in that I see it as a place to relax at the end of the day, but in order for me to relax every thing has to be in it's place with some semblance of order. I see clutter as a distraction to whatever I choose to do in order to relax, whether I'm watching the TV, reading a book or playing my guitar.
Belongings displayed within the living area tend to give clues to my interests as an individual, for example my guitar proudly displayed on its stand. Also two water colour paintings, framed and displayed on the wall for all to see, they show friends and family my progress with art, almost as a validation for my decision to return to education
The kitchen, although smaller than the living room, often tends to be the main area in the house where friends and family congregate, but this is mostly because it's the only room in the house where we allow people to smoke.
The way each space in the house is governed by functionality and a set of rules. many of which help to maintain some order in what I feel would otherwise be a more chaotic, slightly overcrowded living space.

The house is surrounded by walls which provide boundaries and a feeling of safety, keeping unwanted elements out and children and family pets in. Nearby parks are important places for me as my yard is very small and I miss having a garden.

The location of my house is in a relatively quiet street across the road from a school, which all of my children have attended. The local post office no longer exists and shops in the area seem to be constantly changing (a sign of the times). Interestingly there is no pub on the entire estate due to a condition set out by Lady Astor when she handed the estate over to the local council. The estate is within walking distance of the city centre, but just far enough away from all the noise and hustle and bustle.

The city is filled with non-places, the voids between A and B.  For example, when you park your car in the multi story car park you take the stairs to the nearest shop.
There is a huge walkway in the shopping mall which is used mainly to cut through from one street to another with no stopping off in the shops that occupy that space.
There are places that feel safe when occupied during the day, but become quite unnerving at night as the underbelly of our society starts to occupy the same space. ie the bus station, the benches, the alleys between the main streets and the entrance areas to pubs and clubs.

Public art, like the the example in this image is used as a way of disrupting the space we use in public places, encouraging interaction with passers by.
In this example by Stefan Segmeister, over 300,000 coins were laid out in a public area in Amsterdam. The experiment was to see if the public would interact with the finished piece of art once the protective barriers were removed. would the coins be stolen? would the piece be changed in anyway? Or would any of the coins be turned over to reveal their bright blue painted underside?

image: http//
Accessed 23/11/2011

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