The Feeling for Space and Place

The Feeling for Space and Place. Photographic report on how the concepts of space and place are perceived and used with communicative intent through the streets of Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

How are the concepts of space and place perceived and used with communicative intent through the streets of Milano? Sometimes used interchangeably in the same context and with the same intent, sometimes not, there is an evident unbalance between the times the term space (spazio) is used with respect to the term place (luogo). This is another indication that the mind of the modern man is space-biased, or spatially-oriented, rather than place-biased, or placially-oriented, which means that one tendency is more abstract than the other:  we tend to think we are living in a domain of space, forgetting that, to begin with, the reality we live in is a concrete place-based realm or system. This partial, spatially-biased and abstracting vision of reality is the root of dangerous distortions which affect some of the most important questions of our contemporary epoch — biological, environmental, social, political, and economic questions. Those are questions inextricably connected to the way we think about reality in terms of space and/or place, that is in terms of the way we understand the permeability/impermeability, presence/absence of limits, borders, boundaries, thresholds, or other liminal notions on which the meanings of place and space are also constructed. To tackle those relevant human questions with the most appropriate theoretical tools, we need to rethink the meanings of space and place so that they can function as complementary concepts, in dynamic balance, one complemented by the other, encompassing the whole of reality in between concrete (placial) and abstract (spatial) aspects and values, without one aspect of reality cannibalizing the other, as it is especially evident in our contemporary epoch, where the sense of place has been buried in space or in other  recently-discovered hybrid domains.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.

The Feeling for Space and Place, Milano, ITALY. Photos: Alessandro Calvi Rollino Architetto.