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Lefebvre, H The Production of Space (1991)

Section 1 – Plan of Present Work
This reading is a good basis and in depth analysis of the concept of space, opening the mind to the more various ways in which this notion of space is approached which is mainly philosophically or in the more literal sense of the world space and its connotative values. Michel Foucault concept of discourse is applied to the topic area: ” ‘Knowledge [savoir] is also the space in which the subject may take up a position and speak of the objects which he deals in his discourse.” (1991: 4) In relation to Venice it should be considered that their are clear discourse’s, in which we as individuals entering a ‘alien’ setting may be attributing to the experience. The ontological stance in regards to the literal space must be removed in order to gain a full and realistic insight into the Venetian culture and the carnivalesque’s place within the Italian culture. 
The concept of space is related to various key theorists that we are already familiar with such as Foucault as previously mentioned, Roland Barthe’s semiology as well as Garmsci’s notion of ‘hegemony’, which when related to the concept of Space, in a capitalist society has much relevance to Venice as Tourist attraction which relies primarily on Tourism as a main income. Key theorist Garmsci in relation to our project has much relevance considering the social class status and hierarchy he establishes, we can analyse the small city of Venice, and how it has become to be a city, in which major issues such as pollution control can exist and develop, and to worsen in the famous architectural foundations of the historical ‘space’.

The fields of concern in which are highlighted:

“the physical – nature, the Cosmos; secondly, the mental, including logical and formal abstractions; and thirdly, the social. …we are concerned with the logico-epistemological space, the space of social practice, the space occupied by sensory phenomena, including products of the imagination such as projects and projections, symbols and utopias.”

The reading then goes on to relate the spaces in regards to cities and theirs uses and gratifications, the people that may influence the way in which a city is built and essentially the type of culture that is developed within the environment. Highlighting that some areas may be isolated such as Venice, it is separated from the main land and the space has as we are beginning to understand great meaning and historical foundations quite literally. Yet in comparison to a ‘space’ such as Coventry as we have learnt from our lectures it also has much historical foundations, developing from World War 2, but the changes within the space which occurred after its restoration clearly display a key factor in space. The city was changed to an area in which people could easily get through via, trains, bus and car to a further destination. The myth of ‘being sent to Coventry’ also evidences that the space in not one in which to settle in and rather a stepping stone, for in the summer breaks and holiday periods the town is very quiet as the main visitors; students have left.

NOTE: I am finding this reading very hard to understand and apply to our project, I have decided to go away and do some research on ‘the situationists’, as far as I can recall these are  a group a French thinkers in which the present work is developed from and contextualised. I am going to research mainly online, and I also have a book called: The Condition of Post modernity – David Harvey and there is a section on space and time, a notion which was mentioned in The Production of Space. Hopefully this will help me to get a better understanding and make more sense of this reading. 



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