Main Article Content
|Issue||Vol. 4 No. 1 (2021)|
|Published||Jan 29, 2021|
Submitted : Feb 28, 2020 | Accepted : Nov 26, 2020
Across time and cultures, the built environment has been fundamentally shaped by forces of occupancy, obsolescence, and change. In an era of increasing political uncertainty and ecological decline, contemporary design practices must respond with critical actions that envision more collaborative and sustainable futures. The concept of critical spatial practice, introduced by architectural historian Jane Rendell, builds on Walter Benjamin and the late 20th century theories of Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau to propose multi-disciplinary design practices that more effectively address contemporary spatial complexities. These theoretical frameworks operate through trans-scalar means to resituate the built environment as a nexus of flows, atmospheres, and narratives (Rendell, 2010). Assuming an analogous relationship to the contemporary city, critical spatial practices traverse space and time to engage issues of migration, informality, globalisation, heterotopia, and ecology. This essay documents an interdisciplinary academic design studio that employed critical spatial practices to study correspondences between Chinese and American cities. Here, the notions of urban and interior are relational. Urbanism and interior spaces are viewed as intertwined aspects in the historical development of Beijing hutongs and Cincinnati alleyways. These hybrid exterior-interior civic spaces create sheltered public worlds and socio-spatial conditions that nurture people and culture.
Benjamin, W. (1999). The arcades project (H. Eiland & K. McLaughlin, Trans.). Belknap Press.
Borden, I., Kerr, J., & Rendell, J. (2000). The unknown city: Contesting architecture and social space. MIT Press.
Carney, W. (1976). Alley archaeology. Cincinnati Magazine, 9(7), 18.
Certeau, M. (2011). The practice of everyday life (S. Rendall, Trans.). University of California Press.
Feliz Arrizabalaga, N. (2020). Urban interiority in the anthropocene.Interiority, 3(1), 83–96. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v3i1.74
Holdsworth, M., Courtauld, C. & Chui, H. (1998). The forbidden city: The great within. Oxford University Press.
Lefebvre, H. (1992). The production of space (D. Nicholson-Smith, Trans.). Wiley-Blackwell.
Li, L. M., Dray-Novey, A. J., & Kong, H. (2008). Beijing: From imperial capital to olympic city. St. Martin’s Press. Lynch, K. (1960). The image of the city. MIT Press.
Martinelli, P. (2019). House, street, city: Le Corbusier’s research towards a new urban interior. Interiority, 2(2), 129–153.https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v2i2.57
Meyer, M. (2009) The last days of old Beijing: Life in the vanishing backstreets of a city transformed. Michael Walker & Company.
Morris, A. E. J. (1993). The history of urban form: Before the industrial revolutions. John Wiley & Sons.
Polo, M. (2016). The travels (N. Cliff, Ed., Trans.). Penguin House. Rendell, J. (2010). Site-writing: The architecture of art criticism. I. B. Tauris.
Rowe, C. & Koetter, F. (1979). Collage city. MIT Press.
Wang, J. (2010). Beijing record: A physical and political history of planning modern Beijing. World Scientific Publishing.
Wu, L. (2001). Rehabilitating the old city of Beijing: A project in the Ju’er Hutong neighbourhood. University of Washington Press.
Author(s) retain copyright of articles published in this journal, with first publication rights granted to Interiority.
All journal content is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License that allows others to use the articles for non-commercial purposes with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.