chapter  10
22 Pages

Space

Space informs us at every scale. On my desk is a laptop, various piles of half-done work, some borrowed books and a cold cup of coffee – the typical organised chaos of student, teacher or writer. Within my room, the disposition of the furniture indicates function (card-playing, eating, TV watching, sprawling) and proclaims taste and economic circumstances (late 1970s random acquisition style). Inside the house, the plan of the passages and doors reports on the number of resident people and pets, their relative energy, their work, play, sleep, coupling. In the garden are bushy bits and open bits – more function and taste. The village has a plan too – 4 farms, 43 houses, a pond and a pub which map out into an arena of working agriculture with twee residential patches. The village is one of five along the River Derwent’s flood plain, all medieval in origin, with fields, water meadows and dykes. After that we could have a look at the larger picture – Yorkshire, the North Sea community, the new Europe, the Atlantic alliance and so on. So the use of space is social use and spatial analysis is about people, and it happens at very different scales.