chapter  2
52 Pages

Constructions

Being in space is a primal condition of our existence. A wide range of scholars – including philosophers, physicists, geographers, architects, sociol ogists – have for centuries discussed the importance of space in human existence. Yet there is still no single, clear and consensual definition of space. Societal changes transform our understanding of space – from the primacy and pervasiveness of the Catholic religion in all aspects of life in the European Middle Ages to the conceptual and technological breakthroughs of science, which have marked modern western society, paradigm shifts have occurred in our understanding of the world and how space is perceived and conceived. Space has not just been multiple throughout history, though. At any point in time, people perceive and conceive space differently, on both individual and collective levels. Yet it is not enough to say the concept of space is multiple. As both a mental and sensory experience that is vital for human existence, it is legitimate to keep asking basic questions: how can space be defined? Is there a universal formative logic of space, to which all known or yetto-be-discovered spaces would be subject? If space is plural – ranging from oneiric to economic spaces, how can such plurality be embraced under the concept of space?