chapter  2
24 Pages

Intentions and Disconnections

The ways we go to and from place to place on roads, streets, walks and stairs and through hallways, doors, drives and lobbies are many and ordinary. They occupy a tacit dimension in the everyday world of which we are rarely fully conscious, and we move through them without exceptional physical or psychological effort. Under “normal” conditions and for “normal people, they allow us to get to destinations and places that interest us. Indeed, this taken-for-granted character is understandable because being able to move through urban space is something that is expected, and, for many people under many conditions, this expectation is fulfilled by the way the built spatial-material world usually works. It is when locating and going to particular places within the urban spatial infrastructure is problematic, when places are unfamiliar or navigation becomes too difficult, that a guide may be necessary. Access is the title of a series of once popular guidebooks created to navigate the space of American cities. On their inside frontispieces is the statement:

This Guidebook is built the same way a city is built-a fabric where restaurants are next to shops that are next to hotels, museums next to parks, mixed up by type of use, but very much in order-according to location and proximity to each other.