Reading response: Michel de Certeau

It was only after reading the text that I was able to differentiate “space” from “place”, with the former related to time and mobility, and the later associated with location and stability. The interchangeability between the two accentuates the important role people play in spatial practices. Our circulation and movements are vital to activate places into spaces, and in turn, spaces are transformed into places through common cultural recognitions and activities. For instance, the Sai Wan Instagram Pier was once a “place” for cargo transportation, but was transformed into a “space” when there were operations of leisure activities and creations

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Reading Response: Michel de Certeau

Taking de Certeau’s insight further, space is a continuum of flowing places, an inescapable narrative. Thus every street is a book or a film, and every great city should be a great archive library. How do we read the street? By ‘practicing’ the places that constitute it, gazing at its vocabulary (vehicles, pedestrians, buildings), punctuation (signs, intersections), tone (colors, styles) are all clever ways of appreciating it, like what Perec practiced in Species of spaces. But the crucial thing is the syntax: how an elegant space is organized, just as a brilliant story is told. This brings me back to

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Reading Response: Michel de Certeau

This article illustrates and explains the difference between “spaces” and “places”, and further gives information about tours and maps. Moreover, by considering “boundaries”, gives a more precise definition of “narrate”.   A place is the order in accord with elements are distributed in relationship of coexistence, it seems like a “statical” concept, which implies an indication of stability. Inversely, space is composed of intersections of mobile elements, and it seems like a “dynamical” concept, it has thus none of the stability. Nevertheless, they are complements of each other, which means that these two concepts can constantly transform through a connection,

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Reading Response: Michel de Certeau

It is worth pointing out the distinguishment between Space and Place. Place is a location which is mapped by urban planners, but it may be transformed to a space due to people’s actions. For instance, people in different moods may change their behaviors, such as exploring new paths, creating a new space. In this case, I wonder about the values of planning a place adopting top-down strategies since the space users will make enormous differences on the places afterward. Is it better to leave more rooms for users to design by themselves? In addition, people’s activities may be influenced by

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Reading Response: Michel De Certeau AND Nezar AlSayyad

In this tutorial, we first discuss the unusual view of voyeurism and the panopticon from the book of AlSayyad. Then in the second book of Certeau, we mention the problem that simple panopticon or bird view brings That is, if we only look at the city from above, we cannot truly feel the city, know the real life of the city.   All these bring my view about the two readings: usually, the use of unusual views like voyeur and panopticon can only be used to complement the usual view instead of the main role of the film. These unusual

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[Reading Response: Michel de Certeau]

In the article, De Certeau M mainly discussed the relationship and difference between “space” and “place.” A place is “an instantaneous configuration of positions” with an indication of stability. But, space only exists when there are composed of intersections of mobile elements, like a party that is full of people, a lecture that is full of students, and a famous site that is full of visitors.  From my perspective, “place” is cold-blooded. It is an indication of position. It has no other deeper meaning. However, people can feel more in the word “space”, since a place is not equal to space, only

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“In short, space is a practiced place. Thus the street geometrically defined by urban planning is transformed into space by walkers.” ——Michel De Certeau Space is more than shapes on plans or sections. It is analyzing and constructing the surroundings. It is “walking into your life.” This reminds me of the Space Species by Georges Perec. He talked about how to observe a street. From slowing down your pace and writing down all the details of the street to imagining and recalling memories of the street. Maybe this is why space is practiced. Several days before I set off for



After reading Certeau’s article, I think “place” and “space” are somehow interconnected to each other that place cannot exist without a space while place provides volume for space to occupy. This article reminds me the fieldwork for a movie which is Still Human, sets in Oi Man Estate, where I have never been before. It is interesting that when I was watching the film, Ho Man Tin is a place that full of context as the story depicted and narrated in the film gives perspectives and meanings to the place and I feel that emotion from characters. However, when I

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[Reading Response] Michel de Certeau

In this chapter, Michel de Certeau explores what gives places meaning, and agues that stories give meaning to place- turning them into spaces. De Certeau compares the place and map to space and tour, proposing that while places and maps are descriptive and neutral, spaces and tours are created through the stories that happen with places. In this sense, space is performative, and stories are trajectories created within places, giving space its context. Therefore, while buildings and structures are described by their composition, architecture is the result of its use- and the stories that happen within. This is why the

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Michel de Certeau

A place is something stable created through spaces.A space on the other hand is something mobile, created through memories and stories of people who move around in these spaces. For example the students walking around in HKU, the security guards patrolling and the professors rushing to their lectures all create spaces through movement and interaction. Though HKU is considered to be a place for education, it is not the only thing that happens in it. HKU wouldn’t be a place without all the interactions and stories that take place in the spaces of HKU, giving it a significance of a

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