Tuesday, 1 November 2011

B/ordering Space/ extracts from Martin Schroth's theory work

The conceptual evolution of “borderline” to transitional zone
is connected to the idea of interaction between immanently diverse spaces. Ethnic
conflicts, resulting in or perhaps caused by the construction of physical and nonphysical
borders illustrates the logic of separation.
Borders produce effects not only with their physical setup—they also
give information about the social content of the aims, which are expressed through the
medium of representation. Therefore borders are objects of mediation.
Security and national geopolitics through the organization of space and the
redistribution of its population show, that architecture is never a political innocent
activity. Much further, Keller Easterling‘s work Enduring Innocence show spatial
products of segregation and the deep play of politics and power, which shape global
connected urban landscapes.
In Architecture borders exist at all levels and at different scales of our
experience. Different from the carefully designed building envelope, spatial production
reduces logistics and management of space onto consideration of location, geometry,
or enclosure.
The border could be defined as a system of complex relationships,
which consist of physical infrastructure, institutional practice and social meaning. This
means that the concept of the “border” is incredibly rich.
Border have now become a set of non-related lines and points situated within
each country. As Paul Andreu points out that national borders have ceased being
continuous lines on the earth’s surface.4 Aeroplanes have triggered a need for more
complexity in mapping of territory with the integration of the vertical axis into the
thrird-dimension. With the disappearance of their symbolic value and the new
complexity in spatial relation, new possible crossing points are emerging.
The history of territorial lines is always linked to the logic of separation. This
means a clear division of interior and exterior, private and public, legal and illegal. The
effects of borders result in the production of closed spaces. Gated communities or a
camp organization —a means of isolation —are founding fixed categorical identities and
thereby stabilizing the dynamism between them.
Further, borderlines define the limits of a field or class and therefore distinctions
between categories. This is not meant as clear separation but a definition of the limit
where the influence stops. It is therefore also a zone, which marks out two distinct
areas of qualitive difference. Therefore the boundary-as-interface includes the potential
for change and frames the experience of temporal disposition. The zone establishes
identity and distinction through varying degrees of closure. The development of spatial
relationship in the degree of connectivity for example marks the shift from line to
border zone condition.
Every social space in a stage of separation and orientation implies a
superimposition of certain relations upon network of named positions. He then
categorizes the various kinds of space: “accessible space for use — by established rules
and practical procedures, boundaries and forbidden territories — neighbor and enemies,
places of abode—permanent or temporary, junction and friction points.”
B/ordering space entails a general shift from borderline to boundary
condition, which is a complex device of controlling flow.

Theorywork, theStädelschulArchitectureClass
Martin Schroth, Frankfurt am Main, Apr i l 2006

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