Mark Pimlott – Without and Within: Territory, the Interior and the Triumph of System over Place



Lecture date: 2007-10-09

American and European approaches to the making of space and place are entirely different: the former are characterised by system-based ideas projected upon the world, and the latter from a notion of meeting with the world. In the European case, place is made in context, and won from it. The American projective model commands space by replacing it with its own conceptualisations, anathema to both place and otherness.
Mark Pimlott argues that this projective model is embodied in the urbanised American territory, where everything is transformed into a continuous, endless interior in which place and otherness are eliminated. Its effects are reiterated in contemporary continuous interiors for a mass public whose realms can be extended indefinitely and connected to everything. Interiors such as shopping malls, airports, office lobbies and museums all share the same tropes and morphology, resembling each other regardless of location or purpose. They are organised as infrastructures, falsely portrayed as natural, gathering and directing people most frequently toward exchanges of consumption.

Mark Pimlott is an artist and designer. He studied architecture at the McGill University, Montreal and the AA, and visual arts at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a senior lecturer at TU Delft.

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