RE: People and the city

From: Donatella.Capretti (
Date: Thu Sep 09 2004 - 02:36:01 PDT

Hi again,

thank you all again for the useful references you have been sending to me
about my previous requests.

Many of them are about Cultural and Humanistic Geography, and are focused on
themes that I have already covered, but in any case are always of interest
to me. Now, I wanted to ask you if you are aware of proxemic studies that,
beside works of Edward T. Hall, have investigated the human use of the space
in the urban environment, especially concerning public spaces, like streets
and squares?

In "The Hidden dimension" Hall speaks also (very briefly) about the
cognitive internalisation of the physical environment and the mutual shaping
of individual cognition and external space underlying architectural design.
This naturally reminds me of Vygotskian psychology and the dynamic
interaction between human mind and tools, and the role of tools in shaping
our cognition.

Do you know whether any investigations took these aspects into account?

Also, are you aware of studies that have investigated the role of public
space in the social negotiation of meaning?
Thanks a lot


-----Original Message-----
From: IRAJ IMAM []
Sent: 08 September 2004 05:20
Subject: RE: People and the city


I was at a thesis defense today where I thought about you. About space,
access, being deaf, and sign language. Many fascinating issues with a lot of
discussion of space "versus" place (it turns out this distinction does not
exist in ASL and is extraordinarily difficult in English, even for someone
writing a thesis on it!).

What most fascinated me is that sign language uses space in a way that
spoken languages do not, so the reverberation from post-modern geography to
socio linguistics, inequallity in "shared" spaces/places, and the spatiality
of a particular rhetorical discourse had my head spinning....... and then,
as if by accident, the issue of spaces comes up on xmca. Amazing.

Interesting coincidence Mike,

Your distinction between ASL using space (body movement) and spoken/written
language using text (symbol movement) reminded me of Julie Cheville's
"minding the body." she argues learning through body movement is different
from learning through texts.


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