Body, Space, and Design

Authored by: Jeremy White

The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138917569
eBook ISBN: 9781315688947
Adobe ISBN:


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In the twenty-first century, the boundary between architectural space and the body is no longer as clear as it used to be. This essay concerns four “edges” or incarnations of that boundary. The first, between user and the (in)accessible environment, universal design’s ambition to make that edge user friendly regardless of the limitations of body. The second, extreme body modification conceptualizing the prosthetic limb as an architectural opportunity. Third, the virtual body and the virtual building “constructed” and operated in digital space, and their surprising influence on decision and behavior in the real world. And fourth, the conceptual edge of gender and its extension in space, which currently occupies the docket of many federal courtrooms in the U.S. All four edges influence identity in ways that were not anticipated in the twentieth century.

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