The spatial triad
Henri Lefebvre distinguishes three types of spaces within the trialectics of spatiality:
- Espace percu: objective space (spatial practices). This is the space that is taken for grantd as it is given and it is neutral. This is the space where architects and spatial planners work in. Think of blueprints, plans, etc.
- Espace concu: conceived space (representations of space). This is the space which is completely formed in the mind. It is an entirely mental space. This space is closely related to the utopian thinking and idealism is important. Think of artists who are totally free in ideas and not bounded by the physical/objective space. But also think of politicians and their ideology.
- Espace vecu: lived space (space of representations). This is the space that is the result of the espace percu and the espace concu. The lived space takes place as a result of the objective and conceived space. Politics, for instance, happen in the gap between the spatial practices and the representations of space: this is how the world is (objective) and this is how we imagine how it should be (conceived). The espace vecu is thus the working out of the other two spaces.
"'The imaginary'. This word becomes (or better: becomes again) magical. It fills the empty spaces of thought, much like the 'unconscious and culture'. ... After all, since two terms are not sufficient, it becomes necessary to introduce a third term.. The third term is the other, with all that this term implies (alterity, the relation between the present/absent other, alteration-alienation).
Reflexive thought and hence philosophy has for a long time accentuated dyads. Those of dry and humid, the large and the small. the finite and the infinite, as in Greek antiquity. Then those that constituted the western philosophical paradigm. subject-object, continuity –discontinuity, open - closed, etc. Finally, in the modern era there are the binary oppositions between signifier and signified, knowledge and non-knowledge, centre and periphery... [But] is there ever a relation only between two terms...? One always had Three. There is always the Other(Lefebvre in Soja, 1996)." This is the so called thirding-as-othering that takes an important role in the triplicety.
According to Soja "the third term never stands alone, totally separate from its precedents or given absolute precedence on its own." So to Soja this is the key point to Lefebvre dialectics of triplicety and of from there he wants to describe Thirdspace. Here the the Trialectial thinking is adopted to describe the concept thirdspace as trialectics of spatiality.
Trialectical thinking is difficult, for it challenges all conventional modes of thought and taken-for-granted epistemologies (Epistemology). It is disorderly, unruly, constantly evolving, unfixed, never presentable in permanent constructions.
- Henri Lefebvre, La presence et l'absence, 1980:225 and 143 in Soja, E.W. (1996). The extraordinary voyages of Henri Lefebvre; The trialectics of spatiality. In Thirdspace: Journeys to los Angeles and other real-and-imagined place.[Electronic version] Blackwell, Oxford.
- Soja, E.W. (1996). The extraordinary voyages of Henri Lefebvre; The trialectics of spatiality. In Thirdspace: Journeys to los Angeles and other real-and-imagined place.[Electronic version] Blackwell, Oxford.
Edited by Huub van der Zwaluw HuubVanDerZwaluw 18:11, 23 October 2012 (CEST)
Edited by Lars-Olof Haverkort --LarsHaverkort 14:43, 24 October 2012 (CEST)