non place

Augé: Spaces of Programmed Use as Non-Places

"The French Anthropologist Marc Augé uses the expression non-place to describe the effect on an environment that is caused by programmed use. Where instructions for use determine our engagement with a space, where the complexity of interaction is reduced to symbolic meaning. For Augé main roads no longer take travellers on cultural excursions, they facilitate expedient traversal and cultural detachment. In short they transform occupiable places into transport conduits.In environments where there is a sustained use and inhabitation of a space fixed regional character exists. Group and personal identity are established via association with geographic and cultural sites. Places appear to exist as dynamic and vital entities, with ownership and belonging.Environments that are exclusively defined as being operational tend to lack clearly attributable character or identity. They are spaces that are used for their purpose and act in reference to other places. ATM machines, airports and motorways all function in this way. They are single-minded spaces that illicit simple directed use... Extended choice tends towards homogenous and generic identity."