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The Production of Space Paperback – April 8, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0631181774 ISBN-10: 0631181776 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Production of Space reveals Lefebvre at the height of his powers: imaginative, incisive and immensely suggestive." Derek Gregory, University of British Columbia

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Language Notes

Text: French
Original Language: English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (April 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631181776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631181774
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 100 people found the following review helpful By H-S on July 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
Thinkers have long analyzed things in space, but it is time to analyze space itself and "the social relationships embedded in it" according to Lefebvre. He wants to analyze the form, structure, and function of something he calls "social space" and explore how such spaces have been produced.
"Social space" partly consists of a certain configuration of actual space in actual time. Space also encompasses and includes physical objects that participate in discourse (as Foucault would say). Thus, space is also a container of relationships. It is also the receptacle of history, "the outcome of past actions." Lefebvre uses the example of a mountain. It does not have to have been produced or even physically altered by human hands to be considered a social space. Lefebvre's mountain participates in many relationships. The mountain space participates in a dialectic with humans, other spaces (social, representational, and represented), and history (it is produced in history and plays a role in history). It is at once a locus, a node on a network, a path, and place of potentials (i.e. of possible material exchange). "Its `reality' [is] at once formal and material." In short, the mountain cannot be reduced to a simple object, writes Lefebvre.
Space is powerful. Space, according to him, is anything but the "passive locus of social relations." It has an "active-operational or instrumental role," it is "knowledge and action." It instructs. It is also nothing less than a new mode of production. It contributes to "the establishment...of a system" and those in power (the bourgeois, most recently) frequently have made use of it. Space produces society, writes Lefebvre. He writes, "a decisive part is played by space in this continuity [of the reproduction of society].
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Production of Space is a thick yet engaging introduction to Postmodern spatial theory, providing insights to a variety of philosophical concepts centering on how we perceive, construct, and reproduce both physical and mental spaces. While complex and eclectic, Lefebvre's book provides ample food for thought for those interested in the means by which we as human beings understand space in the world and how we negotiate and transpose it in our minds.
Overall, it's damned good stuff. I read this book and the idea for my Masters thesis came exploding out of me like one of those creatures from "Alien."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Geoffrey Fox on April 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
"In the beginning was the Topos. Before - long before - the advent of the Logos, in the chiaroscuro realm of primitive life, lived experience already possessed its internal rationality; this experience was producing long before thought space, and spatial thought, began reproducing the projection, explosion, image and orientation of the body." (p. 174)

In Henri Lefebvre's terms, living things "produce" space simply by moving. What he meant was that an animal's or plant's "gestures," that is, the movements of its body relative to other things, create new spatial relationships of left and right, above and below, in front and behind, inside and outside. Of course these spaces are all created within another, larger Topos including things that do not move on their own, and others that do -- what we call the natural environment. The human beings must adapt themselves to it (when they run into immovable objects) as they try to adapt it to themselves.

In short, humans had to domesticate their environment, beginning perhaps by domesticating each other - establishing the hierarchies and other rules that made it easier for them to live together -- and then domesticating some plants and animals, long before they had sufficient experience to reflect on what they were doing or its probable consequences. Brilliant.
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for those exploring the complexity of context (of human settlements) as a basis for design, Lefebvre's philosophical work is the foundation for later writers such as Edward Soja and many others. it is like reading Fritjof Capra's "Turning Point" prior to investigating creative systems and sustainability (a politically over-used term). this work reintroduces the connections between and among the key forces that influence urban form, meaning and structure: the influences of culture, space and time/history--very powerful reminders that we as designers cannot "design" without understanding the complexity of the urban matrix.
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Format: Paperback
Lefebvre intended to use the marxist concept of 'production' to space, and to analyze it from this perspective, which would have produced a very interesting book. Unfortunately, in his florid style that mixes between analysis and metaphors, Lefebvre failed to do this, and instead produced a work which is not devoid of some 'illuminating' ideas, but doesn't carry the idea to its end, nor does it address for instance the function of individual property and its transformations through different epochs, as a fundamental component in the analysis of the production of space.
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Format: Paperback
Both infuriating at times and delightfully insightful, Lebebvre covers all the bases. There is something in this book for everyone, especially those looking to learn how to think about space in new ways by going beyond what it means to what it is and how humans create it and at times destroy it to replace it with a new one. The translator did not cut much slack, however, and the language is very, very dense.
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