Sunday, February 21, 2016

A perfect place to explore place

Image above: An advert for a new store that highlighted that a space is only a space until it turns into a place!  By the way the new shopping area was to be called 'Rundle Place'.

Related links to Spatialworlds
GeogSplace (a teaching blog for Year 12 geography)
Geogaction (geography professional learning blog)
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

“Our relationships with places are as necessary, varied, and sometimes perhaps just as unpleasant as our relationships with other people.”   
                                                                                  Place and Placelessness, TedRelph  1976

This posting is dedicated to the blog, called 'Placeness, Place and Placelessness'.
It is the blog of Ted Relph in which he explores the concept of place, sense of place, spirit of place, placemaking, placelessness and non-place, and almost everything to do with place and places. Ted started the blog in 2015 and has put together some fascinating postings that reinforces and challenges our understanding of the concept of place. There are numerous Spatialworlds posting on the concept of Place but I was very excited when I came across Ted's blog because it takes the concept to the next level and beyond a simpleview of the concept. 

Place in my experience is not a simple, centred and enduring phenomenon.

Ted, as placeaphile (not sure if this is a word but Ted makes up plenty of place related words in his blog), has been writing about place since 1976, a long time before we started to write the Australian Curriculum: Geography in 2009. His writings certainly makes one think about the fact that there is much more about the study of place than meets the eye. Coupled with the wonderful writings of Yi-Fu Tuan on Topophilia back in 1970, the blog just adds new dimensions, perceptions and complexities to the study and concept of place. Most importantly the blog makes us very aware of the richness of the concept for students and teachers. 

Place is a fundamental concept in the Australian Curriculum: Geography - in fact it can be argued that the emphasis on the modern interpretation of place is what makes the Australian Curriculum: Geography a 21st Century Geography curriculum. As the writings on the Ted's blog show, the concept of place is a complex and multi-dimensional one that goes way beyond the traditional view of place in geography. 

As Ted says:

 “Our relationships with places are as necessary, varied, and sometimes perhaps just as unpleasant as our relationships with other people.”

It is this human construct of the relationship of individuals and groups with place that makes the place concept what it is - in fact it can be argued that a location is only a place when it has been given a name and/or people relate to a location and give it a sense of meaning that links into their identity.

The blog provides discussion on topics such as: topophobia, topophila, spirit of place, place names and mobility and place. 

As a new blog I look forward to what postings Ted creates in months to come. Ted has been quiet since November 2015 (maybe he is in another place?) but he says that he plans to write entries on topics such as the experience of place, pride of place, power of place, displacement, border and boundaries, art and place, nostalgia, site and situation, gender and place, ecology of place, placenessness, books about place and experience of place - they sound fascinating and I look forward to read them in 2016 - what this space (or is it place?). 

Place has changed for ever

Whilst on about Place, this interesting Ted Talk from David Houle, a futurist, thinker, and speaker, who explains how technology, specifically cell phone ubiquity, has radically altered the notion of place in modern society.

A sense of Place from Space

This talk from Joseph Allen, a retired NASA astronaut who flew aboard space shuttles Columbia and Discovery makes us think about the sense of Place on a broader scale .

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