Civil Engineering and Architecture Vol. 4(2), pp. 67 - 78
DOI: 10.13189/cea.2016.040204
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On Avoidance: Reflections on Processes of Socio-spatial Structuring

Daniel Koch *
KTH School of Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden


This essay is a reflection on how the 'social' comes into being, and how it relates to questions of architecture and urban environments. Taking its departure from a statement in The Social Logic of Space, where it is said spatial configuration affects social relations in how it structures patterns of movement, encounter and avoidance, it develops on the notion of avoidance as a socially and spatially structuring behaviour. One reason for such a focus is a contemporary focus in urban and architectural discourse of encounters and co-presence, whereas patterns and actions of avoidance are less often present. On the one hand, it argues that studying of how space generates, allows, or prevents patterns of avoidance is a missing key question that may also further develop discourses of patterns of encounter. On the other hand, it is suggested that a focus on avoidance demands a series of questions to be answered that is beneficial for understanding socio-spatial behaviour and structures in general. These questions concern the temporal, cultural, personal, and spatial embeddedness of actions that includes memory and myth as well as projection and imagination. Avoidance, furthermore, is argued to be as social an action as encounters, with considerable direct and indirect structuring effects, and thereby to constitute an important piece in socio-spatial structuring processes.

Spatial Configuration, Performativity, Avoidance, Encounter Patterns, Social Structuring, Spatial Behaviour, Architecture Theory

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Daniel Koch , "On Avoidance: Reflections on Processes of Socio-spatial Structuring," Civil Engineering and Architecture, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 67 - 78, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/cea.2016.040204.

(b). APA Format:
Daniel Koch (2016). On Avoidance: Reflections on Processes of Socio-spatial Structuring. Civil Engineering and Architecture, 4(2), 67 - 78. DOI: 10.13189/cea.2016.040204.