search the archive
search the archive
Terrain Vague: The Interstitial as Site, Concept, Intervention / June 1, 2010
full name / name of organization:
Manuela Mariani (Boston Architectural College) and Patrick Barron (University of Massachusetts, Boston)
Terrain Vague: The Interstitial as Site, Concept, Intervention
This collection of essays will focus on terrain vague—marginal, semi-abandoned space in or along the edge of the city—as abstract concept, specific locale, and subject of literary, architectural, or otherwise artistic intervention.
Ignasi de Solà-Morales defines terrain vague as land in a “potentially exploitable state but already possessing some definition to which we are external,” or “strange places” that “exist outside the city’s effective circuits and productive structures” (119, 120). Gil Doron similarly defines “landscapes of transgression” as derelict sites where “nature has started to reconstruct the built or (now) ‘ruined’ environment. . . . space[s] that opened in the dichotomy of what we perceive as city and nature” (255).
We are particularly interested in responses to the idea, as expressed by Luc Lévesque, that “‘terrain vague’ offers a counterpoint to the way order and consumption hold sway over the city. Offering room for spontaneous, creative appropriation and informal uses that would otherwise have trouble finding a place in public spaces subjected increasingly to the demands of commerce, the ‘terrain vague’ is the ideal place for a certain resistance to emerge, a place potentially open to alternative ways of experiencing the city.”
We invite submissions from a range of fields, in particular literature, architecture, ecocriticism, urban studies, cultural geography, the visual arts, and film studies. Suggested topics may include:
Site and situation
Please send abstracts of 300 to 500 words, accompanied by a brief bio, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries are welcome.
The deadline for abstracts is 1 June 2010.
Manuela Mariani, The Boston Architectural College
“That zero panorama seemed to contain ruins in reverse, that is—all the new construction that would be built. This is the opposite of the “unromantic ruin” because buildings don’t fall into ruin after they are built but rather rise into ruin before they are built.” Robert Smithson, “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey”