Privet: a theology of suburban privacy

Stone, Rob (2003) Privet: a theology of suburban privacy. In: The Spirit of the City. Boyd-Whyte, Iain, ed. Routledge, London, pp. 209-236. ISBN 0415258405. [Book Section]


This essay pays attention to the formation of types of municipal architectural space (both domestic and public) where a theme of privacy is foregrounded. The essay offers a reconceptualisation of an ecstatic quality of privacy in such space via a pair of concerted gestures. Firstly: the animation of a series of theological moments that provide an conceptual-investigative grammar for such experience. And, secondly, an overview of the tropes of privacy that have appeared in architectural commentary since the mid-1930s. Isolating instances in the discourse on modern architectural space where fantastic subjective approaches to the use of space are given an almost banal and documentary character (in the writing of Nikolaus Pevsner, Sigfried Gideon and others), the essay brings to light a latent attention to heightened forms of experience as a viable and constant theme in the discipline of architectural history.

The essay derives from work on a paper I gave at the Association of Art Historians conference in Edinburgh in 2000. Though academically historical in tone and approach, the piece connects with other more overtly theoretical essays on the theological character of unseizable, uninfluential elements in the constitution of modern, urban social and architectural space.

Eg. 'The Windows' Leave: Ligatures for the Lovesick' in de Philo, J (ed.), Issues (2), Greenwich University, 2006; 'The Design of Sighs' in Crowe, N., At 25 Metres, FACT, Liverpool, 2007; 'Just Give Me Something That I Can Beleive In' in Lok, S., Golden (Notes, SPSL, London, 2007; and 'Salted Pleasures', Walsh, R., Infallibility, Black Dog, London, 2006 – all of which are artist-led curatorial initiatives on the theme.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 678
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2008 15:05
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:12

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