University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series > Of Knots and Blocks: Dwelling in Smooth Space

Of Knots and Blocks: Dwelling in Smooth Space

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Modern thinking about architecture, landscape, language and mind has been dominated by the related metaphors of the building block, the chain and the container. These metaphors lead us to think of a world which is not so much woven from ever ravelling and unravelling strands as assembled from pre-cut pieces. Here I argue for the power of an alternative metaphor, the knot. In a world where things are continually coming into being through processes of growth and movement – that is, in a world of life – knotting, I contend, is the fundamental principle of coherence. It is the way forms are held together and kept in place within what would otherwise be a formless and inchoate flux. Is there a connection between thinking-though-knotting and an understanding of the inhabited world as the interpenetration of earth below and sky above, rather than as a homogeneous ground upon which the architectures of the environment are erected?

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - main Departmental seminar series series.

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