De Certeau

‘At the outset I shall make a distinction between space (espace) and place [lieu] that delimits a field. A place (lieu) is the order (of whatever kind) in accord with which the elements are distributed in relationships of co-existence. It thus excludes the possibility of two things being in the same location (place). The ‘law’ of the proper rules in the place: the elements taken into consideration are beside one another, each situated in its own ‘proper’ and distinct location, a location it defines. A place is thus an instantaneous configuration of positions. It implies an indication of stability.

A space exists when one takes into consideration vectors of direction, velocities and time variables. Thus space is composed of intersections of mobile elements. It is in a sense actuated by the ensemble of movements deployed within it. Space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, temporalise it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of conflictual programmes or contractual proximities. On this view in relation to place, space is like the word when it is spoken, that is when it is caught in the ambiguity of an actualization…situated as the act of a present (or of a time)…’

Michel De Certeau quoted in Rendell, J, Art and Architecture, A Space between where Rendell writes ‘that in arguing for a dynamic space constituted through practice place becomes fixed and passive in his writings.’

De Certeau in Practices of everyday life [1984] distinguishes between place [lieu] and space [espace]. De Certeau writes:

‘A place [lieu] is the order of whatever kind in accord with which the elements are distributed in relationships of co-existence…A place is thus an instantaneous configuration of positions. It implies an indication of stability. A space exists when one takes into consideration the vetors of direction, velocities and time variables..In short...space is a practice place. [1984:117]

Text quoted from Spaces of Consumption: From margin to centre. For the full article click here.