The Design of Frontier Spaces: Control and Ambiguity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Design of Frontier Spaces

Control and Ambiguity, 1st Edition

By Carolyn Loeb, Andreas Luescher


268 pages

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Hardback: 9781472419767
pub: 2015-07-10
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In a globalizing world, frontiers may be in flux but they remain as significant as ever. New borders are established even as old borders are erased. Beyond lines on maps, however, borders are spatial zones in which distinctive architectural, graphic, and other design elements are deployed to signal the nature of the space and to guide, if not actually control, behaviour and social relations within it. This volume unpacks how manipulations of space and design in frontier zones, historically as well as today, set the stage for specific kinds of interactions and convey meanings about these sites and the experiences they embody. Frontier zones organize an array of functions to facilitate the passage of goods, information, and people, and to define and control access. Bringing together studies from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America, this collection of essays casts a wide net to consider borders of diverse sorts. Investigations of contemporary political frontiers are set within the context of examinations of historical borders, borders that have existed within cities, and virtual borders. This range allows for reflection on shifts in how frontier zones are articulated and the impermanence of border emplacements, as well as on likely scenarios for future frontiers. This text is unique in bringing together a number of scholarly perspectives in the arts and humanities to examine how spatial and architectural design decisions convey meaning, shape or abet specific social practices, and stage memories of frontier zones that no longer function as such. It joins and expands discussions in social science disciplines, in which considerations of border practices tend to overlook the role of built form and material culture more broadly in representing social practices and meanings.


’The Design of Frontier Spaces shows that the divisions that borders suggest are not in any way normal or natural, but that their self-evidence and seeming stability is something that needs to be continually maintained. This is the crucial yet often-overlooked work of design, which the book's contributors analyze in compelling and diverse ways.’ Kenny Cupers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

About the Authors

Carolyn Loeb is Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Architecture at Michigan State University, USA and Andreas Luescher is a Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Architecture and Environmental Design at Bowling Green State Univeristy, USA.

About the Series

Design and the Built Environment

Design and the Built Environment

Urban design is an expanding discipline bridging the gaps between the established built environment professions of architecture, planning, surveying, landscape architecture, and engineering. In this position, urban design also borrows from, and contributes to, academic discourse in areas as diverse as urban geography, sociology, public administration, cultural studies, environmental management, conservation and urban regeneration.

This series provides a means to disseminate more substantive urban and environmental design research. Specifically, contributions will be welcomed which are the result of original empirical research, scholarly evaluation, reflection on the practice and the process of urban design, and critical analysis of particular aspects of the built environment. Volumes should be of international interest and may reflect theory and practice from across one or more of the spatial scales over which urban design operates, from environmental and spatial design of settlements, to a concern with large areas of towns and cities - districts or quarters, to consideration of individual developments, urban spaces and networks of spaces, to the contribution of architecture in the urban realm.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development