Framing Places

Mediating Power in Built Form, 2nd Edition

By Kim Dovey

© 2008 – Routledge

242 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415416351
pub: 2007-12-13
US Dollars$57.95
Hardback: 9780415416344
pub: 2008-01-18
US Dollars$180.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Framing Places is an account of the nexus between place and power, investigating how the built forms of architecture and urban design act as mediators of social practices of power. Explored through a range of theories and case studies, this examination shows how lives are 'framed' within the clusters of rooms, buildings, streets and cities. These silent framings of everyday life also mediate practices of coercion, seduction and authorization as architects and urban designers engage with the articulation of dreams; imagining and constructing a 'better' future in someone's interest.

This second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to include a look at the recent Grollo Tower development in Melbourne and a critique on Euralille, a new quarter development in Northern France. The book draws from a broad range of methodology including:

  • analysis of spatial structure
  • discourse analysis
  • phenomenology.

These approaches are woven together through a series of narratives on specific cities - Berlin, Beijing and Bangkok - and global building types including the corporate tower, shopping mall, domestic house and enclave.


Of the1st edition:

'Dovey has produced a most useful and incisive analysis of meaning in built form, of how places and buildings can be appropriated as tools of either oppression or emancipation….challenging and thought-provoking in equal measures.' - Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 2000 Vol 27, June 2000

'Altogether a wonderfully stimulating, consistently readable, and exceptionally interesting book.' - Area

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Frames of Theorization 1. Power 2. Program 3. Text 4. Place Part 2: Centres of Power 5. Take Your Breath Away: Berlin 6. Hidden Power: Beijing 7. Paths to Democracy: Bangkok Part 3: Global Types 8. Tall Storeys: The Corporate Tower 9. Inverted City: The Shopping Mall 10. Domestic Desires: House and Enclave Part 4: Localities 11. A Sign for the Twenty-First Century: Euralille 12. Rust and Irony: Rottnest Island 13. Afterword: Liberty and Complicity

About the Author

Kim Dovey is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Melbourne. He has published and broadcast widely on issues of place and ideology including the book Fluid City (Routledge 2005).

About the Series


The Architext series brings together recent debates in social and cultural theory and the study and practice of architecture and urban design. Critical, comparative and interdisciplinary, the books in the series will, by theorizing architecture, bring the space of the built environment centrally into the social sciences and humanities, as well as bringing the theoretical insights of the latter into the discourse of architecture and urban design. Particular attention will be paid to issues of gender, race, sexuality and the body, to questions of identity and place, to cultural politics of representation and language, and to the global and postcolonial contexts in which these are addressed.

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