The de-territorialized zone: ill-defined spaces and unclassified behaviors.

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The de-territorialized zone: ill-defined spaces and unclassified behaviors.

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This thesis deals with de-territorialized spaces, urban spaces in which ownership and responsibility are unclear. In such a zone we are not restricted to simply observing. A person can handle the environment; the potential exists to make changes with little fear of doing “damage” or infringing. You might kick a can, make stacks of cinder blocks, or drag a piece of metal along the ground to a new position. You may prop a lawn-chair on a pallet and listen to the game on the radio. Of course, the next day the chair may have been pulled off the pallet, or a pile of railroad ties may have buried the entire south-end of the lot. We only control the zone while it is actually under our hands, but although the internal conditions are transient, the zone itself persists. When there is little space for any activity that is not either officially sanctioned, or commercially viable enough to “support itself”, whole classes of endeavor are effectively forbidden. Within an urban milieu, the de-territorialized space becomes the sole venue for all behaviors which fall outside these boundaries. My thesis involves intentionally creating and modulating such a deterritorialized area, potentially allowing such “transgressive” activities to take place. It will first attempt to identify aspects of the built environment that contribute to de-territorialization, then, working with an existing site which exhibits some sympathetic characteristics, the project will try to generate and modulate deterritorialization within that space.


University of Minnesota M.Arch. thesis. August 2010. Major: Architecture. Advisor: William F. Conway. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 28 pages. Ill. (some col.)

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Vandervelde, Jonathan Roger. (2010). The de-territorialized zone: ill-defined spaces and unclassified behaviors.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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