Henri Lefebvre on SpaceArchitecture, Urban Research, and the Production of Theory

Henri Lefebvre on SpaceArchitecture, Urban Research, and the Production of Theory

Lukasz Stanek

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816666164

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Abstract

This book frames a contextual appreciation of Henri Lefebvre’s idea that space is a social product. The book explicitly confronts both the philosophical and the empirical foundations of Lefebvre’s oeuvre, especially his direct involvement in the fields of urban development, planning, and architecture. Countering the prevailing view, which reduces Lefebvre’s theory of space to a projection of his philosophical positions, the book argues that Lefebvre’s work grew out of his concrete, empirical engagement with everyday practices of dwelling in postwar France and his exchanges with architects and planners. The book focuses on the interaction between architecture, urbanism, sociology, and philosophy that occurred in France in the 1960s and 1970s, which was marked by a shift in the processes of urbanization at all scales, from the neighborhood to the global level. Lefebvre’s thinking was central to this encounter, which informed both his theory of space and the concept of urbanization becoming global. The book offers a deeper and clearer understanding of Lefebvre’s thought and its implications for the present day. At a time when cities are increasingly important to our political, spatial, and architectural world, this reassessment proposes a new empirical, and practical, interpretation of Lefebvre’s ideas on urbanism.