About space and 'plek'
The distinction between "space" and "place" is commonly discussed in recent academic work in ubiquitous computing/HCI by researchers such as Paul Dourish. In a seminal paper form 1996, Harrison and Dourish express that "space is the opportunity; place is the understood reality." They raised the social construction of space by exploring how human actions are structured by the spatial organization of our environment. Unfortunately, as Dourish pointed out in his 2006 paper, this discussion lead to a misunderstanding: some people tended to exaggerate the distinction between spatial and social components. Interestingly enough, reading Assia Kraan's paper "To Act in Public through Geo-Annotation shared location", I ran across this interesting paragraph:
" It is important to make a distinction between space and plek. Anglo-Saxon theoreticians talk about space and place. The Dutch word plek (plural plekken) will be used here because the alternative ‘place’ does not express its meaning adequately. ‘Place’ is used, for instance, to refer to the physical space of a settlement, while plek refers to the meaning that a physical space has for somebody. A plek can be described as a complex ensemble of physical characteristics, cultural experiences, history and personal logic. Geographers target the navigational characteristics of plekken, but the computer scientists Paul Dourish and Steve Harrison emphasize an aesthetic quality. They recognize the function of plekken in a creative appropriation of the world and describe plekken as ‘developed sets of behaviour, rooted in our capacity to creatively appropriate aspects of the world, to organize them, and to use them for our own purposes’"
Why do I blog this? ruminating about different words and their cultural meaning is relevant here as it can express underlying dimensions.