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Global Culture in an International City

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Amy

The description of Pierre Dupont’s plane ride from in the Prologue of Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity is an accurate depiction of how globalized and homogenous places can exhibit characteristics of no-place, or lack cultural identity. With exception of the food on-board planes, which often reflect the cultural tastes of the home site, the act of traveling lacks a …

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Epcot Theme Park

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Kahala Bonsignore

Inauthenticity, as Relph explains, describes an attitude and characteristic of placelessness—placelessness being the conception of a space that may be organized or built with a particular methodology, but evokes nothing more than its physical function.  This is not to say that such ‘places’ are useless, but rather that they are purely strategic.  One example I can particularly relate to is …

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The Mobile Suburb

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Prof

To be quite frank, the topic of placelessness and a discussion of non-places is no different in attitude or structure than any of the horrible articles regularly found within Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Salon, or any other less than stellar online click baiting publication. The discussion is inherently pessimistic and contains little to no discussion of the human element that can …

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Placelessness of The Hard Rock Cafe

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Cayla Delardi

The Hard Rock Cafe is one of the worst offenders of placelessness in my view.  This is because it encompasses almost every aspects of the concept that Relph describes all at once; they are kitschy, museumified, Disneyfied, homogenous, corporate, tourist hotspots. Whew. Admittedly, I’ve been to several Hard Rocks all around the world: New York City, Orlando, Amsterdam, Atlantic City, San …

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Ghost Town

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Parissah Lin

In previous posts, I have discussed the presence of “Non-Places”. The layout of Washington DC which enables the trafficking of cars full of tourists, commuters, and government officials, but which is purposely designed to segregate residents. Palo Alto, with its sloping hills and identical landscapes. Areas of gentrification, with their carefully constructed young adult playgrounds for passing artistic twenty something’s …

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The Dangers of Conceptualizing Place

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Henry Choa

I’m certainly taking a turn for the darker with this post, at least darker than what the blog usually offers, but the subject matter is important, and also very interesting to consider with “place” vs “placelessness” in mind. In his book, Relph touches very briefly on Hiroshima’s role in the discussion of placelessness, and categorizes the bombing alongside that of …

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Flying, Kitsch

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Andrew Karpan

Taking his cue from the existentialists, Edward Relph discovers much of the world around him to be fading into inauthenticity. Using Heidegger’s language of an openness and closedness to the world and man’s possibilities, Relph finds places in the greater world around him where individuality in being subsumed by the large and menacing they, where ever they may be. While …

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From Penn St to Atocha

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Moi Nihalani

I have only been to Penn Station once, and I think like most, I didn’t enjoy my time there. Despite my family’s excitement to visit the American Niagara Falls at Buffalo, New York, our time spent getting inside the station, irritatingly meandering our way through, purchasing the tickets, waiting for the train in the empty (of directions, labels, comfort) but …

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Spreepark

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Jacob Ford

Places are made placeless by entertainment, by uniformity, by formlessness, by destruction, and by abandon. This is a story of abandon. And yet another blog post about a person breaking into Spreepark. I’ve long had this suppressed desire to dare myself into some forgotten, forbidden space. I just could never justify the dare part. But I remember the night, one …

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On the Road Again

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Lauren Siff

This January, right after the New Year, I borrowed my step-siblings’ car and went on my first ever road trip on my own. From Boca Raton to Gainesville, Florida I drove five hours north up a straight and gray highway. After about thirty minutes of driving, everything around me disappeared. The houses were gone. The buildings were no longer comforting me …

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Fighting for Place in Placelessness

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Mark Strage

New York city is a battle ground of place. Many strong elements of placelessness persist. Relph’s concept of giantism contributing to a lack of human scale can clearly be witnessed in the numbing repetition of identical gargantuan boxes. On the streets examples of Relph’s media and systems transmitting placelessness are ubiquitous. Billboards and flashing lights inundates each and every passersby with …

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The Bonaventure Hotel

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Lindsey Chan

In Ed Relph’s Place and Placelessness, he writes about the effects of tourism on the landscape, with examples of large International style hotels, condominiums and holiday apartments. He writes, “tourism is a homogenizing influence and its effects everywhere seem to be the same- the destruction of the local and regional landscape that very often initiated the tourism and its replacement …

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Disorienting Change

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Colin Grinnell

The closest mall to my childhood home is the Hadley Mall. It houses major chains such as Best Buy, Target, and JCPenney. The  main attraction is its movie theater. A cinemark with about 20 theaters– the only chain movie theater within a 30 mile radius. Within the mall there are smaller stores, mostly chains, such as American Eagle, Gamestop, etc …

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Placelessness of Highways

In A Sense of Place, No-Places by Haley Gaston

When I get on Highway 101 South to head to the city, it is a mundane experience. The only thing I can see is the grey road, which sometimes turns black where it was recently paved. Pale grey barriers on either side of the south-bound lanes make up most of the landscape. Occasionally I’ll get a glimpse of a gas …