Research task 1: Tacita Dean and Jeremy Millar, Place

I purchased the book ‘Place’ written by Tacita Dean and Jeremy Millar. I then read through the text, ‘the first of all things’ to analyse what I feel is important when understanding a sense of place, whilst learning about what the word ‘place’ means, I need to determine what aspects of a sense of place could be considered when choosing the place for my micro-dwelling and future designs.

From reading the text I have understood that we consider lots of different aspects when understanding what ‘place’ means to us. For me, place is when things feel familiar, when somewhere gives me a sense of belonging, helps me feel relaxed and calm or surprises me and puts fire in my belly. The landscape evokes a reaction bringing lots of different elements together that occupy that particular position. In an urban environment the landscape could be made up of several buildings, most likely lots of different styles and sizes that radiate different characters. In my experience of built up areas, every building has it’s own special character but not all buildings emit good vibes and so your reaction to that building in that place can be very different to one that makes you gush with envy or pride. The same can be said for a rural environment, if the landscape has long undulating views or a skyline with beautiful trees and buildings in the distance, I feel at ease and can sit and enjoy that view for hours. On the other hand if a rural environment is made up of woodland and very little open space then that can make me feel enclosed, nervous and scared. Very little boundaries and a clear view of the landscape can evoke calm positive reactions, in turn making you feel good about a place.

I have related my ideas to my own character, George, to help me understand the parts that would be important to him and in doing so I have created a shopping list. Looking back on my previous exercises where I created my character, brain stormed his attributes and wrote a little about his past, present and future has given me a well rounded idea of what he would like from his micro-dwelling.

  • A peaceful location and relaxed atmosphere
  • Surrounded by countryside and nature
  • Meditating space outdoors
  • Outdoor space to entertain friends and family
  • Rural environment but fairly close to a town/city
  • An area of land to grow vegetables
  • Rural landscape views that change with the seasons
  • Vehicle accessibility
  • Public access close by for dog walking

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