Non-Place An Introduction To Supermodernity by Marc Auge’

Non-Place An Introduction To Supermodernity by Marc Auge’

Non-Place An Introduction To Supermodernity by Marc Auge’

Auge discuses the ideas of ‘non-places’ leading to important anthropological questions based on experiences and within the modern world… I would like to use this understanding to base my knowledge on ‘objects’ and ‘things’ or more non-objects/things. I will use this as my starting point. Allowing me to provoke my textiles design and drive innovation, something with more recognition and depth.

Within the introduction Auge’ discusses globalization with an open perspective. Normally I have a more negative view but he asking if we are coming “closer to the humanist ideal of universalism?” (Auge 2008 p.IX)

In our world today “all forms of exclusion have been abolished.” (Auge 2008 p.XII) Our identity in many ways has been muddled with all the external elements. We are no longer influenced by local dialects, society or culture only and a lot of this we owe thanks to the industrial revolution and its advancements in travel and technology that kick started global interactivity. Having lived in Singapore for 4 years this is evident to me as I engage with locals that speak with American accents from having studied at International schools in Singapore or Chinese born nations learning English from TV programmes like Friends. Google, youtube or Wiki have replaced many local leaning and will agree to some positives here but I’m filled with the loss of local value.

I will need more reading on global and local systems here but Auge continues beautifully with

“Cultural and geographical distance (remoteness in space) is undergoing the same fate. Exoticism, which was always an illusion, becomes double illusory the moment it is put on stage. And the same hotel chains, the same television networks are cinched tightly round the globe, so that we feel constrained by uniformity, by universal sameness, and to cross international borders brings no more profound vanity than is found walking between theatres on Broadway or rides at Disneyland.” (Auge 2008 p.XII)

I stil remember my first trip across the Thailand boarder and the first thing I saw was McDonalds sign glowing yellow and red. Links to the later topics of Urbanization. “every big town is a world, even through it is a recapitulation, a summary of the world with its ethnic, cultural, religious, social and economic diversity.” (Auge 2008 p.XII) that do bring a lot of comfort and slight glamor of the global element but also generate a polar separation from the poorest and wealthiest. This separation of class system is generated through consumption and marketing and the media sphere spectacle.

“The dominant aesthetic is that of the cinematic long shot, which tends to make us forget the effects of this rupture. Photos taken from observation satellites, aerial shots, habituate us to a global view of things. High office blocks and residential towers educate the gaze, as do movies and, even more significantly, television. The smooth flow of cars on a highway, aircraft taking off from airport runways, lone sailors circumnavigating the globe in small boats witnessed only by the television audience, create an image of the world as we would like it to be. But that mirage disintegrates if we look at it too closely’ (Auge 2008 XIII)

This challenging our very existence and provokes purpose on a large scale. Can we reach an ideal universalism, that balances the local and dose not reduce heritage or culture to a novel consumer good? Am I able to find myself, my own style and produce something that is more than just an object but something that has the potential to connect to its user and bring about a sense of belonging? Can design process help build a more consumer conscious society?

  • What cultural traits do you have?

Other reading, Utopia, Communal objects, Standardised, local and global


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