Notes: What is Place?


For Assignment four, I decided to work with the subject of artificial lights along a specified and familiar route that I take within Kirkley, Lowestoft.

Due to the fact that the assignment is connected with a route within a place, Kirkley Lowestoft, I have researched the question ‘What is place?’.

NOTES: Place, Tacita Dean and Jeremy Millar

To research this concept I read extracts from, ‘Place’ a publication that builds an exhibition within a book which, ‘…presents some of the most challenging art to address the function of place in the contemporary world.’ (Dean and Millar, 2005: Inside Front Cover).

philosophers and theologians

‘my geographic place’

pg14 (1976) Yi-Fu Tuan… ‘When space feels thoroughly familiar to us, it has become place.’

Reading the introduction, ‘Place – The First Of All Things’, the concept of ‘Place’ is interpreted in various ways throughout history – different countries, cultures, individuals.

For a place to exist in any time or location it has to be experienced.

pg178 Postscript – Tacita Dean (British visual artist) – ‘I have realized in my search for a description of place, it is so often best imagined through the senses and through the memory of the senses…. I played with many ideas about place for this book but in the end I realized it can only ever be personal.’


Dictionary definition – Oxford languages via Google search: noun: (1) a particular position, point, or area in space; a location (2) a portion of space designated or available for or being used by someone.

The National Geographic – ‘… place has numerous definitions, from the simple “a space or location with meaning” to the more complex “an area having unique physical and human characteristics interconnected with other places.” There are three key components of place; location, locale, and a sense of place.

Location: position of a particular point on the surface of the Earth.

Locale: the physical setting for relationships between people.

Sense: the emotions someone attaches to an area based on their experiences.

Place does not have to be fixed in time or space.

Place can change over time.

Place can be remembered differently due to personal interpretation, responses, experiences connected with the place.

Questionnaire: What is your definition of place?

I asked four people that I know… this could be extended further for another project or assignment

SPB – 56 year old teacher: Somewhere you can be – somewhere where you are – anywhere you can be is a place. For example at home in the toilet is a place, in the middle of a roundabout is a place. It is anywhere you can be.

PT – 14 year old autistic girl: A place is a term for a physical area or space.

RF – 21 year old marine biologist technician: A colloquial word for a location. It is not defined.

CC – 21 year old Just Eat Delivery man: A physical or mental place you are able to visit.



Dean T. and Millar J. (2005) Place. (1st Ed.) London: Thames and Hudson


Google search: what is place? first in the list

National Geographic Society (2021) Concept of Place. At: (Accessed 22.09.2021)

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