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The production of multi-layered space in Japanese spatial representations between 2D and 3D

Nakagawa, M.; (2010) The production of multi-layered space in Japanese spatial representations between 2D and 3D. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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This thesis examines the production of multi-layered space in Japan. Composed of 2D planes, this multi-layered space, generally called the concept of ‘ma’ has mystified outsiders as an alternative spatiality to that of the West. In Japan, numerous studies have emphasised the uniqueness of this Japanese spatiality by confirming the existence of the multi-layered space. These studies, empirical in nature, mostly focus on concrete materials such as buildings and 2D representations or sometimes use statistics, confusing mental and real spaces. As a result, theoretical studies and especially critical insights into this concept remain rare; there has been no investigation into mental space. Therefore, I will challenge such conventions by theorising the production of multi-layered space through critical perspectives. The aim is to investigate an ―Asiatic mode of production‖ of space by asking how multi-layered space has been produced in the representations of Japanese cities and architecture. Using Henri Lefebvre‘s formation of production of space as the main theoretical framework, this thesis explores two types of production of multi-layered space in architectural writings and in an exhibition about the concept of ‘ma’ held in Paris in 1978. In addition, the thesis elaborates on three different forms of multilayered space produced in Japan: 2D representations of paintings and maps, the state‘s location designation system, and the Japanese cartoon film called anime. On the whole, this thesis opens up a new dimension in the Japanese way of understanding space. It identifies a theory of layering in visual representations and develops 2D space into 3D space. More importantly, this thesis points out that multilayered space can be derived from written language and that it has been embedded in everyday 2D and 3D physical manifestations such as arts, architecture, mapping and films. The notion of an individual subject is generally absent from this space.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The production of multi-layered space in Japanese spatial representations between 2D and 3D
Language: English
Additional information: Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/134218
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