Inspiration: Non-Places

Non-Place

Non-place or nonplace is a neologism coined by the French anthropologist Marc Augé to refer to anthropological spaces of transience where the human beings remain anonymous and that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as “places”. Examples of non-places would be motorways, hotel rooms, airports and shopping malls. The term was introduced by Marc Augé in his work Non-Places, introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity.

Augé, Marc. “Non-Place: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity [1992], translated by John Howe.” (1995).

Invisible Cities

If on arriving at Trude I had not read the city’s name written in big letters, I would have though I was landing at the same airport from which I had taken off. The suburbs they drove me through were no different from the others, with the same little greenish and yellowish houses. Following the same signs we swung around the same flow beds in the same squares. The downtown streets displayed goods, packages, signs that had not changed at all. This was the first time I had come to Trude, but I already knew the hotel where I happened to be lodged; I had already heard and spoken my dialogues with the buyers and sellers of hardware; I had ended other days identically, looking through the same goblets at the same swaying navels.

Why come to Trude? I asked myself. And I already wanted to leave.

“You can resume your flight whenever you like,” they said to me, “but you will arrive at another Trude, absolutely the same, detail by detail. The world is covered by a sole Trude which does not begin and does not end. Only the name of the airport changes.”

Calvino, Italo. “Invisible cities, trans.” William Weaver (London: Vintage, 1997) (1997): 53.