Waiting Places as Temporal Interstices and Agents of Change

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One of the main ways in which in-between time-spaces are organised and materialised in the urban environment is through waiting places. In his article we point to the transformative potential of waiting places, their role as actors in an urban web, and discuss briefly their societal role in recent historical changes. Public waiting places are today increasingly becoming pre-programmed: connected to other designed environments and integrated into a consumer context, thus losing part of their traditional role in the production of public domain as places for waiting. However, waiting is also to a great extent something experienced as a result of nonprogrammed events, something that can occur without warning, and has to be handled cognitively. In the article we use insights from the field of material semiotics as well as from attention theory, in order to suggest a model of waiting stages that describe the changing roles, and agencies, of these in-between time-spaces, situated as they are in the urban net of people’s daily activities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrans Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Civil Engineering

Free keywords

  • waiting
  • time-space
  • material semiotics


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