The Production of Space

Lefebvre develops what he calls “a conceptual triad” in explaining how space is produced:

1. Spatial practice refers to the production and reproduction of spatial relations between objects and products. It also ensures continuity and some degree of cohesion. “In terms of social space, and of each member of a given society’s relationship to that space, this cohesion implies a guaranteed level of competence and a specific level of performance” (p.33).

2. Representations of space “are tied to the relations of production and to the ‘order’ which those relations impose, and hence to knowledge, to signs, to codes, and to ‘frontal’ relations” (p.33). They also refer to “conceptualized space, the space of scientists, planners, urbanist, technocratic subdividers and social engineers, as of a certain type of artist with a scientific bent—all of whom identify what s lived and what is perceived with what is conceived” (p.38).

3. Representational spaces refer to spaces “lived” directly “through its associated images and symbols and hence the space of ‘inhabitants’ and ‘users’…” (p.39). These are the lived experiences that emerge as a result of the dialectical relation between spatial practice and representations of spaces.