Third Space

The concept of "third space" was introduced by Harvard professor, Homi Bhabha in his attempts to grapple with the cultural tension created by colonialism.

Colonialism assumed a cultural supremacy. But when there was not a complete annihilation of the native culture, it created a "third space" where two cultures sat in a tension, not unlike an Ecotone, in which these different cultural mindsets grappled, revealed and refashioned themselves into a new hybrid.

Hong Kong is a great example of such a hybrid, a "special economic zone" which today, as a result, is in the midst of significant political unrest with their new political overlords.

Edward Soja , an urban theorist who was a professor at UCLA and the London School of Economics applied the concept of third space to urban design, conceptualizing overlapping spaces that were both real and imagined.

An ecotone that is imbued with creative tension, much like Alan Kay's Ideaspace where the Blue Plane intersects with the pink.

Soja drew inspiration from Borge's short story, The Aleph. This story, published in 1945 - the same year as Bush's seminal piece, As We May Think - imagines a realm of understanding in which there exists a nexus where all space and time are one.

In explaining the creative significance of the third space, Soja introduces the concept of Spatial Trialectics, one that unleashes the potential for something we might call Trialectical Synthesis.

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