Book: Henri Lefebvre on Space
Łukasz Stanek, Henri Lefebvre on Space. Architecture, Urban Research, and the Production of Theory, University of Minnesota Press (2011)
This book is the first comprehensive account of Henri Lefebvre’s theory of production of space published in English. It confronts a broad conceptual overview of Lefebvre’s theory with two largely forgotten sources of his thinking about space: his engagements into empirical research about everyday practices of dwelling in post-war France; and his exchanges with architects and planners in the course of the 1960s and 1970s.
Lefebvre’s theory was formulated between 1968 (The Right to the City) and 1974 (The Production of Space) in an encounter between his critical reflection on the general condition of modernity; his research about the processes of urbanization; and his project of urban spaces for the transforming society. Responding to the rapid transformations of the processes of production of space within the post-war society in France and beyond, Lefebvre identified emerging tendencies which, in many ways, defined the global conditions of urbanization until today.
Contextualized by the increasing politicization of urbanism and the introduction of urban questions into French politics, his work contributed to a critical rethinking of Marxism; to an institutionalization of qualitative urban sociology; but also to a vibrant discussion in architecture at the time when various paths within, beyond, and against the legacy of the architectural avant-gardes of the early 20th century were tested. At the same time, Lefebvre’s critique of the post-war “bureaucratic society of controlled consumption”"; the French planning state; and state-socialism aimed at a research about possible future of the society moving beyond Fordism.
Henri Lefebvre on Space addresses Anglo-American, German, and Central-European readings of Lefebvre’s theory and discusses it as a general theoretical framework for interdisciplinary research in architecture, urbanism, and urban studies today.
Reviews in English: Jean Louis Violeau, Architectural Theory Review 16:3 (2011), 319-321
Reviews in French: Jean Louis Violeau, Urbanisme 383 (2012), 92-93
Reviews in Spanish: Alvaro Sevilla Buitrago, multipliciudades, January 3, 2012
Reviews in German: Uta Gelbke, Grazer Architektur Magazin 9 (2013), 217-219