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‘Somewhere Between ‘No Longer’ and ‘Not Yet’

A Manual on the Social Value of Left Over Architectural Spaces’

By Sophie Peterson
Supervised by Dr. Sabina Andron

This essay explores and negotiates the territorialisation of the urbanscape in order to develop a vocabulary for the social value of the traces, matter, humans and nonhumans left behind by commercial, capitalist ventures.


In this paper I draw together insights from existing literature and collate my personal photography into a research agenda on the condition of leftoverness.  To begin to analyse the implications of this condition, this paper looks at the three primary intersecting realms at play. Firstly, leftover space, how it is defined and what it constitutes. Secondly, the economic philosophies, social attitudes, and prevailing architectural contexts which these spaces operate within and beyond of. Finally, I will use readings of new materialism to emphasise the power of trace and how its embedded agency and memory is key to following the story of the leftover spaces.


These themes are briefly outlined before illustrating them via the ‘manual’ - a nine part series on how different architectural typologies (the wall, the fence, the facade, the window, the plinth, the sidewalk, the roof, the corner and the stairway) facilitate or hinder encounters of social value.


 In conclusion, I emphasise some of the implications of the condition of leftoverness for occupants and designers of the city alike by outlining the often overlooked value of left over spaces.

Keywords; leftover space, encounter, social value, narrator-less stories, trace, matter, capitalism, architecture, urbanscape, embedded memory.


Word Count: 9300 approx.

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