Sunday, 5 June 2011

Desire Lines

The French philosopher Gaston Bachelard first coined the phrase 'Desire Lines' in his 1958 book 'The Poetics of Space'. Expressed as 'a term in landscape architecture used to describe a path that isn't designed, but is rather worn away by people finding the shortest distance between two points.

The perfect desire line is a path that either run parallel with an existing foot path or one that diverges from said path only to intercept it later, usually shortening the length of the journey. It could be said that each one of these mud tracks represents a subconscious need to rally against the strictures of conformity and the town planners bludgeoning slide rule, or maybe it's just the simple fact that it's the most natural and obvious route from point A to point B. 

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