O. F. Bollnow’s Experienced Versus Lived Space

by Christian Parreno

Dürckheim […] speaks of a lived space, and Minkowski uses the same term in this context, ‘space vécu’. This term is in some ways more apt than that of experienced space, because the latter can too easily be understood in a subjective sense, as the way in which a space is experienced by humans, which as such is already independent of the manner of its being experienced – in other words where the qualification ‘experienced’ applies only to the subjective colouring which is imposed on space. The term ‘experienced space’ can therefore easily be understood as meaning the same as ‘experience of space’ in the sense of a merely psychological reality. By contrast, the term ‘lived space’ is preferable as it expresses no psychological meaning, but refers to space itself and, in so far as humans live in it and with it, to space as medium of human life.

Bollnow, O. F. (2011) Human Space. Trans. by Christine Shuttleworth, first published as Mensch und Raum (1963). London – UK: Hyphen Press. 19