A book about non-places – spaces beyond the boundaries of our everyday life that we would prefer to ignore.
The book of essays The Non-Places of Towns by the poet and architect Anna Beata Háblová takes a multi-perspective view of the marginal spaces in towns: neglected, transitory and overlooked places, i.e. “non-places.” Non-places come into existence for various reasons: because of an ill-conceived development, an impractical location or interventions in the landscape. Although they are irritating and repellent, they can also be a place to escape the predictability of the public space. The author works with sources from the field of architecture and urban planning or urban studies, but also philosophy, sociology, economics and geography. Each essay is preceded by a thematically linked short story. The Non-Places of Towns is a contribution to the search for a home and one’s own place in the world: such a topical issue in this day and age.
“…these are inspirational musings on the hidden face of our towns, encouraging us to view them as living tissue which transforms, dies off and regenerates in an elemental way.”
“The book forces everyone to think about their own life and the places in which it has played out and is playing out, and also to dig up memories that have been very deeply buried. It is sometimes unpleasant, but all the more important for that.”
—Adam Gebrian, architect
About the author
Anna Beata Háblová (1983) is an architect, urban planner and poet. Her first scholarly book was the cross-genre publication Města zdí (Cities of Walls, 2017) about the history, interpretation and basis of shopping centres in relation to the town, written in the form of essays, short stories and comics. She contributes feuilletons about architecture and urban planning to Czech Radio Vltava broadcasts. She hosts themed evenings about art and architecture at the Prague cultural centre Dominikánská 8. She lives in Prague.