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Industrial Ruins

Industrial Ruins: Spaces, Aesthetics and Materiality

by Tim Edensor

Tim Edensor is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Berg, 2005
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781474214940
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-1494-0 (online)

    978-1-8452-0077-0 (paperback)

    978-1-8452-0076-3 (hardback)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
    Oxford
  • Published Online:
    2018
Industrial Ruins
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Across Western cities, there is an increasing obsession with producing manicured landscapes. Standing in contrast to these aesthetically and socially regulated spaces are the neglected sites of industrial ruins, places on the margin which accommodate transgressive and playful activities. Providing a different aesthetic to the over-coded, over-designed spaces of the city, ruins evoke an aesthetics of disorder, surprise and sensuality, offering ghostly glimpses into the past and a tactile encounter with space and materiality. Tim Edensor highlights the danger of eradicating such evocative urban sites through policies that privilege homogeneous new developments. It is precisely their fragmentary nature and lack of fixed meaning that render ruins deeply meaningful. They blur boundaries between rural and urban, past and present and are intimately tied to memory, desire and a sense of place. Stunningly illustrated throughout, this book celebrates industrial ruins and reveals what they can tell us about ourselves and our past.