Deleuzian Space: Smooth and Striated

51 – “1440: The Smooth and the Striated” – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari

In this article, Deleuze and Guattari present a dualistic concept that is the smooth space and the striated space. Those two spaces in fact exist only in mixture: “smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated space; striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space” (Pg.474). And the authors explore the relationship of two spaces through technological model, musical model, maritime model, mathematical model, physical model, and aesthetic models.

Striated space can be described as a fixed and homogeneous space. In contrast to this space, smooth space is variant and heterogeneous in nature. Those spaces can be compared as the intensive space and extensive space, which present various spatial, social and cultural characteristics at varying degrees. Smooth space and striated space have three differences. First, the inverse relation is between the points and the lines. Second, smooth space is directional and open intervals, and striated space is dimensional and closed intervals. Third, striated space is allocates, and smooth space is distributes. The opposition between those two spaces exemplify in various aspects as: directional/dimensional, irregular/standard, nonmetric/metric, distance/magnitude and so on.

No matter what the difference of two spaces is wide or not, the most important thing is how we use those concepts to evolve our building and context.

1. Are those two spaces intersectional or parallel? What is the common ground if they are intersectional?
2. Can those two space exchange or transform each other?


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