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Profile photo of Mattias Kärrholm

Mattias Kärrholm


Profile photo of Mattias Kärrholm

Arkitekturens territorialitet : till en diskussion om territoriell makt och gestaltning i stadens offentliga rum

The Territoriality of Architecture - Contributions to a Discussion on Territoriality and Architectural Design within the Public Spaces of the City


  • Mattias Kärrholm

Summary, in English

The point of departure of this dissertation is a consideration of the problems in the field of architecture, of conceptualizing and addressing aspects of the complex relationship between architectural form and use. The aim of the thesis is to create conditions for a discussion on architectural design and territorial power relations within the context of everyday life, and more specifically to investigate what role architectural design plays in these territorial power relations. The empirical framework of the discussion is set by public urban spaces, and the discussion is structured as four subordinated investigations into territoriality, dealing successively with concepts, power, architectural design and public space. I investigate the use and meanings of the concept of territoriality, suggesting a definition of territoriality as a spatially delimited and effective means of control, identifiable on the basis of the everyday life of a place. I develop four different kinds of territorial productions: territorial strategy, territorial tactics, territorial appropriation and territorial association. Applying the theories of Michel Foucault and Bruno Latour, I develop a genealogical and material perspective on power, primarily using actor-network theory as a way of addressing territorial power. As supplements to the concept of network stabilization, I develop two more forms of territorial stabilization – territorial body and territorial sort – in order to deal with the territorial role of architecture. I then utilize my discussion of territorial power and production in descriptions of architecture and urban places. I investigate and conceptualize the role of architectural design in territorial strategies of the 19th century. I also make an empirical investigation of three urban squares, discussing places of intermingling and superimposed territorial productions, ending up with suggestions for a discussion of public space in terms of territorial complexity. Territorial research has elaborated on the privatisation of space as well as on social or psychological aspects. In this thesis I provide possibilities for a materially more elaborated discussion of co-existing territorial productions beyond dichotomies, such as subject/object, public/private, and inclusion/exclusion. The discussion will hopefully be of importance in the building of new conceptual understandings of contemporary urban life and landscapes.


  • Department of Architecture and Built Environment

Publishing year






Document type



Lund University


  • Architecture


  • Physical planning
  • urban design
  • architectural design
  • actor-network theory
  • power relations
  • materiality
  • territorial control
  • everyday life
  • public space
  • Territoriality
  • architectural theory
  • Fysisk planering
  • Architecture
  • interior design
  • Arkitektur
  • inredningsarkitektur




  • Finn Werne


  • ISSN: 1404-1235
  • ISBN: 91-7740-070-4

Defence date

24 September 2004

Defence time


Defence place

Room B, A-building, Sölvegatan 24, Lund Institute of Technology.


  • Dag Österberg (Professor)