‘Topia’ is an ongoing photographic study, by Carine Thévenau, attempting to further understand our sense of place in public places. The word 'topia' originates from the Greek word topos, which means place.
Carine has photographed urban spaces that are ubiquitous and familiar. These places are often places of recreation and enjoyment. How deep is our understanding of these places? This research extends beyond urban topology and delves into sociocultural associations towards place, as well as urban semiotics and behavioural geography. This study looks at transitional spaces between public and private place, temporary place, fragmented space made by walls or fences. The ongoing photo series ‘Topia’, examines objects, such as public seating, which prompt particular behaviors, but may be used in other unexpected ways. The Euclidean design of our public spaces raises questions of why manufactured spaces are designed with such geometry and what future places may look like if they resembled more natural compositions.
Carine believes that to improve our future designed worlds we must first understand our current one.