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“Place” and “Non-Place”: A Model for the Strategic Design of Place-Centered Services



This paper describes the “Periscope,” a probe tested in the Paris underground to better understand users' relation to space in mobility. Our research found that testers qualify their relation to the Metro in a way that is both depersonalized and efficient, as well as deeply personal and social. We also found that mobility is experienced not only as controlled circulation but also as a meaningful “journey” that can be articulated and shared. To account for this dual perception of physical space and motion, we propose to use the anthropological concepts of “non-place” and “place.” This theoretical framework offers useful guidelines for the design of what we propose to call “place-centered services” that, first combine the dynamic synchronization of the journey and users' dual relation to spaces, and second categorize the actors that contribute to the information system and services. © 2013 Alcatel-Lucent.