Clemens Thornquist


The human body has been pivotal in much architectural research. Researchers of public space often underscore its interactive and transformative qualities as linking to a broader understanding of the different individual social practices taking place in such spaces. What seems to be lacking however is an analysis of the relationship between the dressed body and the built environment which together constitute a public space. The aim of this paper is to explore and elaborate on the interaction between dressed bodies and architectural structures and outline an alternative approach to understanding the different aesthetic forces at play in the constitution of public space. Using a photographic series of piloted experimental sites, this paper points out how the aesthetics of fashion enrich, contribute to, and change the aesthetics of urban architectural environments. The result prompts a clearer understanding of the interaction between dressed bodies and architecture and offers guidance for future research designed to bridge the gap between the aesthetics of the scale of the body and the scale of building and infrastructure in the constitution of public space.


How to Cite
Thornquist, C. (2019) “Dressed bodies and built environments: the interactive composition of public space”, The Journal of Public Space, 4(1), pp. 3–14. doi: 10.32891/jps.v4i1.662.
Author Biography

Clemens Thornquist, University of Borås, Swedish School of Textiles

Clemens Thornquist is Professor in Fashion Design at The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, Sweden. Thornquist has a background in fashion design and arts management. His research spans fashion, art and philosophy with the aim to develop fashion design through experimental research methods. The main focus of the research is on developing new foundations for fashion design through methodological developments and explorations of foundational definitions in areas related to matters at the intersection between body and space.


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