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Moving through a dappled world: the aesthetics of shade and shadow in place

Edensor, T and Hughes, R (2021) Moving through a dappled world: the aesthetics of shade and shadow in place. Social and Cultural Geography, 22 (9). pp. 1307-1325. ISSN 1464-9365

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© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In addressing geography’s neglect of shade and shadow, this paper explores how the dynamic play of shadow and light constitutes an integral part of everyday affective and sensory attunement to place and guides pedestrian movement. First, we identify how particular shadows are shaped by distinctive kinds of solar radiance, material forms, human visual perception and cultural representations. We then consider the different cultural ways in which shade and shadow have been interpreted across space and time and identify diverse shadowy effects in different geographical contexts. Thereafter, we focus on particular key elements of central Melbourne’s shadow aesthetics, discuss how patterns of shade guide urban choreographies, and explore how architects have imaginatively manipulated shadow.

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