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Desire Path

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:44 pm
by Sabina
Did you know that a path which developed by erosion, from humans or animals passing through, is called a Desire Path? Other names for it are desire line or social trail.
The term was coined by Gaston Bachelard, a French poet, in his book "The Poetics of Space".

I thought it was rather interesting... "social trail" makes sense and seems like an obvious name for something like that, because it is a path commonly walked by many, but Desire Path, while it's very poetic, stroke me as unfitting.

But why? Everyone has desires... so it's a common human (social) trait. I guess for me the word desire, for some reason, implies something less obvious, and in that sense a path which is less obvious is usually also a path less taken.
Hence, a path less taken is the very opposite of a Desire Path. There is a contradiction there - for me.



Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:22 pm
by mirjana
I understand that the word desire or less taken path corresponds well to the purpose for which it is made. It is shortest or the best way for people and animal to come from one place to another which is their desire to reach. In order to reach that goal, they do not follow already existing paths, but intuitively, following their inner guidance, they form the path, which is also the shortest path to come to their destination.
I can imagine that our cat, lost for 6 month, who finally found us, was following such a path, guided by the desire to rich the lost home.

Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:52 pm
by Heidi
I see it in exactly the same way as Mirjana sees it.

We don't like the existing path either because it's too winding and doesn't take us to our destination fast, or because it's too dark to follow.

That's why, we think that hacking our own path will make our journey much easier and it is
our desire that makes us create new paths.

Mirjana, I'm so glad your cat managed to come back home! =0)

Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:00 am
by Sabina
So.. you didn't like my contemplations on the Desire Path vs. the path less taken? lol

I'm kidding... I like to elaborate and take things into a new direction.
Sometimes I obviously try to drag them into a new direction. =0/ B0)


Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:11 am
by mirjana

I feel so funny as very often after reading your answers I find something that I see in the quotes. =0/
This time it is the part of your last sentence:
"Hacking our own path will make our journey much easier and it is our desire that makes us create new paths." I love it! I recommend it to be posted for quotes.

Thank you for your thoughts about my cat. The whole experience happened with our cat ten years ago. Lost for 6 month it found the way back one week before we left France, moving to Croatia. Only my closest family knows how I felt during those 6 months, and what a feeling of gratitude and happiness I felt when it turned home. =0)

Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:23 pm
by dermot
Sabina, is it possible that 'Desire Path' is a translation?

Something may have been lost in translation, strayed from the beaten path, so to speak? =0X

Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:44 pm
by Sabina

Obviously it is a translation since the poet was French, yet the possibility that something got lost in translation didn't even cross my mind!
I love it that it has crossed yours. :)
Regardless of whether something did in fact get lost in translation or not... that thought is always something worth a consideration.


Re: Desire Path

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:05 pm
by mirjana
Being a philosophy book, The Poetics of applies the method of phenomenology to architecture, urging architects to base their work on the experiences.

"When we examine a nest, we place ourselves at the origin of confidence in the world."
Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space

"The concept that corresponds to a shell is so clear, so hard, and so sure that a poet, unable simply to draw it and, reduced rather to speaking of it, is at first at a loss for images."
Gaston Bachelard in The Poetics of Space

Phenomenology is a philosophical movement founded in the early years of the 20th century by Edmund Husserl, expanded at the universities in Germany and spreading across to France, the United States, and elsewhere.
Beginning in the 1970s, phenomenology, with a strong influence from the writings of Martin Heidegger, began to have a major impact on architectural thinking, which is to favor approach to design that was highly personal and inward looking.
Knowing all that as a background, it seems quite logical that Gaston Bachelard wanted to point the importance of less taken paths (Path of Desire) as a real path which is much more natural and in harmony with inward logical tendency of the soul to know the way for everything, including the choice of the path in the nature, guided by the innate call and instinctual power.