At the threshold : liminality, architecture, and the hidden language of space
Intersubjectivity is the acknowledgment that the subject of the self, the I, is in direct relations with the subject of the other. There is an immediate correspondence; in fact, one implies the existence of the other as a necessary state of intersubjective experience. This direct relationship negates a need for any external mediation between the two subjects, including the idea of a separate object between the subject of one individual and that of another. The essay proposes that our confrontation with the other occurs not in physical geometric space, but in liminal space, the space outside of the mean of being, at the threshold of relativity. The essay endorses the idea that liminality is not a space between things, but instead is an introjection, an internalization of the reflected world, and a reciprocal notion of the externalized anomaly of the other within each of us. We meet the surface of the world at the edge of our body but the mind is unencumbered by such limitations and as such subsumes the other as itself. Through symbolic language and myth, the surfaces and edges of things, both animate and inanimate, define the geography of the intersubjective mind. Inside the self the other becomes an object and persists as an abstraction of the original subject. We begin to perceive ourselves as the imagined projections of the other; we begin to perceive ourselves as we believe society perceives us. The process applies to the design of architectural space as a rudimentary vocabulary that is consistent with the language of the landscape.