Proximal Relations, Forms of Settlement, Dwelling, and Territory in Opole-Silesia, Poland

Wojciech Mazan:

The thesis is recognizing the contemporary Polish countryside as a product of the state’s explicit social and spatial experiments. The central aim is to conceptualize the rural landscape as a close relation to settlements, territories, and dwellings. With a focus on a particular type of ‘linear settlement’ of the Opole-Silesia, Poland, the thesis starts by tracing through its transformations, implications upon a territory and the introduction of distinctive dwelling typologies. This reveals a chronology of transformations enacted through a long history of the state’s endeavours to colonize rural areas. The reconceptualization of the ‘linear settlement’ from a contemporary perspective offers a new understanding of their instrumentality, away and beyond their romanticization, where the countryside is read as space of struggle and resilience, rather than an idyllic landscape. By reconceptualizing the close relations between the three ingredients of a rural landscape, the project challenges the urban-rural dichotomy and questions the categorization of land in the present Polish context. In effect, it attempts to broaden the discourse and allows to extrapolate arguments to the wider context of post-socialist Eastern Europe and the Global East.

Dissolution of the linear settlement (main street category).
Dissolution of the linear settlement (oval category).
The strategy for the settlement.
The view of the connection between neighbouring plots.
The edge of the settlement.


Read the whole dissertation here.

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