Transit Space: nomads mobile place

An urban nomads lifestyle evolution.

© 21.08.2004

Widianto Utomo, designer





Introduction of transit space.

Urban Nomads, the concept

Transit space: nomads mobile place

           1.City as empty space- mobile place

2.Transit spaces- transitional place

3.Exchange place, redefining the city

4.Urban nomads lifestyle evolution.




II. Introduction of transit space.


What is transit space?

In order to give an idea of what is transit space in term of spatiality context, we will look at on brief definition of space itself, what is space and place in relation to the transit space.


A place (lieu) is the order of things according to which elements that are distributed in relationships of coexistence.

Therefore it excludes the possibility of two things being in the same location (place) at the same time, based on the law of the proper rules in the place.

The elements taken into consideration are beside one another, each situated in its own proper and distinct location that defines.

A place is thus an instantaneous configuration of positions and implies an indication of stability.


While, a space (espace) exists when one takes into consideration vectors of direction, velocities and time variables. Therefore space is composed of intersections of mobile elements where is assemble of movements deployed within.

Moreover space occurs as the effect produced by the operations that orient it, situate it, demoralize it, and make it function in a polyvalent unity of confliction programs or contractual proximities.

Space can be defined as a practiced place for instance the street that is geometrically defined by the urban planning is then transformed into a space by walkers.


Transit space is a metaphor for new urban spaces: forerunners of globalization processes, and laboratories marked by a new extent of sudden and rapid changes, uncertainties and insecurities.

When cities becoming transit places it will then makes the new definition and change to the urban space where flexibility and mobility become key qualities.


It will then will reshape and shift the relationship of space and society as the consequences. Where at the same time new spatial orders with a transnational range are being superimposed on the familiar territories lines.

It will then create new blur territory from existing the spatial border.


III. Urban Nomads, the concept


Definition of urban nomads: urban nomads are a new society definition for urban society that has put bigger portion of mobility in their daily lives.

While the mobility term itself in this society means: they can work anywhere, anytime regardless the space and time frame limitation, as their space have integrated with themselves (both time and spatially) through integrated wearable mobile computer or communication enhancer.

It will allow them to live, stay and move from one place to another place easier than before (using concept: move, plug, unplug and play), and can easily adaptable to the new society or space (social community and spatial boundaries).


This society then means how the definition, the impact and influence of urban nomads toward their own body, personality, life, behavior, lifestyle and then grow to the bigger community outside their body (family and friends relationship) to the local society (interaction) then toward the country where this community live and at the end to the global society.

It is not only interpersonal relationship among urban nomads themselves but also in term of socio-culture, economics and spatial where they move, live and interact.


In term of socio-culture, how this community will interact between one and another, and how they will give a new definition to themselves as a social creature. How the culture will be reshaped as a result of their community mobility and un-defining space and time where they belong.


In term of economics, the circle of economics movement will go faster, micro and macro economy both in local and global context, as now they are only trafficking data (digital data transmission) instead real money for conducting business.

For local economy for instance, the use of virtual money instead real money, as with the integrated devices on their body now they only require doing data exchange or data transfer instead the real physical exchange for any transaction (real or virtual transaction).


This data may contain personal data replacing function of passport or others ID do, medical record, crime record, educational record, or fund/wealth record, will be stored on a special device that integrated to their body.

This device will enhance and become complement to the existing natural personal identifications: fingerprint, iris pattern or DNA.


The data that stored on the special device that integrated to their body will become a new part of the body (to form as whole) and the user lifestyle rather than just as additional helper devices.

To accommodate the device to the body to become a part of the whole, it will use the body heat/body movement, blood pressure and solar cell to operate the device.

And the reason to use internal human body energy are: to reduce the movement limitation, to give total freedom to move, plug/unplug and play anywhere- anytime capabilities and to reduce unnecessary weight of the battery that should be carried to operate the devices.


And in term of spatially, urban nomads can move from on place to another place easily without necessarily to built new personal space (including work space).

The new personal space will enhance the existing natural space/personal bubble but not replacing. As when they move to a new place they will be immediately able to build their new space (in term of personal identity, they can plug and unplug the data from one place to another from public exchange control portable port and become a local within seconds). The space now also means unframed time; therefore they can control where they will move, life and work regardless space and time limitation.

In this case, how urban nomads will redefine their urban landscape structure and its relationship with them.


Urban nomads means new definition for integration of spatiality (space where they life, work, play and interact with others), time (time frame where they life within), their relationship between their body and the outside world (the way they move, transporting from one place to another), their identities (personality) and their body to form a new lifestyle.

In conclusion, urban nomads definition is a new urban society where the integration of high technology, spatially (both time and space), mobility and independent lifestyle that has become a personality.


The city.

Information and communication technology (ICT) that in the past years has rapidly develop and slowly will penetrate the whole system of human life organization and then at the end will reshape the urban system both in term of structural and spatially. It will be no longer just a wired city but as a city full of invisible bubble of information and communication wave.


a.      The Society

1. New city, new society.

New urban landscape system will redefine how people interact with others, how they will socialize, work and live.  It will also reshape the existing culture, religion and tradition in harmony with a new era of human civilization.


The new city landscape and the integrated digital technology (including Information and Communication Technology) embedded on its essence, will make easier for human connection and interaction with others, virtually or in real time. They can work and conduct any business meeting anytime and anywhere whenever they do like. They can travel and live wherever they want to colonize permanently or temporarily. At the end, the city will become a large digital data exchange or communication center or invisible enclosure for anyone regardless where they located (in the building, on the street, in the station for any activities may they do).


2. Socio-culture, religion and tradition.

Although with the new city system will make human being able to move faster, work more efficient, more independent, and make possible to interact with other more efficient and easier, at the same it will make them more separated from others as social creature.


3. New Economy.

Being digital society also means emerging new economy in the community.

As economics play very important role in the every aspect of human being life, therefore with the transformation from being real to being digital, like or dislike people will transform from everything that real to digital (as data, that is able to carry everywhere they go without afraid of being lose or being left at home).


The new economic then will be able to reshape the new urban landscape from security and freedom of move in the city point of view. Because no real money, no one will try to get others property as the data on the integrated smart gadget will no longer have function and have value after removed from the original user.


b.The Way People Move

The transport system will follow up with the new urban landscape and its system change. It will become more efficient, fast, cheap and less energy waste.

There are two types of transport:


1.Public transport

This including underground mass public transport, train and bus that connected city and its suburbs.


2.Semi public transport.

This type of transport will replace the function of private car.

Mobile Cell (modular car, using concept rent and go) for example is a type of this type of transport (this similar type of car currently already available).


Transit space: nomads mobile place

Transit space is a space where two or more domains intersect and using this space as an extension space of their area and using the space as transition and connecting hub to another spaces that intersecting.


In order to give a good perspective of what is transit space, we may be look at the possible development order of the transit space creation process.

1.current stage of transit space.

2.redefined transit space as a result of the development of the community needs and movement.

3.the final possibility scenario of the transit space development.


1.current stage of transit space.

Currently transit space is a transit point that connecting one place with another to form movement network. One transit point will be function as midpoint of two or more transit points to facilitate the designated journey.


One needs to pass transitional network linkage by using any definition of transport devices in order to reach another transit points.


In this case mostly land transportation device considering the transit point in this case is land base transit point. May be in the near future the transit point is not restricted to the land base only but can be in any definition of transit point for instance on the sea or in the sky.





2.redefined transit space as a result of the development of the community needs and movement.

In further scenario of the transit space development, the transit point will be grown to transit space and transition space.


This development where two or more transit points will draw closer and intersect with one another to share and exchange their activities with others. The intersection of these two or more spaces will create bigger area that later on will redefine the definition of transit space.


In term of spatiality now the transit space will no longer as a point or movement hub from one place to another but now has grown as space where people will be able to life, to share, to move from one place to another and becoming a local while at the same time creating new community in the newly created space. Gradually this process will take one space and another as a one single bigger place.


3. the final possibility scenario of the transit space development

The final development of the transit space will create a bigger community concentration around the transit space where new socio-culture life will be created along with the space extension and intersection among the transit points.


By the intersection of the one transit space with another it will create a new bigger area where people can easily move from one place to another.

The border between one with another point or space will slowly become invisible.

The existing border that separating one place with another both politically and socially as a place will slowly become obsolete.


People can move from one place to another place freely, the concept of this movement is urban nomads lifestyle. Where one can move from one place to another and become local at the same time using plug and unplug concept.


It could be as a new place where socio-culture exchange can occur both temporary or permanently. The new space connection-exchange-and transition will then recreate- redefine the definition of the space itself, the movement that create these spaces and at the end the definition of the users/the community that lives within this area/process.


At the end the transit space will become a new public space for the community that pass by and live within this place.


In this case people who has ability to move freely from one place to another will have own individual digital biometric smart ID as plug-unplug devices. It will allow them to communicate with the new area while at the same time in case or emergency the local authorities can access or communicate with them via satellite –GPRS capable.


1.City as empty space- mobile place

In further extend in term of spatiality we can redefine a city as transit space.

At the beginning a city is an empty space, a space that has distinctive border, self-ruled and its own socio-culture community. It will form as individual entity and sovereign area.


In later development where people and their need growing their self-fulfillment may no longer adequate therefore they need another source in order to fulfill those need. This will lead the movement of people from one place to another to seek- create and then develop those needs and at the end it will create new opportunities. Opportunities to share-exchange and then cooperate with others to fulfill each other needs.


Unconsciously this movement will create the initial development of linkage building from one to another cities. Further development will create and reshuffle the city center as vocal point to disperse points, this where one city become a transit space of another cities. The limit of the city will then become a transportable limits-metaphorical where one city with another will have seamless transition and connection.


The city will become a mobile place where at the same time it becoming a transit space as a result of the city boundary blurred and its linkages with another cities become less and less distinctive.


2.Transit spaces- transitional place

Transit space is place that has defined as exchange or transfer hub from one place to another. In its development the transit space will become transitional place from one space to another.

Transitional place is place where the exchange-share-dialogue between one space and other spaces occurred and is a place where the new development as a result of the exchange-share during the transit time will emerge as new place where the distant between one transit point and another transit points will come closer and emerge as a bigger borderless movement space.


3.Exchange place, redefining the city.

When the transitional place occurred and developed in any transit point that linkage with others transit points, I will then become exchange place. This kind of space will become a new public space where people can move from one place to another without any restriction. The development of exchange place that spread over an urban area slowly will be redefining the city definition.

The cities will no longer have distinctive border as it used to be, as they now will have seamless connection/linkage between cities.

At the same new culture- lifestyle will grow from any single exchange points.

It means the existing socio-cultural identity will disappear- reemerge and blend with new development of socio-culture as a new universal civilization.

The city will have no longer its own identity, as it now may become a small part of bigger one. It will interconnect-interlink with others cities to form larger space network, that connecting seamlessly one place to another.


4.Urban nomads lifestyle evolution.

By the development of the transit space in parallel with the human civilization development due to various factors, for instance information technology, mobility, lifestyle changes and cooperation inter human being that now not only in smaller area but has grown to bigger scope- transnational.

As a result of this transitional place formation, slowly it will redefine-reshuffle-reshape the human being lifestyle in the urban area known as urban nomads.

The place where they live will redefine the way they live, work, move, communicate, inter human relationship, interact with their vicinity and the way they define themselves as a person.

They will become an independent individual that no longer attached to single area but as individual as part of a bigger network, where they can move, stay temporarily or permanently, live, work and interact with others without any restriction.


New urban nomads home/personal shelter structure can be defined as invisible bubbles, each bubble serve as three major human life activities;

Living: social activities, inter human relationship,

Working: productivity that related to the life fulfillment.

Resting: recreational activities, resting.

Every bubble will intersect and blending together as a new lifestyle, which emphases on human mobility. This newly creation of bubble will attached to wherever they move and it will allow them to attach-detach easily with the new place they visit or intersect and then emerge as a bigger bubble with another personal bubble.


Therefore the urban nomads lifestyle will transform from permanent emotional place linkage to attached invisible emotional space, that means no matter where they are they can create their own emotional space without any place restriction.


In relation to the transit space, the mobility and their embodied capability will allow them to enter, intersect, and then embrace with the new space when they passing through as this process will push over the existing visible boundary of a city to become invisible boundary and then emerge and blend seamlessly with others city to form bigger transit space.




Transit Space: nomads mobile place, an urban nomads lifestyle evolution is a study of possibility how a transit space will redefine the definition of city as a center to a disperse points and its relationship to its habitants and its relationship with another city as a result of their linkage. How the city will be then redefine as a result of the movement that occurred between one with another cities. And how the habitants of those cities then will redefine their lifestyle in parallel with the city development. This study will give an idea how the space will look at and how it will affect the lifestyle of its inhabitant.



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