The street where people lurk at auctions is a wonderfully compact image, one of the concepts that we live by, perhaps without even knowing it. This particular experience of our relationship to the street is an especially visceral and urgent instance of our deeply personal desire for home. The street is both a reality and a rhetorical figure of speech; at once the immediate here and now of being on the move along a particular street, as well as an instance of the expansive urban environment we call home. William Gibson also used the figure of the street as both reality and metaphor in his Neuromancer trilogy of novels. While these works have become known for their futuristic portrayal of life in the age of cyberspace, of the mind jacked in to the data stream of networks, they are in their own way nostalgic for a particular idea of home and a way of living.
Paper appeared in the catalogue for 'The housing project', presented as part of the State of Design Festival at the Pin-up Architecture and Design Project Space, the Compound Interest Centre for Applied Arts, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, 20-31 July 2011 / curated by Sue McCauley and Keith Deverell