In The Metapolis. Dictionary of Advanced Architecture. City, Technology and Society in the Information Age (Actar 2003).
An individual is bodily mass with a human face, endowed with sentiment and reason. Individual, too, is the basic – though not necessarily unitary- molecule of social practice, source of energy that generates the spaces and times it passes through or dwells in. It is the individual who, alone or in the company of others, takes possession of space, turning it into territory, or appropriates it, in the sense that he considers it fitting and possesses it only in as much as he makes use of it. It is the individual- as a body that exists according to the other bodies with which it forms society- who proclaims a place, the geographical point at which he finds himself and that he names, an outline that lets itself be apprehended and transported by forces proceeding from its historical, social, emotive, and sensible surroundings, that perceives all presences and absences, susceptible to the flows that influence it. The individual is the main character in social situations that consist in him looking at himself in the mirror held up by other individuals, whom he at the same time reflects and shadows. A provocative and provoked individual, the product of space and producer of space, determined by it and determinant of it, generates oppositions and parallels, symmetries and breaking-offs, is comprised of reciprocities with things, is reflected in the changes he occasions and is the result of them. It is the body of that individual that intervenes as the source and the destination of all initiative, as the framework in which impressions are registered and issued, and as the surface beneath which projects and intentions are intuited.
The occupation of a space does not imply that space is an empty container waiting for irruption within it. It is the body of the individual that makes the space it occupies. It is the individual’s action that gives off its own ephemeral or lasting territoriality.
Personal, informal space is that which accompanies every individual wherever he goes and that expands and contracts according to the type of meeting, the relation with the people with whom he intercommunicates and his continual search for a point of balance between approach and avoidance. The occupation of space is, then, the deployment of the moving body. Each body is a space and has a space, space for relation and for movement. The body generates symmetries; it imposes itself as an axis according to which is established a left and a right, an up and a down, a here and a there, what is there and what is not, a now, a before and an after, The body, then becomes its most mathematical properties: applications, functions, operations, transformations, etc. on or in relation to something or someone on front or behind, far or near, before or after that body.
[Photo by Jorge Ledesma, jorgeledesma.net]