Crystallising places: Towards geographies of ontogenesis and individuation

Peter Merriman*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Building upon the current concern with relational, processual and assemblage approaches to place, this paper argues for a move away from ‘pointillist’ and constructivist accounts of the assembling of places because they reinforce binaries, reintroduce structures and highlight singular representational moments in the building, identification and dismantling of places. Drawing upon Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and Simondon’s writings on individuation, I suggest that places can more usefully be seen as events of crystallisation, distillation or folding characterised by multi-phased processes of individuation through which distinctive ‘individual-milieu coupling[s]’ emerge, refocusing attention on the open-ended, plural and eventful qualities of places-in-becoming.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Early online date23 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Dec 2023


  • assemblage
  • becoming
  • Deleuze
  • difference
  • individuation
  • Place
  • process
  • Simondon


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