The surface and the abyss/Rethinking topology

Iulian Barba Lata*, Claudio Minca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Through a critical deployment of the surface/depth metaphor, this article explores the catalytic potential of topological thinking to establish points of articulation between apparently opposed notions and canons of thought. Starting from a genealogy of mathematical developments and philosophical mediations toward the end point of geography, we address the interplay between the formal (axiomatic) and conceptual (problematic) dimensions of topology in suggesting some potentially alternative ways of re-imagining the role of topological thinking for spatial theory and human geography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-455
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • human geography
  • mathematics
  • spatial theory
  • surface/depth
  • Topology

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