The extended home: Dividual space and liminal domesticity in Tokyo and Seoul oa

Sanki Choe, Jorge Almazán, Katherine Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In Tokyo and Seoul a new type of space has emerged: dividual space. This space consists of commercial venues offering easy access to a surplus of contents and experiences with the private comforts and convenience associated with domesticity. These venues proliferate in Japanese and Korean cities as, for example, the Karaoke Box (small Karaoke rooms) and DVD Bang (rooms for watching DVDs). Anonymous multi-tenant buildings encapsulating dividual space facilitate its accessibility and infiltration of the city. More than ordinary entertainment or compensation for deficient homes, dividual space has become an integral part of everyday life and expanded the possibilities of city dwelling. Dividual space challenges accepted theoretical categories for understanding the city: It blurs distinctions between the home and the city into gradations of domesticity in urban space. Modes of socialization occurring in dividual space cannot be understood as private or public, but instead as intermediate liminal zones where individuals behave in a private mode in public settings. Domesticity and liminality characterize dividual space not only as an East-Asian phenomenon, but also as a broadly urban condition of density and mobility. An examination of dividual space therefore contributes to the literatures of Architecture and Urban Studies seeking to understand cities undergoing similar processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-316
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Design International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • content architecture
  • dividual space
  • domesticity
  • liminality
  • public space


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