Room has two meanings

Tim Ingold writes about the two meanings of 'room'.

A room is an enclosed part of a building, defined by the way in which it is limited; and room in a general sense (especially in German, raum) is the space that can be expanded into.

In the same passage of his book on Being Alive, he quotes Malpas on the way that the interior spaces of a house can be thought of as smaller parts opening out to the larger whole, which in turn is part of a neighbourhood, a city and so on.

Ingold objects to this, pointing out that "only a philosopher could look from his sitting room and see his whole house!"


For its ordinary residents, the house or apartment is disclosed processionally, as a temporal series of vistas, occlusions and transitions unfolding along the myriad pathways they take, from room to room and in and out of doors, as they go about their daily tasks. (Being Alive p 146)

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