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What is Estranged Space?

Estranged Space is a discrete and unique arm of spatial research. Originally conceived in 2014 by Mathew Emmett and David Littlefield, Estranged Space exists to be a research vehicle to examine spaces which are behind, between, beneath or otherwise separated from normative space. Zones which forgotten, hidden, neglected or simply subservient — the liminal, the beyond, the uncanny, the elsewhere… the estranged.

The research is defined by the collaborative efforts of Mathew, David and Jason, blending the disciplines of architecture, art, cartography, multimedia and visual communication. They work with a range of clients — site owners, developers, institutions and companies — who wish to subject spaces to closer examination, understanding and (re)interpretation.

Key Research Themes

  1. Mapping and Perception
    allows the examination of the reciprocal effects of space; the mind acts upon space, space acts upon the mind. Mapping tools enables scrutiny and understanding of these interactions, enabling the interrogation of reality’s elasticity;
  2. Installation and Projection
    seeks to redefine and challenge the understanding of ‘estranged spaces’ through a range of experimental practices including site-specific installation, film and projection. Works include the generation of new spatial configurations that affect interaction, connections and meaning; and
  3. Heritage and Authenticity
    as contested terms. Estranged Space explores and tests these concepts through the application of theory (drawn from archaeology, architecture, psychology, philosophy and cultural studies), mediated through art and design practice, to sites of historical and cultural significance.

Approach to Commissions

The practice deploys a wide range of tools and techniques to explore the notions of perception, (re)interpretation, narrative, place and non-place.

The collaborators have particular experience in site-responsive interventions in spaces which are contested, unsettling, hidden, lost, peripheral or displaced. We extend this applied learning and research across wider spatial practice that concerns itself with the agency of mapping. the topologies of space, or real and yet imagined worlds — the near and the elsewhere.

They look for narratives within spaces and amplify them, re-present them and re-frame them. If you’d like to discuss a potential project, please get in touch.


The Cartographer
A Map-making Practice
Selected Map Works
Mapping Insights
Map Art


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