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Sammanfattning: This thesis brings into focus how individuals search for objects. It follows people through flea markets, refuse skips, shopping streets and malls. The aim of the thesis is to study the search for things and how it influences individuals and their relations to objects and the places in which they search. The thesis focuses on what is termed serendipitous searching – i.e. an activity of open browsing for anything that awakens the person’s interest. That means that the people in the study are not just looking for certain things – they are also seeking to come to terms with what they are actually looking for. Ideals of what is beautiful, useful and reasonable materialise in conjunction with the experience of what is available and what is absent or out of reach. It is suggested that this mode of looking for goods is not only about purchase deliberations, but more importantly is a specific way of interacting with the world and making places meaningful. It can be viewed as a way of creating and moderating anticipation, and thereby cultivating affect. Searching for things thus becomes an experiential horizon.Part I: “Searching and Space” deals with how searching for something becomes a specific way of engaging with the physical surroundings. The landscape becomes a taskscape, i.e. an array of physical structures linked together by a set of related activities. Part II, “Discoveries and Rubbish” explores how the activities of searching charges objects with qualities. Through two different environments, searching is analysed as a way of elevating things from the status of rubbish to one of discovery. Part III: “From the Horizon of Finding” focuses on how the searchers’ aims are transformed when they encounter the objects that really exist.
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