They meant to find signs of what letterist Ivan Ctcheglov called “forgotten desires” – images of play, eccentricity, secret rebellion, creativity, and negation. – The Long Walk of the Situationist International by Greil Marcus
Psychogeography is the exploration of the urban landscape led by curiosity, a paused sense of time and a heightened sense of place. While it is important to let your senses absorb the spaces around you, it is equally, if not more important to find yourself in new spaces, spaces stumbled upon by chance. Paying attention to the details, the lost objects, the signage, the fragments, makes walking itself a reward – with a slower pace and an opportunity to revel in the simplicity of chance encounters and discoveries. A sense of wander/wonder is essential.
It is the study of specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals (Debord 1955). It involves the use of playful and inventive strategies that take pedestrians off of their predictable paths, forcing them into a new awareness of the urban landscape. It’s an attempt to combine subjective and objective modes of study, recognizing that the self cannot be divorced from the urban environment, yet it has to pertain to more than just the psyche of the individual if it is to be useful in the collective rethinking of the city (Sadler 1998).