In this course, we explore the agency of mapping - the work that maps can do - in the context of urban landscapes and the way these landscapes are treated in design. While it is obvious that maps are useful tools in design and planning, they offer more than just geographic anchoring or precision measurement. Just as there is no such thing as ”raw” or ”unprocessed” data, maps are not neutral providers of geographic information. They are windows onto reality, but not reality itself. It is precisely in that ”subjective” capacity that maps derive their greatest importance as the tools to re-draw and re-design the shifting landscapes of today’s turbulent world.
This course teaches students to interpret the shifting perspectives on cartography, from the objective view of cartographic statecraft to the speculative subjectivity of recent cartographic atlases, and to apply this knowledge to their own mappings of site. The course consists of four intensive weekly sessions where we discuss texts, case studies and work on our own hands-on mapping assignments.
The first warm-up assignment for the course will be handed out during the final session of the Urban Design Seminar on Thursday 9/11 (930am to 1230). The First class is on Thursday 23/11; the class’s theoretical introduction on the day before during the lecture ”Research in Urban Design and Urban Planning" of Wednesday 22/11, 5pm (first session under the "Urban Landscapes” subtopic of this lecture series).