According to James Corner* mapping is ‘creating and building the world as much a measuring and describing it’ ….maps are both representations of place and necessary abstractions of it (see Borges story ‘on exactitude in science’ ) We’re interesting in exploring this creative potential – can we use a series of transformations, beginning from direct observations of the world, to define new architectural forms and spaces?

we will consider 3 scales - distant, intermediate and intimate:

Mapping 1: the body in the city
Trace and transcribe
We want to locate activities and rooms in the city – anybody with a smartphone will need to download an app:  Runkeeper. Ignore the accent and the calorie count, save the maps...we will transcribe them later.
Two examples to look at - Jeremy Wood 'my ghost' maps; and Layla Curtis 'polar wanderings' and 'cab routes' 

Mapping 2: the ‘room’
Observe, select and record.
We will collectively identify characterful spaces in the city we would like you to consider and record in more detail. You will be asked as individuals to survey elements using appropriate scale and projection techniques

The object is to look closely at the architectural language of the city – the way that rooms, spaces and details are made – their materials, proportions and surfaces.

You will work in groups of 3 (one 4).
Each group will be assigned 3 rooms/spaces in Porto.
Collectively you will identify 3 (or 4) most significant elements in each room - each individual will then record one of element (door, window, floor, ceiling etc.) with a view to making an accurate architectural projection, at an appropriate scale, on their return.
The elements you select may be different for each room.

Mapping 3: the body in the room.
Speculate, critique and invent.
We will begin with an exercise in mapping/drawing activities and occupation, considering the intimate scale - the body in space - with a view to creative re-making. Conventional architectural drawing tends to exclude the occupant and consider only the context - this exercise will require you to investigate methods and ideas which might be unfamiliar – film, photography, collage - you’ll need to do some reading, thinking (and experimenting?) to explore how this might work. 

* The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention. Corner, J. In Mappings ed. Cosgrove, D.

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