20 September 2011


Visual Certainty – 02 The Agency of Mapping
1) Tufte talks about the importance of scale when mapping or diagraming. How does this apply to us as architectural designers? Does the work we do always need scale?
2) Tufte sets out to separate the diagramming of Loran and Hockney from the mapping of art images by Mossel – he argues that Hockney and Loran are credible because they are explaining something coherent about the image, conversely he speaks of Mossel’s diagraming as “explains everything and therefore nothing”. Would you agree/disagree that as architects we need to be equally aware and critical of our own design processes?
3) Are modern day mapping techniques lacking in innovations? Corner argues that other fields have been progressing while mapping and cartography are stagnant – the focus and standard being tracings vs. representations of place, time and movement.
4) A key term for Corner is the French term ‘Milieu’ meaning; surroundings, medium or middle. He goes on to describe the process of cognitive mapping happens within a field that is encompassing a series of points or interactions. How does this apply to design process at the building scale vs. city scale?
5) Corner goes on to give examples of how mapping can break the barrier of simply tracing. He separate's them into the categories; Drift, Layering, Game-Board and Rhizome. How are each of these techniques different and what are the merits of each?

1. Maps can convey a great amount of direct meaning but can also give a bias towards a certain type of agenda or to make a certain point. In what ways can maps be bias and skew information to make a certain argument or push for a certain agenda?
2. Since maps can convey certain information should they be an accurate as possible depiction of reality or is it OK for them to highlight only certain amounts information that benefit the authors intent. For instance should it be more research like in that you are given all the data and decide yourself or should it paint the picture for you?
3. Tufte said that, “mappings become more credible if constructed independently of a favored result.” How do you construct a map independently of a favored result if the goal is to usually make a point or show something?
4. Is it possible to show too much information on a map? And if so how can it affect the meaning of the authors intent? Can it be damaging to the effectiveness of the map?
5. Does anyone disagree with the fact that mapping should come before planning and if so why?

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