The imaging and imagined urban landscape, its processing and representation is fundamental to geographies of the city. From Bill Bundy to Kevin Lynch, from Otto Neurath to James Corner, reimagined and processed versions of urbanity are used by geographers, architects, urbanists, statisticians and artists to interpret and afford legibility to the complex edifice that is ‘the city’. It was with notions such as these in mind that the authors recently chaired a session ‘[Re_Map]: the image of the urban landscape’ at the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2011: The Geographical Imagination, held at the Royal Geographical Society, London, 31 August – 2 September. The session sought to expose the theory, the practice and the methodologies of mapping and representation techniques across a range of disciplines to explore the inherent proximities and tensions in relation to vocabulary, terminology and realisation. The cross-disciplinary session covered a considerable breadth of topics and depth of issues and commonalities in relation to: urbanism, mapping, representation, narrative and notation. Crucially, the session enabled the perceptible gap in the research and practice of geography, architecture, art and computational design to be discussed and further explored in relation to urban space. Commencing the session with their paper, ‘Data Mining: Abstract Urban Topographies’, the authors opened up the territory and debate by questioning the role of data mapping as part of architectural and urban design strategies and offering insights into its application as a means to develop instrumentality within the increasingly complex scenarios of contemporary urbanism.
Space Intelligence Agency – Automatic Urbanism, 2009.