Tag Archives: mindmaps

Chora – Public Spaces

Chora’s book ‘Public Spaces‘ follows the preceding tome ‘Urban Flotsam’, and is a self stated application of the notions developed in that book…

“The proliferation of the use of public space increasingly gives form to society…a search for a combination of form and operational device that together create architectural space and quality. This combination provides a link between architectural space and urban, social dynamics.”

‘Public Spaces’, back cover – Chora, 2002

Chora use the ideas of ‘diagramming‘ and ‘prototype‘ to describe the way public space should be simultaneously a singular identifiable architectural space, and a dynamic ‘playground’ open to many interpretations and an evolving pattern of ‘alternate’ uses. Their books seek a method by which many users may enter the ‘field’ of production of public space.

“Playgrounds and public spaces need room – fields to play and act in, and objects to play with, identify with and react against. This is the architecture. The rest is city life.”

Public Spaces, p.6 – Chora, 2002

The project ‘Meridian Walk‘ (pp.43-45) resonates particularly with the approach of our studio, as does the vocabulary developed of ‘objects‘, ‘conditions‘, ‘forms‘ and ‘fields‘, extending the meridian north from Greenwich and investigating what would happen if its presence were suddenly made explicit. The idea of a walk along the meridian as a physical intervention allows consideration of individual ‘encounters’ with different ‘actors’, such as independent shop owners, the river authority, etc, and questions the idea of ownership.

Confusing in places, and unsatisfyingly obtuse in others…but worth the read for the idea of urban space as dynamic, changeable architecture of ‘prototypes’, and an exploration of vocabularly that resonates with that of our studio. Please find below the mindmap I sketched as I read…this is a new technique of note-taking that I am experimenting with. The idea is that it builds up a snapshot of the knowledge gained from a particular learning situation, producing a typographical image rather than reams and reams of notes I’ll never read…



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Diagramming – My Architectural Education

Ive become interested in diagramming as a way to make complex information more explicit…this interest was sparked by Ted Cullinan‘s lecture style, witnessed at Studio In The Woods as he sketched loosely onto to acetate projected via OHP onto a barn wall as he spoke. More recently, Satwinder Samra at the Sheffield School of Architecture uses slightly more considered diagrams, which although pre-planned, are sketched ‘live’ as he talks to illustrate the content of his lectures.

Here, I have tried to make explicit the less tangible aspects of my path through architectural education, which will hopefully inform aspects of my studies for the ARC571 – Reflections on Architectural Education module with Rosie Parnell. It is intended as a first draft, and hopefully the diagram will evolve as I become able to consider it more, and as my perception widens. I hope to try this out with students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of the undergraduate course to compare experiences…

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Hackney Podcasts – ‘Night’ and ‘Water’

With reference to my previous post about the Hackney Podcasts audio files (search for ‘hackney podcasts’ on iTunes, they’re free to download), I’ve been listening to one or two and trying out my mindmaps as notetaking…The podcasts are really good for thinking about aspects of the place in an ecological way…what connects to what, and particular nuances of people and place. I listened to ‘Night’ and ‘Water’ episodes…let me know what you think.


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Conversation with Joe’s Ices…

As part of my research for my studio project, I tried to rent an ice cream van…I rang Joe’s Ices based here in Sheffield. Previous attempts to act directly in Hackney Wick failed, as calls to the Mr Freezocream yard on Fish Island resulted in a very short conversation – in very bad English – with a guy who claimed only to own the land where the Freezocream yard is based. He said a man paid him some money – cash – to leave the vans there over winter, but that he had to contact details for him…

I tried to map the conversation as it happened in the following image…


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