The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention – Khushbu Sanghani

This book is about the talks of James Corner. He is a landscape architect and theorist focusing on “developing innovative approaches toward landscape architecture design and urbanism”. A book talks about what actually mapping is. Mapping is a way of representation of the data or information of a particular place or space. It allows us to understand the complexity in planning, the context and design factors.

In this book, He first talks about the difference between Mapping and Tracing. He says that Tracing is about recollecting the same data or information and reproduces the Map. Where Mapping is putting down or representing a given data in way that it also represents intangible data like perception of a space, Memories, Stories, etc. Mapping is a process which never gets end.

He also compares Mapping to the Rhizome. As Rhizome does not have start and end point, similar way mapping also does not have beginning end point but always a middle from which it grows and over pills, linear multiplicities.

In the book he has described four techniques of mapping- Drift, layering, Game board and Rhizome. These techniques presuppose any number of variations and improvement as issue of framing, orientation, indexing and coding become more flexible and open ended. In conclusion, it can be derived that mapping is a very subjective. The presentation of a data in terms of mapping varies from person to person. In mapping, important is to convey the true information and helps in deriving the solutions.


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This website is a compilation of work done by students of INDUS University, Ahmedabad. The course was a two week long module where they engaged with mapping and unfloding the many layers of small public spaces in Ahmedabad city. This course was taught by Mansi Shah

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