James Corner: The Agency of Mapping-Punit Panchal

In his essay on “The Agency of Mapping “James Corner offers a critical analysis of mapping. James Corner is an American Landscape Architect and theorist. He published the essay in 1999. The essay describe the potential for the methods of using mapping beyond its traditional practices, as a mean for architects and planners to better understand cities and design with social, political and cultural considerations. It describes the power in both shaping our perceptions world as well as its form. Corner writes “mapping is perhaps the most formative and creative act of any design process”.

He talks about the map’s relations to reality. Corner suggested that our concept of space is formed by our participation with our surroundings. Corner identifies four thematic developments in mapping – The concepts of drift, layering, game-board and rhizome have been used in various successful and complex mapping exercise in the fields of design and planning.


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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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