Arquitectura Activa y Cartografía Viva



Map of Barcelona with walked lines

ID Barri seminar Barcelona – mapping informal use of space

A cartographic exploration together with Traces Of Autism (an interdisciplinary collective from the Netherlands). Their approach is mapping of territory by making long walks through public space. The emphasis is on drawing new maps on existing maps applying strict parameters in order to find new, hidden layers of the city. This was presented in ID Barrio, an international seminar in Barcelona, with individual and collective presentations, originating in the arts, architecture, social activism and anthropology.

The map of Barcelona was divided into vertical lines, of which each member of the team made an attempt to follow one of the lines. The legend consisted of findings/practices of informal use of space, such as stationed baggers, street vendors, guerrilla gardening, surveillance cameras, cash-machines, etc. Each participant made use of the same legend and mapped these practices while following his/her assigned line. Plotting this information on one map of Barcelona resulted in a map consisting of different layers. Each layer visualised areas of the city that are related to a certain ‘informal’ item/ practice. An interesting and unexpected outcome was the overlap between informal practices (areas of informal banking were almost identical to the areas of internet/ call shops). The maps were presented as a group work. Additionally each member of the team presented his/ her own findings during this exploration.

November 2009