Cartography of an action
Workshop proposal, Tirana Design Week 2019
Julio Gotor Valcárcel
1. General overview of the workshop
1. The general structure of the course during the Tirana Design Week
1. Territory and landscape revealed
1.1 Theoretical aspects (Robert Smithon. Deleuze-Guattari, Stan Allen)
1.2 Example (own research in territory t.b.d.)
1.3 Uncertainty potential
1.3.1 Tirana through its layers
220.127.116.11 The collection of interstitial urban spaces in Tirana
18.104.22.168 Historic infrastructure
22.214.171.124 Catalogue of smooth spaces – striated space
(formal – informal)
2. Action in the territory
2.1 Analysis – and site proposal. The smooth space, informal yet residual. To put into
practice the topics we have been talking about.
2.2 Development of the action on site.
3. Cartography and Corpus of actions
2.1 To map the action. Cartography that represents the revealed reality. Not a conventional but an expressive one.
2.2 General compendium. Corpus, catalogue and compilation of the cartographies.
4. The place and type of the course in the general framework of the study program (architecture and urban design, art and design, etc)
The workshop will be place:
-1. Theoretical input – Universiteti POLIS, first talk
-2. Action on site, development of the intervention – Tirana (selected urban spaces /landscape)
-3. Cartography work – Universiteti POLIS
-4. Final exhibition Corpus of actions
The framework of the study program will be urban design / landscape / land art
5. The general content and the motivation for the composition of this proposal.
The city has grown in a superimposition of layers as a collage. I am very interested about one of them, the layer of what Deleuze-Guattari called smooth space, the informal urban space, the landscape.
That mantra is present in every modern city but it is especially interesting in the city of Tirana. The aim is to activate an claim that space as a generator of the city, as something latent in the city, to go through from latent to patent by a series of actions in the territory, ‘freedom space, unruled space’ as Kevin Lynch wrote in his book Wasting Away. I am an alumni of ETSAM, Madrid. There, with my teacher Concha Lapayese (member of the research group GPIC, focused on landscape and territory) I developed a research about territory and landscape. The methodology that is developed in that research group, Hybrid Actions, is applied in this workshop. She would also be interested to help in the
development of this workshop.
As I said, and I will be develop later the workshop will be focused on the informal urban space of Tirana: “In the end, it is a methodology to research in a phenomenological way creating create links with the city by means of actions developed in the territory. The proposal is a way to observe and analyze the city through a critical and proactive look. To define that layer of the city, and in the end to discover how it is related with the activity and life of the city”.
6. The objectives of the workshop
- To research about the layers that constitutes the city
- To put in value the smooth space, to claim it as a way to understand the city and a scape form. To understand that landscape trough the action in the territory, in a phenomenological way.
-To propose a research to identify the latent reality of that layer of the city. It will be developed using the cartography and the action in the territory as a tool to reveal the reality. It is the development of a set of actions and cartographies to understand the existing city and the dichotomy between the planed and the existing city.
-The most important aspect is to teach a methodology as something abstract, a way to face the reality. From the theoretical aspects to the practical ones. And finally, back to the theoretical again, learning how to create an abstract cartography yet expressive and illustrative of the reality and the links experienced. It is a tool to understand the reality.
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2. The outcomes of the course.
The objectives of the workshop and their fulfillment within the Tirana Design Week As architects, I think that the cartography is an extremely powerful to render the reality. I want to understand the links between the abstraction of the reality, the cartography and the physical action and intervention in the territory. Instead of proposing a solution to the urban scene the aim is to render the reality of the city through one of its layers. The aim is to act in the urban space and to map that action as a tool to understand the city.
As I wrote before, the city has grown in a superimposition of layers, a collage. What layers are shaping the real city and how those layers are interrelated and where, that is the frame of this workshop. There is a certain layer which is quite relevant in the city, the layer of what Deleuze- Guattari called smooth space, the informal urban space, the landscape. The workshop proposes a research to identify the latent reality of that layer of the city. It will be developed using the
cartography and the action in the territory as a tool to reveal the reality. It is the development of a set of actions and cartographies to understand the existing city and the dichotomy between the planed and the existing city.
The workshop will propose how to face the existing urban spaces (the informal, the smooth).
Creating new links trough actions in landscape, a new way of seeing, of thinking, of constructing the reality. Therefore, it is a strategy to understand what is given before proposing something new.
The last outcome is to create a Corpus of actions, a catalogue, trough the phenomenology of the actions, to unveil what was there, what was latent, to bring it back to the reality. Consequently, i is about to claim those intersecting spaces of the city in a new and holistic way, actions that creates a link between the individual and the site. It proposes a way to interact with it, an action that can reveal a lost reality of the site, a way to unveil the forgotten.
In the end, the proposal is a methodology of how to understand the city and its landscape.
It will teach a methodology as something abstract, a way to face the reality, a tool, from the theoretical aspects to the practical ones. And finally, back to the theoretical again, learning how to create an abstract cartography yet expressive and illustrative of the reality and the links
experienced. To define that layer of the city, the layer of the informal ‘unruled’ urban space, and in the end to discover how it is related with the activity and life of the city.
3. The content of the course
The proposal of the course is a new way to understand and to study the existing city, what is given and what is latent. The workshop will be focused on the informal urban space of Tirana.
The city has a collection of small informal (maybe residual) urban spaces. It is an urban space that is not subject to regulations. ‘Freedom space, unruled space’ (Lynch, 1990. Wasting Away).
It is related with the so-called smooth space defined by Deleuze and Guattari. The proposal is a methodology to research in a phenomenological way. To create links with the city by means of
actions developed in the territory. It ¡s a landscape way to observe and analyze the city through a critical and proactive look. To define that layer of the city, and in the end to discover how it is related with the activity and life of the city.
That will reach following these contents:
-Theoretical aspects: to present a series of authors, thinkers, artist that have worked in that topic (land art, infrastructure, etc.)
It is understood as an input to establish a theoretical framework.
-Action workshop: development of the action in the territory, creating a connection between the individual and the site. Revealing a lost reality of the site, a way to unveil the forgotten
Brief: Informal urban space and territory (layers of the city, unruled space, phenomenology, reveal the latent reality, etc)
4. Assignments/Projects and other requirements
1. Theoretical part. It could be developed in a standard teaching/talk space. Just a way to introduce the theoretical aspects of the workshop. It should be developed in one day and a half.
2. The participants of the workshop should work in groups of 2 or 3 people, researching together about the ideas. Proposing spaces of the city that fit the reality of the urban space we are talking about, the smooth space, the informal and ‘residual’ space as Lynch name. An urban space that is not subject to regulations. ‘Freedom space, unruled space’ (Lynch, 1990. Wasting Away) (1-2 days). It should be developed in one or two days.
3. The action proposed must be developed on the proposed site. It should be an action that creates a link between the individual and the site. A way to interact with it. An action that can reveal a lost reality of the site, a way to unveil the forgotten. Each group has to decide how they want to develop it. It should be developed in one day.
4. The forth objective is to go back to the abstract work. To develop cartography that can speak about this process of reveal. A cartography local yet general. It should be developed in two days.
5. Final compile of the cartographies to create a Corpus of actions. It should be developed in one day.
5. The methodology and didactic aspect
The methodology of the workshop will be developed following these aspects:
-1. To introduce the theoretical framework of the workshop:
-Interrelation between art / landscape / architecture
-Robert Smithson – entropy – land art
-Stan Allen – infrastructural urbanism
-Gilles Deleuze / Félix Guattari -smooth / striated space
-GIPC – ETSAM – Madrid – Concha Lapayese – Hybrid actions in the landscape
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