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Monthly Archives: 09/2014

Using Sensors to Feel, Then Decide

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.


September 25, 2014
Sensing San Leandro: Capturing Cityscapes Through Sensors
Greg Niemeyer (Art Practice) and Ron Rael (Architecture and Art Practice)

Presentation available here.
Video of the conversation available here.
Niemeyer and Rael discussed how using sensors to collect data allow “reality-based” decisions about places to be made, using projects that they and their students have undertaken in San Leandro as examples.


by Faith Hutchinson

"Standing on the bare ground, -- my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite spaces, -- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Professor Greg Niemeyer describes two frameworks of data collection: "hard eyes" and "soft eyes." The former is closer to the scientific method, relating information back to an explicit hypothesis and emphasizing focus over risk. On the other hand, "soft eyes" invoke the approach of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who proposed that nature must be appreciated with a transparent eye; that is to say, we become more connected to the significance of our world by seeing it and not looking for it.

In common practice, data science is a pursuit of quantified evidence in support of a hypothesis: the domain of hard-eyes. To be sure, many purposes can be served with a focused, solution-oriented approach. Companies like The Climate Corporation and Propeller Health enable citizens to protect their natural and bodily resources by retrieving organized environmental data. Rather than collecting information for the sake of later analysis, Professors Niemeyer and Rael utilize sensors to promote action in the present. Sensors tend not to visually announce their affordances, but these sensors emerge in the city of San Leandro housed in colorful casings, a presentation that requires curiosity and direct, tangible interactions from passersby.



It is also significant that these sensors, via placement and record, are vested in the public. Were the "Hi" sensor featured in a gallery instead of in public at transit stops, the attending audience would reflect a specific type of resident, and their reactions or data would not necessarily be representative of the broader community. Niemeyer describes data as a means to "feel all the people walking across the city," a statement which beckons back to the previous lecture in which Georgina Kleege compared her walking stick to long fingers that skirt over the surface of the world. This similarity in Niemeyer and Kleege's description of experiencing a city implies greater intimacy results from using the scope of human senses to read beyond the visual record.

Faith Hutchinson is a candidate for the Master of Information Management and Systems degree at the UC Berkeley School of Information.


“Opening One’s Eyes” to What It is Like Sensing a City Blind

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.


September 18, 2014
Reading the City as a Blind Person
Chris Downey, Architect and Georgina Kleege, Department of English

Presentation available here.
Video of the conversation available here.
Downey and Kleege spoke on their experiences navigating cities as a blind person, with perspectives shaped by their professional backgrounds.


By Matthew Goodman

What would you say makes a city livable? You might list a couple of key attributes – walkable, diverse, safe, to name a few. Frankly, it’s pretty difficult to clearly define what makes a city livable…sometimes you just “know it when you see it.”

Well, what if you couldn’t see it? This question lay at the heart of this week’s lecture “Reading Cities as a Blind Person” by Chris Downey and Georgina Kleege. Downey and Kleege, both blind, articulately expressed how they experience cities and how their experiences may be similar or different from those of sighted people. Nowhere in the lecture did either speaker ask for pity or campaign for more specialized means to better assist blind people in navigating urban environments. Instead, they have figured out a way to immerse themselves in cities, keying in on their surroundings by using senses besides sight. This may seem difficult to the sighted, given 80% of our sensory input comes through vision.



Image source: bestlifemistake.blogspot.com


When the sighted walk through and navigate a city, according to Kleege, they do so directionally, more specifically forwardly. Ear buds in, many people drown out surrounding noise and keep their eyes fixed straight ahead towards their destination. Kleege and Downey do not have that same ability, so their means of navigating and experiencing cities are different. Their journeys are multisensory, relying heavily on sounds not just in front of them, but all around them. Kleege mentioned that the blind move keeping in mind their spherical surroundings, where sensory inputs from all directions are important. The result is a more immersive, less directionally linear experience.

I opened the blog with the idea of making a city livable, something urban planners (full disclosure: I’m not one!) study and hopefully glean ideas to implement. My most interesting takeaway from today’s lecture was that the same things that make a city livable for a blind person make it livable for a sighted person. Activity and vibrancy on the sidewalk, proper scaling of streets, and accessibility for pedestrians are all things mentioned by Kleege that make a city livable for her specifically…if you’d have asked the same thing of a sighted person, I’d expect they’d list similar characteristics. Kleege mentioned that two cities she’s lived in – New York and Paris – were particularly livable for these reasons, a sentiment largely shared by people who experience and sense these cities very differently than she does.

For lack of a better term, this week’s lecture “opened my eyes” to what it is like sensing a city blind. While navigating a city may be challenging without sight, both Kleege and Downey taught me that experiencing a city without it can be highly immersive and meaningful.

Relating to this topic, a few articles I found of interest:

Matthew Goodman is pursuing an MBA at the Haas School of Business.


Writing the City

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.


September 18, 2014
Reading the City as a Blind Person
Chris Downey, Architect and Georgina Kleege, Department of English

Presentation available here.
Video of the conversation available here.
Downey and Kleege spoke on their experiences navigating cities as a blind person, with perspectives shaped by their professional backgrounds.


By Jaime Gómez

In 1945 the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote “The Aleph,” a short story describing a man who spent his nights and holidays writing a poem, “The Earth¬,” in which he tried to describe the planet. For his poem, he took inspiration from an aleph–“the only place on earth where all places are, seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending”–he discovered in his cellar when he was a child. At the end of the story, Borges himself struggles to describe the aleph because “all language is a set of symbols whose use among his speakers assumes a shared past. How, then, can I translate into words the limitless aleph, which my floundering mind can scarcely encompass?”



Image source: http://oztypewriter.blogspot.com/2012/10/wired-for-typing-talking-machines-and.html


Borges’s story came to my mind while listening to the metaphor used by Georgina Kleege to explain the difference between the way sighted people perceive the visual world, and the linear-narrative experience she goes through when navigating the city. For most of us–sighted people–walking through the same street every day could be a boring experience. Although thousands of images come to us in a different way (a slight change of light, a shadow produced by a leaf flying on the sidewalk), we barely notice it. In fact, if we were asked to write a story everyday of our daily trip, unlike Borges, most of us would probably not struggle as much as he did, since we would repeat the same story without hesitation.

On the contrary, it seems to me that Georgina´s way to navigate the city is that of a committed writer able to write a different story on the same trip everyday. Although for sure her stories would have common elements–the ones that help her to navigate–the subtle differences of everyday life would make each one of her narrations different. Thinking on this hypothetical situation, another text comes to my mind: “Exercises in Style,” written by the French writer Raymond Queneau and published in 1947. In this book, Queneau explores 99 different ways to tell the same story. Each one not only has a different style, but subtle changes too.

Jaime Gómez is a first year PhD student in the Department of Architecture.


Designing with the Blind in Mind

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.


September 18, 2014
Reading the City as a Blind Person
Chris Downey, Architect and Georgina Kleege, Department of English

Presentation available here.
Video of the conversation available here.
Downey and Kleege spoke on their experiences navigating cities as a blind person, with perspectives shaped by their professional backgrounds.


By Robyn Perry

Those who attended Georgina Kleege and Chris Downey’s talk on reading cities without sight received a rare gift on Thursday, September 18th. I left with the impression that I am the one whose faculties are impaired when I power down a city sidewalk. Maybe it is because Georgina is a lecturer of literature, but Chris’s story had this effect on me too: their reading of cities and what it’s like to navigate them had an almost Amelie-quality to it (that is, the film Amelie), because their accounts reminded me of all the daily things I ignore, but perhaps I do to my own detriment. Particularly intriguing was Georgina's observation that many sighted people are frontally oriented, whereas the blind usually operate within a radius of awareness that extends above and behind them, as well as in front of them. I felt like I could learn to love the nature of cities all over again if I could follow around a blind person for a week or even a day.

I was inspired by the concept of the City of/for the Blind. Given Chris and Georgina’s considerations about designing more hospitable urban environments, it seems that most pedestrians would thrive in such a place. When asked if they could redesign city features to work better with impaired vision, they drew our attention to urban features I’d never thought about, but could make a huge difference in terms of better accessibility/habitability.



Screenshot from Chris Downey’s TED talk


For example, Chris’s explanation of his cane’s communication about his movement through space made me wonder if carpet, as in hotel lobbies, is an impediment to spatial understanding for those who rely on echoes to navigate. I found it surprising that the autonomy that well-designed cities enable the blind makes them better places to live in than rural areas. I grew up in a place in California where most people get personal vehicles the minute they turn 16 because walking anywhere is both unthinkable and impractical. Are cities more hospitable to the blind? Georgina’s account of Columbus, even that a city, suggests that this might be the case. I also wonder about the kind of art that vision-impaired people might most enjoy. Are there public art pieces designed with the blind in mind? What if curbs had alternating designs to help with navigation?

What’s particularly interesting about most of their suggestions is that they’re, at best huge improvements for people of all abilities and, at worst, something most sighted people would find mildly beneficial or perhaps neutral. Based on their suggestions, I am curious to explore the idea that designing for people who have stricter requirements may generally benefit everyone else as well.

Imagine a city with more open doors to bustling businesses, emitting both informative and pleasant smells and sounds, more music being piped out of stores, more encouragement for interesting soundscapes, more public “front stoops” like benches flanking frequented public areas, wider sidewalks with a smooth dividing lane in the middle, and more asymmetrical fountains (or ones that make different sounds depending on which direction one faces away from them). Not that we should have to make a strong case for "designing with the blind in mind,” in Chris’s words, but a strong case is there nonetheless. It would make better cities for pedestrians of all abilities.

Robyn Perry is a candidate for the Master of Information and Management Systems at the UC Berkeley School of Information.


A City for the Blind

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.


September 18, 2014
Reading the City as a Blind Person
Chris Downey, Architect and Georgina Kleege, Department of English

Presentation available here.
Video of the conversation available here.
Downey and Kleege spoke on their experiences navigating cities as a blind person, with perspectives shaped by their professional backgrounds.


By Swetha Vijayakumar

The story that instinctively comes to mind when thinking of blind people navigating spaces is the tale of the five blind men and an elephant. But Chris Downey's and Georgina Kleege's fascinating presentation on ‘Reading Cities as a Blind Person’ provided vital information on understanding how completely false the tale is in today’s society.

Downey’s presentation began in a captivating way. His audio clip was instrumental in demonstrating how sighted people are often “frontally oriented” and fail to notice a multi-sensory experience around them. Using the audio clues in the clip Downey explained the role of a cane in navigating a city. It is interesting to learn how a cane becomes an extension of the arm and aids in touching the city and its streets, and different techniques – tapping and dragging – of using the cane. Downey also addressed the myth that not all visually impaired people are completely blind, and that some have a perception of light from shade. They can be classified as:

  • Fully Visually Impaired:
    Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see.
  • Partially Visually Impaired:
    Visual impairment or low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces a person's ability to function at certain or all tasks
  • Visually Impaired at a Later Age:
    These are people who lose sight at a later age in life due to accidents or illness. It is particularly difficult for these individuals to develop their senses later in life.

While Downey, as lecturer of architecture and a practicing architect, talked about cities and spaces, Kleege, a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s English Department, made key observations on reading texts and images. She noted that textual reading is a linear activity which proceeds either from side to side or from the top to bottom. She contrasted it with reading images, which is like breathing in a gulp of air all at once. Kleege’s anecdote about asking for directions from the blind brought to mind my experiences and interactions with blind children and their teachers in the process of writing my undergraduate thesis. The very first time I was visiting a school for the blind, I had called in to get directions. The person on the other end gave me precise directions noting the locations of bakeries, bus stops, and broken pavements. Only when I reached the school did I get to know that the person who gave directions on the phone was a blind student. Working at a school for the visually impaired for my thesis has made me acutely aware of the multi-sensory experiences of the blind. I recognize the potential of using tactile paintings, murals, and plants with high olfactory quotients both inside and outside of buildings to make navigating spaces a better experience for the blind.



I am extremely interested in exploring more about the non-visual aids that can be used not only in the scale of the cities, but also in the interior spaces of buildings. I am also curious to know about the ways images like plans and facades can be produced so that they can be easily read by the blind.

Downey’s proposal of designing a city for the blind is fascinating. He noted that if all the blind people in the US are put together in a city it would become the 3rd largest city in the US. I believe that architecture that considers non-visual perceptions will be more pleasing than the ones based solely on aesthetic demands, and that the architectural language should be made up of spatial, textural, and sensory verses.

Swetha Vijayakumar is a PhD student studying the History of Architecture and Urbanism.


Reading Without Sight: A Blind Experience of the City

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.


September 18, 2014
Reading the City as a Blind Person
Chris Downey, Architect and Georgina Kleege, Department of English

Presentation available here.
Video of the conversation available here.
Downey and Kleege spoke on their experiences navigating cities as a blind person, with perspectives shaped by their professional backgrounds.


By Jon Pitt

If the navigation of a city is a narrative movement, a linear progression from point A to point B, how does this act of reading take place? UC Berkeley English professor Georgina Kleege proposed this idea of narrative navigation in connection with her own experience as a blind person moving through the city. There may be temptation, for those with sight, to closely link vision with the act of reading. While there are obviously ways of reading texts without sight (for instance braille and numerous adaptive technologies), the metaphor of “reading a city” (if it is actually a metaphor is another question) without sight becomes a multisensory experience of its own, one described well by both Kleege and Architect Christopher Downey.


courtesy of Rosa Downey


According to Downey, the environmental sensory experience for people with sight is 80% visual. This, Downey says, does not mean there is an 80% deprivation of experience for the blind, only that this experience is more multisensory than it is for the sighted. Touch, smell, sound, and taste all become the means through which the city is read, and both Kleege and Downey’s recounting of their personal experiences of cities fleshed this out: the feel of the texture and gradient of the sidewalk, the smells and sounds of businesses with their doors open, music a little too loud coming out of ear buds.

As a student of literature, I couldn’t help but think how these seemingly small details are the very things writers, at times, try to work into their descriptions of cities. If a well-written passage that evokes a multisensory experience is relished on the page, and yet in our daily linear progression, those of us with sight rely as heavily on vision as Downey claims, wouldn’t a reassessment of our “reading habits” lead to a potentially richer and more “literary” experience of our daily navigational movements?

Jon Pitt is a graduate student in the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department studying Japanese Literature.


A Symbol of Diversity

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures. On September 11, 2014, Lauren Kroiz spoke about Berkeley—The City and Its People, a mural by Romare Bearden that once hung in Berkeley City Hall, was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, and is now indefinitely in storage. She asked viewers to consider the intentions of the city leaders of 1973 in inviting a well-known African-American artist from the East Coast to portray their city. Kroiz is Assistant Professor of Art History at UC Berkeley.

Her presentation is available here.
Video of her presentation is available here.

By Yuqing Nie

As an architecture student who graduated from a fine arts school, the lecture by Professor Lauren Kroiz inspired me a lot. I’ve seen the Berkeley city logo many times—mostly it’s just in black and white. During the lecture, I learned that this logo has a deep relationship with this multi-racial city and that it symbolizes the city’s diversity.

These four different-colored profiles of heads can be found on the bottom center of a mural which is called “Berkeley--The City and its People.” This delicate masterpiece was painted by artist Romare Bearden. The painting was composed on seven fiberboard panels joined together. It’s Bearden’s largest known collage and the 12-foot by 16-foot mural for the City Council chambers impressively showed the co-existence and harmony of the city.



What’s really interesting is that Bearden worked as a social worker in New York City for 30 years. As a person who was not rooted in Berkeley, Bearden traveled throughout the city for only a few days to collect materials for the painting. Afterwards, he went back to New York to finish the painting. It combines a great number of diverse, fragmentary images and abstract shapes, vertical lines and grids which enhance the visual expression. The elements of photographs of faces of different colors and races, architectural details, figures of importance to Berkeley’s history, and abstract motifs depict the diversity of the people and their lives.

Yuqing Nie is a candidate for the MArch degree at UC Berkeley.


The Surprising Origins of a Familiar Logo

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures. On September 11, 2014, Lauren Kroiz spoke about Berkeley—The City and Its People, a mural by Romare Bearden that once hung in Berkeley City Hall, was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, and is now indefinitely in storage. She asked viewers to consider the intentions of the city leaders of 1973 in inviting a well-known African-American artist from the East Coast to portray their city. Kroiz is Assistant Professor of Art History at UC Berkeley.

Her presentation is available here.
Video of her presentation is available here.

By Elisa Russian

In 1972 the renowned Harlem-based African-American painter and activist Romare Bearden came to Berkeley for ten days to visit the city and get an insight into the life of the community. The City Council commissioned him to paint a work in which Berkeley’s multicultural richness would emerge clearly, and he wanted to capture Berkeley’s spirit, engaging himself directly in the many different realities of the city. These realities ranged from UC Berkeley’s environment to the festivals along Telegraph Avenue and local Buddhist services. As a result, Bearden realized the eight-panel mural entitled “Berkeley – The City and Its People” (1973), a vibrant, dynamic and deeply personal narrative of what Berkeley looked like in the Seventies. It has since then become the symbol of the city and the four profiles on the bottom center have come to serve as the city logo because they express Berkeley’s multi-ethnic complexity.



The mural, one of the few works in which Bearden dealt with an unfamiliar environment, shows his understanding of Berkeley as he experienced it. Bearden read the city, sensed it and then portrayed it back in his studio in New York, drawing on both his personal recollections and the visual materials he brought with him. The mural can be seen as a singular guidebook to Berkeley because one can easily identify the city’s major attractions (Berkeley Marina, Sather Gate, the Campanile, etc.), but at the same time it conveys the image of an idealized community and the hope for a better future. The unique relationship between particularity and abstraction, private lives, actual details, symbolic meanings, dream and utopia, as Professor Lauren Kroiz pointed out, is what makes this work so fascinating. Starting from the mid-Sixties, Bearden considered the potentiality of collage and photomontage. Here, drawings and photos of Berkeley’s inhabitants are juxtaposed with simplified and colorful forms in a syncopated jazz rhythm. Time is compressed in the flat, smooth dimension of the collage: past, present and future are united on one screen to create a new and potentially unexpected collective story, a narrative more aware of the value of each and everyone’s cultural roots and their significance for the community to come.

Elisa Russian is a first year Ph.D. student in the Italian Studies department.


Bearden’s Berkeley–A Mural by a Visiting Artist, Curated by Committee

Posted on by Genise Choy

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures. On September 11, 2014, Lauren Kroiz spoke about Berkeley—The City and Its People, a mural by Romare Bearden that once hung in Berkeley City Hall, was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, and is now indefinitely in storage. She asked viewers to consider the intentions of the city leaders of 1973 in inviting a well-known African-American artist from the East Coast to portray their city. Kroiz is Assistant Professor of Art History at UC Berkeley.

Her presentation is available here.
Video of her presentation is available here.

By Faith Hutchinson

In representing a place, we are as much limited by the constraints of the two-dimensional canvas as we are by our narrow experiences. Romare Bearden’s mural “Berkeley--The City and Its People” presents an example of the flattening of place into symbols, artifacts of emotion, memory, and still other intangible provisions of identity. Berkeley deconstructed itself during the Free Speech movement of the 1960s, and as the city entered the 1970s, residents found in the renovation of City Hall an opportunity to manifest the transformation via monument. Thus, the démodé landscape photograph that occupied the chamber of City Hall was to be replaced with a mural by Romare Bearden. The selection of this black artist served to communicate Berkeley’s embrace of diversity, but why not select a person of color who was a local son or daughter? Much like the decision to establish a symbol of the new Berkeley, the selection of this artist was an explicit vision of the city.



Based in New York for the majority of his life, Bearden was an established name in American art by the 1970s. In commissioning him, Berkeley councilmembers used the artist’s race, urban subject matter, and art-world renown as a proxy for describing the city’s progressive, cosmopolitan, and aesthete qualities. Bearden was famously known for capturing life of a specific segment of Black America. His collages are scenes of brownstone and cement where the lifeblood of community flows through arteries of a bustling physical environment. As mentioned during the class discussion, “Berkeley--The City and Its People” depicts a busy jumble that feels more like the artist’s home of New York City. The style of Bearden’s mural gives the impression that Berkeley is a bustling, vibrant place, but this summary necessarily discards the quiet and the somber, the routines that inform daily life. It was said that Bearden’s 10-day visit to the city came with a detailed agenda, and in designing the artist’s experience in this way, the patrons of the mural had to decide what to highlight. In effect, the mural was created by committee, but it is arguable whether the resulting pastiche shows the compromise of collaboration, the limited engagement of the artist, or the idealism that is part of bestowing identity to a place that means different things to different people.

Faith Hutchinson is a candidate for the Master of Information Management and Systems at the UC Berkeley School of Information.


Road-Testing Psychogeography on Oakland’s International Boulevard

Posted on by Susan Moffat

As part of the Global Urban Humanities Initiative Colloquium called Reading Cities, Sensing Cities, we have asked students and visitors to write responses to each of the weekly guest lectures.  On September 4, 2014, Darin Jensen invited listeners to consider the narrative and spatial aspects of two experiential mapping projects he created with his students: Mission Possible: A Neighborhood Atlas about San Francisco's Mission District, and Intranational International Boulevard about Oakland. Jensen is staff cartographer and lecturer in the UC Berkeley Department of Geography.

His presentation is available here.
Video of the first portion of his presentation is available here.

By Scott Elder

While not explicitly framed as such, it’s great to see the possibilities of Psychogeography dusted off and road-tested in the Bay Area. Under the leadership of Darin Jensen, UC Berkeley’s Cartography and GIS Education Lab (CAGE) digs in to explore the complex intersections of the physical and observational worlds.  The resulting collection of mappings shows spontaneity and graphic savvy, but looking into the territories chosen for exploration provides us more questions than answers.



One project, already complete, zeros in on San Francisco’s complex Mission District CAGE Lab teams up with Mission Local, a district-based news site, to create a 22-map “Atlas” and illuminating a variety of slightly absurd but suggestive juxtapositions.  Each map tells a story through cartographic creativity, rather than text.  Mapped gourmet coffee prices vs. depleting Latino neighborhoods, cupcake bakeries vs. reported gang activities, households with children vs. house-pet infrastructure (shops, kennels, parks)…these all provide suggestions of the frictions at work in the district, and often by comparing retail trends to demographics.  An upcoming CAGE Lab project will focus similar scrutiny on a linear territory, Oakland’s International Boulevard, in advance of sweeping changes about to emerge from the planning pipeline.  In both SF and Oakland projects, the underlying “story” often flirts with themes of gentrification.  It’s important to note, though, that these map-based examinations are being requested and performed as gentrification-related dynamics swell, not plateau or recede.  This raises the question of whether the creation and distribution of these map/stories constitutes just an observation, or whether they in fact abate or propagate the territorial shiftings identified.

A question from the audience suggested that the factors chosen for mapping on International Boulevard seemed to lean towards the “institutional," rather than perhaps looking at more mobile and elusive district factors such as prostitution.  This insinuates that such mapping might have a bias toward the more fixed and permanent components of life.  The subtle possibilities of what this bias might catalyze, however subtly, is worth considering and, given the exploratory nature of CAGE Lab, fully open to question.

Another question from the audience raised the topic of mapping data derived from charge card usage or cell phone use/location.  This rich and emerging source might of course yield new avenues of cartographic creativity, especially relevant here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Scott Elder is a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning.