Mapping Lived Place


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Mapping Lived Place

  1. 1. Mapping Lived PlaceDr. Luigina Ciolfi, Interaction Design CentreUniversity of Limerick (Ireland)
  2. 2. IDC: Multi-disciplinary research group (psychology, communication,computer science, art & design, architecture, sociology, media studies, etc)Design, development and deployment of interactive technologies forhuman useHuman-centred approachTechnology as mediation tool in human activity and as methodological toolfor empirical research
  3. 3. Study and design of technological interventions withinthe physical world through notions of space and placeTradition of phenomenological geography (Tuan,Relph)Experiential aspects of place: personal, social, cultural,spatial. Agency, placemakingAugmentation of physical environmentsThe experience of mobility, work in progress
  4. 4. “the scene of an experience of relations with the world” (Auge’, 1995) How do we experience place?
  5. 5. “To live in a place means to experience it,to be aware of it in the bones as well as inthe head. Place, at all scales from thearmchair to the nation, is a construct ofexperience; it is sustained not only bytimber, concrete, and highways, but alsoby the quality of human awareness” (Yi-Fu Tuan, 1975)
  6. 6. Articulation of place (Ciolfi, 2003; Ciolfi and Bannon, 2005) Physical/structural Personal Social Cultural Place as an articulation of emergentexperience alongside these dimensions. Spatial extension Embodied EmergentInfluenced by cultural and social factors Personal (agency)
  7. 7. “Experience is compounded of feeling andthought. Human feeling is not a succession ofdiscrete sensations; rather memory andanticipation are able to wield sensory impactsinto a shifting stream of experience so that wemay speak of a life of feeling as we do of a life ofthought. (Yi-Fu Tuan,1977)
  8. 8. Mobility as a situated experience,Vs. many views in the Interaction Design field ofmobility as place-lessStudy of human practices and experiences on themove: use of techniques that are less used in theInteraction Design field, but quite consolidated ingeography and other human sciences, such aswalkthroughs/ walk alongs and mapmaking
  9. 9. Overview: experience of path-space why maps can be useful? what can they represent?Elements: terrain landmarks labels connectors/flows boundariesExamples: “NomadS” ProjectSome practice - hopefully!
  10. 10. Studying the emergence of practices and experiencethroughout a physical environmentHow does place (lived space) become part of practicesand activities? Importance of grounding humanexperiences in the physical worldPath-space (Bollnow, Ingold, Tuan), agency
  11. 11. “Walking (…) is much like talking, and both arequintessential features of what we take to be a humanform of life. We are already talking by the time we realizethat this is what we are doing”“Knowledge and footprints, it would seem, lie on oppositesides of a division between the mental and the material: onthe one side the mental content that we take with us intoour encounter with the world; on the other the marks leftafter we are gone”(Ingold & Vergunst, “Ways of Walking”, 2008)
  12. 12. Map making is part of narrativeenquiry through a space, to highlighthow the features of the physicalspace are embodied in personalnarratives.Ethnographically-based method, to beused in conjunction with othermethods.
  13. 13. Situatedness of emergent experience: elements of theenvironment are not simply a physical support, or triggersfor behaviour, they are essential elements of thestructure of values and meanings we attribute tosituationsMovement as constituent of experience of placeMovement as unfolding of meanings and narratives
  14. 14. Mapmaking Maps: representations of geographical spacethrough the perspective of the mapmaker, who chooseswhich aspects of the space to highlight and connect “(…) Part of what fascinates us when looking at amap is inhabiting the mind of its maker, considering thatparticular terrain of imagination overlaid with thoseunique contour lines of experience. If I had mapped thatlandscape, we ask ourselves, what would I have chosento show, and how would I have shown it?” (Harmon,2004: p.11)
  15. 15. MapmakingMaps are personal representations of lived paths: path isnot just movement but the unfolding of an experientialnarrativeExperiential artefacts scattered along the wayAssociation of meaning (values, culture, identity)
  16. 16. “The mapmaker has to simplify, selecting only thoseelements of reality that he or she considers to benecessary to serve their (…) purpose(…) Usually the subjectivity of maps is concealedbecause the user shares the values of the mapmaker(…) Indeed the most fascinating and valuable aspect ofthe subjectivity of all maps lies in the mirror that theyprovide into the mentalities of mapmakers and theirsocieties (…) Often maps will reveal more about attitudesand objectives than their makers would normally trust toput into writing”(Carlucci & Barber, “Lie of the Land”, 2001)
  17. 17. Mapmaking is a proactive exercise: re-establish theelements of place experience.What do we ask people to do when we invite them todraw a map?Exercise can be workshop style, or interview style: becareful in planning ahead. What are your questions?What is the goal of the mapmaking session? How does itfit with the rest of your fieldwork?
  18. 18. Elements: terrain landmarks labels connectors/flows boundaries
  19. 19. Elements: terrainWhat is the canvas? Empty or partly filled? What does itrepresent, what is its scale?
  20. 20. LandmarksWhat are the point of references? Are some given or thecanvas is left entirely empty? Codes or lifelike? Providinglandmarks guides the participants’ work
  21. 21. LabelsHow will the map be labelled? Freedom to choose ownlabels or pre-made ones? Natural language or symbols?What’s in a label? Importance of place names/language(e.g. political, value-laden)
  22. 22. Connectors/flowsA map represents place but also paths, connections andsequences of events. Connectors create a narrative.Providing participants with types of connectors, orallowing them to create their own?
  23. 23. BoundariesWhat is inside or outside a certain area? Whatdifferences does a boundary mark? Different types ofboundaries: fluid or fixed; official or perceived; personalor shared
  24. 24. In planning mapmaking exercises:- Focus-  Scale- Contribution of participants- Preparation of materials (as if of questions)- Technology can help
  25. 25. Case Study: NomadSStudy of workers (salesrepresentatives), who spend theirworking week on the moveEach work-place has differentmeanings and associations tothem, so has the movementbetween locationsMapmaking as a way ofrepresenting their “terrain ofactivities”Analysis: multi-layered notion ofplace
  26. 26. Conclusions- Importance of methods to study people’semergent experience of place on the move- Situatedness of meaning making practices- Movement as unfolding of meanings andnarratives within the environment. Physical worldis more than a constraint- Importance of studying these aspects as part ofplace enquiry
  27. 27. Thanks! www.idc.ul.ieFind us on Facebook and Twitter (UL Interaction Design Centre)