For a lecture and some tutorials I visited the University of Lichtenstein today talking to a group of master students at the Institute of Architecture and Planning. The input lecture did focus on the topic of mapping and the implementation of mapping as a practice but also as a methodologies. The input is closely linked to the term projects the students are working on, the mapping of the country of Lichtenstein under specific aspects.
Lichtenstein is tiny with only some 35,000 inhabitants. The small territory constantly confronts one with the questions and expressions of distinction in order to sustain itself. A constant feature is the fact that one sees beyond the country borders. Where ever you are the reference of the other side is always present rendering this here and there relationship very complex.
Image taken from akpool / An old postcard from Vaduz showing the Castel on the upper left hand side.
The task for the students is to develop representations in the form of maps that summarise their individual investigations. It all starts with a walk, a stroll and unfolds between the steps tripping stones and barriers. In thesis sense quite a dynamic and explorative setting.
The input on mapping under the title Hic Sunt Dracones - Mapping, what ever. the lecture developed a rather descriptive methodology of mapping in the context of mapping as a tool, mapping as a practice and mapping as a visualisation. The focus is on topics and characteristics rather than context and specific project.
The developed approaches range from memory mapping and interview as a tool of spatial investigation to more obvious topics of distance, sound and land use and more narrative driven proposals developed around a fictional roman soldiers who lived 2000 years ago by uncovering buried layers of remains and the refolding of processes or the discover of a 49th orchid species based on environmental conditions.
Image taken from ebitki.com / Three of the more rare orchid species that can be found in Lichtenstein: , Chamorchis Alpina, Malaxis Monophyllos and Flora Danica .