In travelling to the site I had developed a pre-existing idea of timing the routes that I would be taking throughout and around the sites outlined area in the brief, using the stopwatch on my phone and recording where I had walked in my notebook [1.]. It felt as though measuring distance through time in place of physical distance, would be enormously comparable and personal to anybody else who had measured in a similar way.
1. Sketches denoting routes walked, time taken and the location of breaks within.
Initially, I had anticipated that the differences in speed and the size of paces would be the most interesting aspect of measuring the time taken to walk across the site. However, whilst meandering about the site, I found that on each route I had taken my progress was disrupted or distracted, in that my attention was being taken away from the destination. I began to note these breaks in my stream of consciousness, marking where I had stopped and what I believe had caused the pause. Without a drawn and scaled plan on site, I roughly sketched out the locations of the buildings and their footprints and subsequently the route I had taken between them.
Upon drawing a rough, yet more detailed version of these events in tracing a plan of the site, I noticed the distortion between my perception of the areas layout against accurate an accurate drawing.
This then influenced an idea regarding an experiential response to the environment: in opening an avenue of investigation into our individual interpretations of the site. If we were to sketch out and attempt to understand this environment, in plan or perhaps even section whilst we are occupying the space, we could then overlay these perceptions against accurate drawings to see which spaces are warped and construed in our minds against the physical.
This could potentially reveal similarities and differences in our readings of the site as individuals, the mapping of which could lead to identifying what spaces and elements of the site are missing from our minds or what stand out in our memories.
Propositionally, at this stage I feel it would be interesting if as a unit we could develop and compile a site plan (or individual site plans) that highlight the areas we remember and those that we forget, as to try to understand why this might be. However, I could be misinterpreting the idea of Propositional Field Notes!
2. Lynch, K. (1960). Mental Map of Boston [Diagram]. MIT Press: The Image of the City.
This idea is a shrinking of a similar task that Kevin Lynch undertook in researching and writing “The Image of the City”, applying similar principles to a much smaller scaled area.
I’m trying to keep to 500 words, so i’ve added a diagram from the book, drawn from conversations with Boston residents. Its not much use without the key! So ill also add it to the bibliography, but its real interesting how he began to decipher visually how people mentally understand their cities.