exhibition in Veldacademie

20 05 2010

The results of the workshop with the students of the Hugo de  Grootschool were exhibited in Veldacademie, a research laboratory of  the faculty of Architecture of TU Delft in Oud Charlois. Participants of the workshop were happy to see their creations on the wall and a lot of people from the neighborhoud passed by to see the results.

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Exhibition in W_lf_rt Project Space

11 04 2010

The results of the first workshop took place at W_lf_rt Project Space [http://wolfart.nl/] the 19th of July 2008.

People could see their drawings framed, hanging in the exhibition space. The overlapping of their routes and the new Charlois outline were also presented in that occassion.


workshop pictures

31 03 2010

Here you can see some pictures of our first Mental Charlois workshop in t’Ot’je the garden in the artist’s block in Struitenweg.

It was a beautiful summer day and everybody seemed to have a good time during the workshop. The atmosphere was great for the participants to come together, discuss and enjoy the workshop

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Oud Charlois outline map

10 03 2010

Participants were asked to outline what they think Oud Charlois is. Most of the results circled the area around the Oude Kerk. Some included the Waalhaven and some went as far as the Maashaven. The overlapping of all imaginary limits create a new map of Oud Charlois.

oud charlois outline produced by the overlapping of individual perceptions

the Mental Maps

15 02 2010

mental map by Annemarie Piscaer

Mental map by Annemarie Piscaer

charlois mental map by Boris Pas

Mental map by Boris Pas

Charlois mental map by Done Boyuk Tekin

Mental map by Done Boyuk Tekin

charlois map by Gerard Jurgens

Mental map by Gerard Jurgens

charlois mental map by Lisa Overmann

Mental map by Lisa Overmann

mental map by Rikke Korswager

Mental map by Rikke Korswagen

Mental map by Tjeerd van Waijenburg 

Mental map by Friederike Mainka

mental map by kamiel verschuren

Mental map by Kamiel Verschuren

Mental map by Martijn in ‘t Velt

Mental map by Samuli Schielke

charlois mental map by Yu Kuramoto

Mental map by Yu Kuramoto

charlois mental map by cristina ampatzidou

Mental map by Cristina Ampatzidou

workshop steps

8 02 2010


1.       the written text

People are invited to describe their everyday movements in a small piece of text.

The purpose of this step is to help people organize their thoughts over their life in Charlois. Writing is a familiar way for most people to organize their thoughts and it also provides to us extra help in re-reading the sketches of the mental maps.

2.       the mental map

Participants are requested to draw their mental map of Charlois. This includes places they have mentioned in the previous exercise, their house, their ordinary movements, places they visit regularly and places they consider to have an important character for the image of the neighborhood.

3.       the actual map

People are required to transfer the elements mentioned on their mental maps on the actual map of Charlois [or Rotterdam]. They have to locate their house and to trace the routes they are following in their everyday movements, the places they are visiting on a regular basis.

4.       Oud Charlois outline

The participants are asked to outline what they feel as the boundaries of Oud Charlois.

on perception of urban spaces

31 01 2010

“Perception is an act, not a response; it’s an achievement, not a reflex.”
J.J. Gibson

Perception is primal element of our existence as it allows us to negotiate with our environment and affects our everyday actions and behavior.

As Husserl supports, who was the first to point this out, there is certain intentionality in our perception. It is not a combination of random stimuli but it is a whole of senseful information. A person walking on a street, looking for a post office will ignore the garbage bins along his way, because this information is not useful to him at that moment but a person wanting to dispose his meal left over, will pass by the post office seeking for a garbage bin.

From these simple movements in the city, one forms his mental image of the city, thus the more interaction he has with the direct urban environment, the more detailed his mental image will be.

Of course our perception is affected, among others, by socio-cultural aspects that shape our goals, needs and intentions.

J.J. Gibson separates the “literal perception” from the “schematic perception”, using the first one to describe the properties of the world that we perceive directly and the second for the cases when the grasp of the “noematic nucleus” is active and more complex, thus it requires to extend ones mental abilities in space and time. The important difference between these two is that schematic perception is subjective and unpredictable, because it is dependent on the perceivers point of view [cultural and social structures, goals, needs, intentions].

Our perception is emplaced.

Every human activity, mental or physical, is place bound. We act, move, see, talk, think in a specific spatial surrounding. The fact that place cannot be moved, cannot be displaced, creates a perceptual difference between place and objects. A cup is a cup everywhere but Saint Peter is only one and even if it is duplicated it will not be St Peter because it is will be in another spatial context, the spatial condition of each place is unique. This is a reason why the study of the perception of urban spaces is so interesting.

The cover of the New Yorker, in March 1976, presenting a birds eye view of New York City and the cover of the New Yorker, in December 2001, presenting a plan of the metropolitan New York. The perceptual difference of the city from the other map is evident. Our idea of the city has changed from a localized human point of view to a global flat map.