The Choreography of Cartography: Disembodied Mappings of an Embodied Landscape
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Considered by many to be accurate and neutrally constructed representations of landscape, maps are assumed to be free from bias and prejudice. However, a critical cartographic exploration of maps and mapping practice reveals the map to be a fabricated eidetic re-presentation of landscape that embodies the subjective values of the mapmaker. Through technological advances in mapping practice such as GIS (Geographic Information System) and Google Earth, maps and mapmaking have become seamlessly integrated into the shaping of contemporary urban landscapes, further removing designers from the direct experience of the landscapes they design. This practicum seeks to reconcile the tendency to map landscape through these disembodied processes by placing particular emphasis on the agency of the landscape designer as cartographer. Building on existing literature, this research investigates a phenomenological approach to landscape that is focused on the lived experience of reading and writing maps. Focusing on a philosophical investigation this practicum explores the question; what are the implications for the practice of Landscape Architecture if designers begin to explore a phenomenological cartographic practice?