Confused? Good, that is step one of mapping.

Aug 29 2011

Final Workshop:
After a lot of traveling it was nice to be able to somewhat settle into one location for a decent amount of time. For us this location was the city of Siena within Tuscany which we came to love and appreciate. Our final workshop was focused on a critical examination of the Sienese Urban condition, both within and beyond the walls. Through mapping and analysis we came to understand that a lot of Siena’s future relies on its ability to expand outside of the walls. With that in mind our goal became determining how it can grow in a way that is both intelligent and sustainable.

We we’re able to compile a final proposal that is comprised of three main components: Mapping, Proposals, and the Performance. The combination of all three gives a cohesive understanding of our view of Siena and its possible future. Through our rigorous mapping we were able to understand not only the past and present of the city but it’s potential for a future especially outside of its walls. This mapping was packaged into a proposal of changes as well as additions extending beyond the walls. Through our performance we were expressing the city now, which lead to the proposals of why exactly changes and additions were necessary for the cities growth. It is through the combination of all three elements that we were able to produce and comprehensive proposal which looks to guide Siena as it further expands outside the limits of its city wall.

The most important component of the final workshop was the collective mapping done amongst all four of us which allowed for our proposals to be created. Mapping was done throughout the whole workshop and is something that is done in parallel with design. In essence mapping can never really be finished but continuously adds to the project. Each one of us took different findings out of each time we went mapping and allowed us to provide multiple points of views as well as direction for the proposal.

Without the mapping the proposals would have never been possible. It took time and effort to understand what had occurred, was occurring and what needed to occur in the future to help the city expand. Many see the city of Siena as bound to the limits of the city walls when there is so much possibility beyond those walls to help keep the city thriving.

Much of our mapping can be seen as our process work which was able to lead us to our proposals. A majority of our focus was centered on signage and symbols in and around the city. We became aware of any and every ‘way finding’ tactic that is used both within and outside of the walls for the different networks in use. It was through this focus we were able to see disconnects and absence among and between networks. Fixing as well as adding to make the networks and their connections became the primary focus for our final proposal.

Our final proposal is comprised of a Directional Boundary, Networks, Primary Nodes, and Secondary Nodes. These elements can be found on our group website as well as other project images. It was important that we as group defined these elements as we saw them, which are written below:

*Directional Boundary: A layer and or elements that is understood to allow for way finding in relationship to the city
*Networks: Understood connection between two points
*Primary Node: Major Intersections that occur between networks along the directional boundary
*Secondary Node: minor intersections of multiple networks

When mapping the different signage and symbols related to the major networks we found that several of the networks were frustrated or frustrating and therefore in need of modification or recreation. Along with the additions was the creation of a directional boundary that allows users to keep in reference to the city wall. The changes made to networks were also in parallel with the creation of a multitude of primary and secondary nodes in and around the city. Many of the proposed interventions are small and most are only suggestive of what is possible for the city in the future. By beginning to integrate these changes, Siena can continue to grow while being continuously tied back to its beginnings within the wall.

Overall it is seen that this compilation of networks and nodes can be activated and occupied by both tourists and locals. Their relationship and ties to one another may not be directly understood by a user visiting the city for the day however they become a part of the system none the less. The goal for the future is that this system of networks and nodes will continue to grow outside of the city while still having a relationship back to the walls where it all began. All those encountering the city are not only drawn inside of the wall but become a part of everything occurring outside of the wall.

In order to enact the idea of nodes and networks that were a strong part of our findings we instilled a performance into our final presentation which simulated these elements. Through what we named Anti-Tourism we had our guests and critics experience our ‘city’ in the way a tourist might normally do. This experience however was in opposition to how tourists are normally lead through a city. Without a map the users navigated through the building follow arrow markers with no map to confirm where they were or even where they were going. Along the way they encountered different rooms with documentation but no information on the documentation. The guide was not giving any information but rather documenting how the user ventured through the building. Each of the users was eventually lead to a final room which held our final proposal.

Each of the four different routes that went throughout the building correlated to four of the networks found in and around Siena. Those on the blue path were following the car and therefore had the least number of stops en route to their destination. Second to this was the red route, or the bus, which had just a few more stops than the car. Thirdly was that of the green route which was simulating the bicycle. They had more stops than the bus but not as many as the orange route which was that of the pedestrian. The pedestrian was the longest and most time consuming route with the most stops before arriving at the final destination.

There was a level of confusion amongst all of the users as they were wandering through the building, which was exactly what we had intended. We as guides had experience much confusion when we we’re navigating the actual networks that exist outside of the walls of Siena. This sense of confusion and frustration was a major tool for us in our final proposal. The goal being that by connected networks and creating new ones any sense of confusion would diminish. Each of the networks would work on their own but also in relationship to one another especially upon their intersections at the various nodes.

1. Follow the direction markers on the floor that correspond to the color of the card in your hand
2. You will be encountering maps and documentation of Siena
3. You need to collect one map on your journey. It will be marked by a square with a star on it that corresponds to the color of your card & directional markers
4. When there are no more arrows you have come to the end

Blue = Car (1 stop) Valeria Barra
Red = Bus (2 stops) Matteo Vigni
Green = Bike (3 stops) Roger Smith
Orange = Pedestrian (4 stops) Jim Dart

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