ISEA2011 WORKSHOP: Mapping as Walking

Mapping as Walking as Learning to See in the Digital Age

Workshop Leader: Roberley Bell
2nd Leader: Ayse Coskun Orlandi

We walk through the world looking. Sight is the dominant sense with which we are trained to take in the world around us. The focus of the mapping exercise is to amplify our “other” senses. Let’s quickly put forward a premise. What happens with the loss of one of the five human senses – vision, hearing, touch, smell and taste? The answer is known; the remaining senses take on more depth. Mapping as walking, as learning to see heightens our awareness of seeing with all our senses. The mapping exercises share in expanding traditional conditions of spatial properties by exploring the sensory perceptions of any given spatial locale. The approach provides the participant with the resources for drawing upon the range of sensory experiences to fully “see” the environment.

All participants will be asked to record in various media (photographs, writing, moving image, sound) their impressions and perceptions of Cibali-Fener-Balat neighborhood. These subjective narratives -formed in relation to the urban tissue- will be presented as a collective installation. Participants will explore the physical, geographic and cultural area of Cibali-Fener-Balat.  Through systems of observation and methods of recording information they will address interpretations of place. The aim of the workshop is to provide participants with a method for learning to see through their senses the world around them, how to record this information and how it can become the research tool for developing creative projects. Using a specific locale, participants explore the physical, characteristic of place; focusing on seeing with all of their senses, developing the knowledge of the sounds of a space, the feel of a space, the taste of the space and the look of the space.

Mapping as walking, as learning to see is an ongoing work, on the move, nomadic and transitory, providing insights that help the artist/designer to see the physical environment in new ways.  It converts the familiar to the unfamiliar and vice versa.  The essence of the project is to make us utilize all of our senses and to learn to see the non-visible. The act of decoding the cityscape through the senses challenges participants to “see” the landscape of the city through motion in real time, moving through the space of the city to experience the sight, sound, smell, taste and feel of the urban environment. It provides a means of interpreting and defining the city as a physical place full of sensory experiences. A momentary encounter with something foreign –architecture, object, food, and a scent- has the potential of crystallizing the experience. Making place more than a set of coordinates.

The process of gathering and recording these experiences provides the participant with a reservoir of sensory codes stored for future use in the creative process. The workshop has three stages.

1 data collection:  the first day of the workshop groups will be sent on walking explorations of the Cibali-Fener-Balat neighborhood. They will be given a “map” that is devoid of any specific markers beyond street directions. Over the course of their day they will become “familiar’ with the locale and began mapping their sensory experiences.

2 sharing: day two, each participant will experience the locale with a diffract set of eyes and prior associations these will be critical in the follow up conversation of how we “see “ with our senses.

3 design outcomes:  The final phase is for the artist /design to take this information into the studio and to use it as the starting point for the creating a project that reflects the essence of place.  We will collect information from participants for months to come after the workshop.
Bios of the Presenters
Roberley Bell spent her childhood in Latin America and Southeast Asia, before returning to the United States to attend the University of Massachusetts and State University of New York at Alfred from where she holds an MFA in Sculpture. Bell is the recipient of many grants and fellowships including the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Pollock Krasner Fellowship, a summer Fulbright to the Netherlands and a 2010 Senior Scholar Fulbright to Turkey. Bell’s Fulbright projects the city as the site of intervention resulted in a series of projects in public spaces.  Bell has received several residency awards both nationally and internationally. Bell’s work has been exhibited in one person and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally including many art fairs. Bell has completed public projects in Cambridge, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Baltimore New York, Kaliningrad Russia and Istanbul, Turkey. Bell is a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY where she teaches studios in three dimensional design and seminars on public art/public space. Bell has led workshops on exploratory spatial experiences at numerous venues world wide including 6th International Interaction Design Workshop ‘Design as Seeing as thinking’ held in Istanbul.

Ayşe E. Coşkun Orlandi
, born in Delft, Holland. Lives and works in Istanbul. She received her BA as Industrial Product Designer in 1997 at Marmara University (Istanbul), Faculty of Fine Arts. 1998, received a Master in Design degree at Domus Academy, Milan, Italy with her master project on Strategic Design-Corporate Visions- with Marco Susani and Emilio Genovesi. During the Domus Academy master programme she has participated in various workshops and projects in different fields of design where she also has won a special prize in Baci Perugina Packaging and Creativity Design Competition.  In 1999-2001 worked as a designer in different projects on corporate identity design in Istanbul for various firms. In 2003 received an MA at Marmara University (Istanbul) Industrial Product Design Programme, with her dissertation focusing on the title Necessity and Design to coordinate the design solutions executed by their users, particularly for the examples in Istanbul. In 2009 she has got her PhD with her dissertation titled ‘Industrial Design as Added Value and Global Competitiveness for the Turkish Jewellery Industry in 21st Century. A Model Proposal with Reference to the ‘Made in Italy’ Model at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (Istanbul), Institute of Science and Technology Industrial Product Design Programme. She has been lecturing, researching, publishing in the field of industrial product design since 2000.  She is currently working as Asst. Prof. at Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Posted by:  Ebru Surek