Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Martin, B., 2023.

Carto(graphie)s of disquiet: a geometric dis/assemble and re-assemble of mental space

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:Design Ecologies
Volume/Issue:12 (1)
Pagination:pp. 79-105

In his incomplete masterpiece, The Arcades Project, Walter Benjamin advanced a spatial mapping technique that disassembled metaphors of narration to reassemble them as metaphors of the gaze. The work, which is a composition of unfinished and changeable fragments, highlights two aspects that captivate me. Firstly, the importance of a tangible medium to support ideas, such as a book, an image or an atlas. Secondly, the physical spaces that inspire and manifest these ideas, such as the library, the passage and the city. This article visualizes a dynamic structure for the organization of thought and imagination through assembled visual constructs. A spatial configuration, a scaffold observed at different scales forming a porous machinic arrangement altogether. Geometry works as a skeleton for our mental space, readying to be fleshed by imagination, it lays foundations, and sets up the grid. It charts a design trajectory at an a-scalar dimension. Zooming in across said scales, which can be read in no particular order, one can inhabit five moments in the construction of the design process. It visits the depths of our mental space, surveys its structure for imagination; enters musée imaginaires; dissects concepts; materializes, frame-by-frame, in an in situ diagram, ending at the threshold of a line. It proposes a conceptual charter to articulate a taxonomy of possibilities and modes of design immersion. One scaffold, multiple views. This article is accompanied by drawings from my Speculative Assemblies folio. Work that addresses issues of construction, translation and the transformation of meaning through assembled visual constructs. Such translation aims not at a reproduction but a reincarnation of the original, taking on a life of its own in a new language, a mode of expression, a new construct. The action of drawing an architecture that is materialized rather than represented within the drawing, where it can be pursued, found and experienced.