An indication of some of the research reading going on behind the scenes. As you can see it’s a mix of theory, exploring what others have done and trying to keep an arts perspective. The latter is important as there’s always a temptation to get so absorbed in the cartographic process or the ‘what if’ dreaming of a grand wayfinding system for the town that we lose the unique flavour of the project. That’s why Richard Long and Hamish Fulton are currently in there and also Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy which I’m planning to re-read - I seem to remember there’s a fantastic story in which journeys are walked in order to spell out a message.
Most engaging at the moment however is Kitchen and Blades’ Cognition of Geographic Space. The first half of the book compiles some often disparate research on cognitive mapping in an attempt to draw up some conclusive theories. It’s interesting to be reading this as we lead the workshops and see some of these theories in action as people describe navigating the town. i’m particularly intrigued with the alternative to the ‘landmarks’ and ‘routes’ theory which most intelligent wayfinding/map systems (such as Legible London) currently follow – that of navigating via snapshots of vistas. i think the young people especially describe journeys in this way.