condenCITY_55 above aerial view of Ttueksom station in Seoul

Dymaxion Map, Buckminster Fuller, Courtesy wikimedia commons

Now, more than ever, we have access to a myriad of options for viewing the city. Cartography, or the craft of map-making has for centuries been a search for representing the earths surface and its composition in two dimensional form. Maps as two dimensional representations have given way to digitized volumes of aerial shots and three dimensionally charted land/ building forms, capturing nearly every corner of our urban (and rural) environments. It seems impossible that the two dimensional map, be it analogue or digital, will disappear anytime soon. The ability to view the city or any arrangement on the earths surface from various vantage points in nearly live time, has been augmented with combined technologies for unprecedented realism in viewing the composition of the earths surface from above.    

By comparison, the Dymaxion map, patented by Buckminster Fuller in 1946, was a projection of a world map onto the surface of a polyhedron. The ensuing pattern was then unfolded using various methods and flattened to form a two-dimensional map which, in the end retained much of the proportional integrity of the globe map. While it may seem easy to dismiss the accuracy of the Dymaxion map at first glance, when in fact it is the deception of our minds eye that challenges relationships of the continents we have come to recognize in a northerly upward orientation, form and arrangement. The polyhedron superimposed grid establishing accurate break points, while maintaining continental precision. 

So too, is the current aerial deceptive in its momentary, time captured snapshot of the city. Here today, and as is the case in Seoul, altered city tomorrow. Perhaps in the near future technology will have bridged the gap between transforming cities/ land forms and the digitized lenses through which we view them. 


condenCITY_54 urban gaps

The city of Seoul is always in-between, both physically and metaphysically. The gaps and fissures that feed our imagination are voids for intervention. They expose the tattered form of transformation caught between yesterday, today and tomorrow. Time is presented as exposed fragments; weathered and aged, testament to the labored roots of a cities humble beginning. 

Early autumn brilliant blue breaks the hazy grey of thick summer. With mid-summer weight lifted the urban gap is once again free to breath.