The photographic documentation here is just a very small part of this large
and in depth project that sought to map the emotional relationship of 30
engineering students to six distinct zones of the city of Cagliary.
The mapping was created through field tests, questionnaires and ultimately a
robotic, deformable map.
If interested in more information please reach out to us. Cychopolis is a project that mapped the city of Cagliari, Italy from an emotional/sensorial standpoint. 30 engineering students were sent across the city to selected sites and evaluated the given location in a state of hypnotic trance, accessed by listening to an audio hypnosis cd. The results were then plotted out into a data field, and represented in a robotically controlled map of Cagliari that deformed the map upwards and downwards depending on the positive and negative emotional responses at given locations.
Digital Psychotopography of Cagliari
"and whenever you like now, I'd like you to begin to feel from within the space in which you find yourself ....focus from within on what surrounds you....as if,bit by bit, your nervous system extends itself outwards towards your surroundings... as if you could feel the emotions and sensations that emerge from your surroundings...the surroundings that you hve chosen, the surroundings that have attracted you to them...focus on the sensations, thoughts, feelings and intuitions as if they were completely connected to you...and as the impressions of the location grow within you, just allow that link to generate a dialogue between you and your surroundings....a dialogue...a narrative...heightened sensations...perhaps embedded in the past or present, or maybe in the future... visualize what the site you have chosen suggests to you and whenever you like take a hold of the pen and allow your hand to draw from your mind...directly...independently...let it render what is outside as it is drawn from within..."
Strategies of urban design were radically challenged by the Situationists in the 1950´s when Guy Debord developed the idea of the "dérive", or a mapping of the city based on chance experiences, rather than the surveyor's theodolite.
With the "dérive", the new type of mappers were expected to drop their usual work and leisure activities, as well as all their usual motives for movement and action, and wander through the city, attracted by certain traits and encounters that were recorded so as to make up a "psycho geographic" terrain.
With our project, Cychopolis, the participants were not just asked to drop their usual habits of behavior, but more especially, their acquired habits of thought,so as to view the city from a completely personal and embodied point of view.
In order to map the city from a vantage point that is uncontaminated by externally formed ideas given to us through peer-pressure or assimilated through education, the 30 engineering students were asked to emotionally evaluate the terrain directly from the unconscious. The students were divided into groups and asked to choose 6 different points in the city of Cagliari. Each point corresponded to one of 6 different categories: commerce, circulation, public spaces, public buildings, private spaces and green spaces.
Each student then listened to a short hypnotic induction in the selected places.
The audio hypnosis made the students undergo a temporary lapse of acquired knowledge and memory, followed by commands to open up the senses to the location. In trance, the students drew, or imprinted their impressions, and upon awaking, precisely described their experience. Although the individual experiences were interesting in themselves, often revealing surprising and almost synesthetic or narrative emotional textures of the locations, what we were most interested in was finding common patterns, or emotional nodes or vortexes that run through the city. In order to build up a psycho-sensorial map of Cagliari, we asked the students to evaluate each location according to the four basic parameters of experience as established by Carl Jung : sensing and intuition, feeling and thinking, as well as whether the experience seemed embedded more in the past or the future. The students were also asked to grade the impact of their experience on a scale of 1 to 10.
This gave us an enormous set of data which could then be mapped back into the city of Cagliari. We began to see that certain areas or zones elicited a strong, intuitive response, whereas other areas or zones seemed, for instance, to arouse feelings.
In this way, the map of Cagliari begins to distort itself, with larger values or topographical "humps"emerging where students responded most strongly, and locations of weaker psycho-sensorial response begin to shrink. This type of mapping seems to mirror the idea of the "homunculus", or the mapping of the senses on the cerebral cortex. Just as hands and feet have more processing power devotedto them in the brain than let us say the shoulders, and as an extension our hands and feet occupy a larger sensorial terrain than our shoulders, so our mapping of Cagliari, inaccurate to the eye of the surveyor and the theodolite, is, in a certain sense, a more accurate measure of how the city is experienced.
At the media and architecture festival "Image", in Firenze in October 2003 we displayed a servo-controlled, interactive, moving map that reflects the changing psycho sensorial terrain of the city of Cagliari...perhaps the installation itself will spark a chain of psycho-sensorial associations within the city of Firenze...
A project by Marcos Lutyens and Daniela Frogheri Collaboration Oliver Hess Sound Design Christina Clar Thanks to Prof. Giovannimaria Campus , the Faculty of Engineering of Cagliari and the students:
Marco Barabino, Paolo Caddeu, Alessandra Cireddu, Antonio Contini, Carlo Dessì, Rita Doro, Francesca Fancello, Francesco Fancello, Piero Fancello, Gianluca Farina, Francesca Ghisu, Francesca Lai, Michele Mameli, Giancarlo Marcias, Adriano Masia, Martina Mattana, Daniela Melis, Francesca Melis, Francesco Muggianu, Mariangela Murgia, Chiara Patteri, Alberto Piras, Cinzia Piras, Massimo Pirinu, Antonio Pittau, Marco Sanna, Francesca Scaramella, Paolo Spiga, Valentina Talu, Salvatore Ziranu Daniela Frogheri is a student of ingegneria edile at the university of Cagliari,and has been collaborating with Marcos Lutyens on the MindBrowser and CychoPolis for the past year, charting the structures that emerge from the collective as well as the individual unconscious. Giovanni Maria Campus, tenured researcher of Composizione Architettonica e Urbana, professor of Composizione Architettonica 3 as part of the University of Cagliari. He is involved in architectural issues related to communication, projects, realization, feedback, as well as perception and emotive communicative processes directed towards architectural transformation.
Thanks also to Day Nguyen, Marco Brizzi, Elisa Grilli and Eric Lozano