Student Work 11

The materials here are from a graduate seminar taught at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, entitled "Visual Commmunication: Cities". In this course, students explored the history of the city of Taipei, with studies of area maps, neighborhoods, and urban structures.

In the project show here, students were asked both to look at the history of different parts of the Taipei, and to create hypothetical future "re-designs", both purposeful and accidental for different parts of the city. They did this with simple "layover" maps, and accompanying presentations describing the changes they foresaw, e.g., built areas to parkland, intrusion of the Tamsui River into riverbank neighborhoods, and so on.


Map of the Past, Present, and Future of Taipei
[student write-up]
We can find precious clues in maps from past eras, in terms of their design and perspective, and what they tell us about the development of a place. As civilization and society grow, human beings plan and cultivate the earth; natural land, plants, and animals are gradually replaced by man made concrete and asphalt. Human used to develop civilization with nature in mind, but at present, the appearance of the environment is built according to the human blueprint, and we have erased any trace of nature. Concerning the future, there are too many uncertainties; but one certain thing is that the future is going to be built upon a now inevitable compromise and the balance between humans and nature. In this project, each student selected an area of the city of Taipei, and designed a map of its future. That map might present the most realistic possible scenario for the future, the most desirable scenario (a utopian vision), or the worst potential scenario (a dystopian vision). By also including maps of each area’s past, we can discover and reflect more about the development of a city over time.