Getting There

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Pier Vittorio Aureli

The rise and popularisation of technologies of transport and the associated development of technologies of representation, from the eighteenth century onwards, were the precise means through which the cartographic mind became the dominant mode of understanding the city. As movement in the city was increasingly dislocated from the body into technologies of transport, individual vision was no longer sufficient and therefore adopted the universal and absolute view from above – the one provided by the map and its by-products. The thesis thus proposes a history of orientation in the nineteenth and twentieth century, by looking at London and the parallel development of transport and the popularisation of orientation devices (maps, guides, signs and systems). It proposes that the instalment of the view from above is intimately related to the control of movement, and this is done through one and the same action: its arrest. Detention of movement is the central aspect of modern city control, and is therefore at the core of both power and knowledge. The thesis will therefore explore the relationship between rest (the designed state of the street – the urban territory as established by its plans), unrest (the unwanted potential state) and arrest (the tool through which the second is turned into the desired first).

Gabriela is an architect (Hons., Universidad de Chile, 2006) and MA in Architectural History (Distinction, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, 2010). She has worked as an architect and academic and exhibited her work in Chile and the UK. She started her doctoral research at the AA in 2011 with a scholarship from the Chilean government. In 2013 she received a grant from the Sasakawa Foundation for a trip to Japan.

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Gabriela GdeC