Contemporary Cartography is an exhibition that examines how we navigate, document and shape the built environment today. It is a celebration and interrogation of mapping, framed through the work of selected contemporary practices.
Maps delineate space and can both conceive and compound geographical, cultural, political and social boundaries as a physical manifestation in the built environment. Often used as a drawing tool, maps can be seen as a depiction of neutral, objective fact – a form of data representation that simplifies the interrelation of time, space and experience in place making.
The exhibition proposes a re-engagement with maps and acts of cartography as creative, generative processes – positive cultural tools with the potential to transgress boundaries and reimagine our environments. Through the projects displayed, it hopes to encourage a reflection on different practices of spatial representation, what they tell us about the world we live in and how they help transgress ‘boundaries’ in a variety of senses – both physical and social.
The projects exhibited explore how cartography opens up new ways of seeing complexity in the world and engenders multiple design possibilities. They address the technologies and measuring tools of cartography, questioning their legacy and influence on our experiences of the landscape. The exhibition examines how maps can reconceptualise spatially situated boundaries by embodying multiple points in time – recording the past, representing the present and projecting the future.