The city is often described as a complexity of overlapping networks, hopefully interconnecting but more often than not contradicting. Ever since the Modernist Movement of the early 20th century architects have assumed that they can analyse the city, reducing utopian ideals down to universally applicable formulae. This has lead to a series of large scale urban‚ solutions‚ including high-rise‚ streets-in-the-sky‚ and low-rise-high-density suburban estates; ideologies which seem to have caused more problems than they solved once enacted worldwide.
The fundamental flaw in this approach to architectural theory is the assumption that there must be a sociologically objective foundation to how we understand the city, revealed if we eschew our subjective biases. I, however, believe all that is revealed when stripping out one's own subjectivity are brute physical facts which lie in the domain of the natural rather than the social sciences. This gets us no nearer to an understanding of the social life of urban spaces.
Over the course of my research I have pieced together a new approach; one which attempts to take account of our own subjectivity and biases, openly expresses them and moves toward an honest interpretation of space and place. During the residency I hope to test these theories by applying it to the production of a qualitative multimedia map of Belfast.