Constructing Visual Narratives of Place

The seminar explores the representation of identity and memory in the city and its territory. The case study is Boston, in its large surrounding area, the so called Greater Boston, whose memory and identity are directly connected to the perception of its inhabitants and visitors. Such memory and the history that has characterized it since 1960, the year in which The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch was published, has influenced and conditioned the way we look at cities all over the world, the way we perceive those cities’ expansion and how we acknowledge their new horizons.

The course aims to use this memory and identity to make visible not only the city of Boston but also the larger scale of the Greater Boston Metropolitan area. 

The complexity of this territory and its imageability is still something that requires deep research and interpretation. The seminar will especially consider the emerging topics of climate change adaptation, sea level rise and their implications for the displacement of individuals and communities across physical, social and political levels.

The observation of this area is based on two principles. The first is to define the field of survey, starting from the geographic systems and the big environmental area. The other is to have a more rich and complex picture of the inhabitants of this bigger territory and to focus more on their collective memory and identity.

The final goal of this research and work is dual: firstly, we’ll visually define the public image of the city on its larger scale. Secondly, we’ll explore possible future scenarios for the Greater Boston, starting from the observation of the present conditions and predictions and projections over climate change. The course intends to provide tools of observation, reading and interpretation of the territory and it has the will to communicate in a more narrative way stories about different visions of this metropolitan area. The students will use a variety of media: mapping, drawings, making of collages, shooting and storyboarding.

Note: the instructor will offer online live course presentations on 08/26, and/or 08/27. To access the detailed schedule and Zoom links, please visit the Live Course Presentations Website.

Please note this course will meet online through 9/15.