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Digital Chorographies

This research by Prof Gary Warnaby (University of Manchester) and Prof Richard Koeck conceptualises the experiential representation and marketing of urban/architectural geographies. CAVA's growing research activity on outdoor advertising is also related to the AHRC Cinematic Battersea project and a recent AHRC CDA award with McCann Manchester.  

Introduction: An important theme in place marketing, branding, and architectural literature – and practice – is the development of a strong, attractive image, through (primarily) visual representation of a location. But considering that today we live in cities that are digital hybrids, in which we are connected to a wider system of information, how is an ‘image of the city’ constructed in this context, and are there other strategies and tactics that should be considered? Using Plato’s notion of chora and Claudius Ptolemy’s notion of chorography as points of departure that will lead us to consider Michel de Certeau’s concept of walking as an experiential and dialectic process through which we relate the spatial stories of places and moreover,1 in the context of digital locative media, we will point to ways by which this may be accomplished. In introducing the reader to the concept of digital chorographies as a means by which a place’s spatial narratives may be constructed, we suggest that a current emphasis on visual representation (for example, of attractive place product elements/attributes, such as architectural landmarks and cityscapes, etc.) should be considered in conjunction with the articulation and narration of qualities contributing to a place’s realm of meaning.

Moreover, we argue that technological developments – facilitating potential participation of a wider array of stakeholders in the creation of place image, and its representation – put greater emphasis on developing a co-created experience in and of space and place, with signi cant potential implications, not only for how urban locales are represented, but also for their management more generally via more participatory approaches. Co-creative processes and practices have implications for developing more overt performative dimensions to place marketing, as it moves from an emphasis on materiality (via the static representation of places, as embodied for example, in maps) to a focus on multiple narratives in a system of dynamic storytelling. Indeed, we argue that incorporating performative aspects into place marketing activities is a means by which the genius loci is more effectively communicated, to create distinctiveness in an increasingly competitive spatial environment.

For more information see Open Access article: Architectural Research Quarterly Architectural Research Quarterly / Volume 19 / Issue 02 / June 2015, pp 183-192.  We gratefully acknowledge the images used here: 1) Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc., www.RareMaps.com; 2) Chris Speed; 3) Monika Koeck.


Monday. 15 June 2015

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