cartographic theory

spatial injustice & critical cartography 
spring 2023
boston, ma
critical analysis of representation in urban design

this glossary exists to fill a void in language, both verbal and visual. the fields of architecture and urban planning have tended towards distancing themselves from the people they claim to serve, resulting in a canyon of missing links and connections to the conditions they have created. a critical moment has arisen as the convalescence of many injustices over the modern age, where communication between the urban realm and its people has become a necessity. the urban and the city, innocent on their own, have become purveyors of injustice. reconciling our relationship with the urban condition begins with the way we understand it, and jargon is often a barrier in understanding.

the goal of this investigation is to provide an introductory outlet for linguistic and visual representation in architecture and urban design, especially in relation to the injustices the field tends to perpetuate. as spatial injustices compound, the way we represent them becomes critical. this is an exploration and an invitation, to myself and other participants in space, to critically reflect on the things we are taught to take for granted. nothing in this glossary is to be considered complete or conceptually definitive, but rather should be viewed as a tool.

the glossary is composed of 14 terms under 4 categories. each term and category is given a definition and context within the greater piece. the prose used references historical social injustices and situates these scenarios in relation to the term. there are 10 accompanying maps, each associated to a term. the maps draw data from geographical and spatial sources and blend modes of representation. the maps may be viewed with their linguistic definitions, on their own, or stacked together to incite exploration and tension.