Project Name: Masques
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Scope: Urban re-mapping project, 2010
The manner in which cities and its occupants understand urbanism and morphology is the domain of this research. There was also an interest and reference to the projects by John Hejduk in Vladivostok and Riga and how they could speculate on an entire city through singular characters. We identified strategies of architecture in service of language, narrative, and totems in which meaning is carefully ascertained as a mapping or transcription through a form of reading. In Philadelphia, a city that in a 2000 report was reported to have more derelict lots that any other city in the USA, an exploration in re-mapping its urban markers – social/physical nodes around which citizens cognitively locate themselves – is very relevant. Isolating empty sites and applying the use of a transform delivered from Vladivostok gave form to various characters. These characters were allowed to draw properties from context as well as through semiotic logic of name and service. These characters were tested as large and small scale objects within the city, and then composed as a new map through which Philadelphia is understood.
Qiyao Li, Shulei Weng,
Michael Wetmore, Ying Xu,