One line lacks density : A study of the associations between cartographic representation and ontology

Lozanovska, Mirjana 2007, One line lacks density : A study of the associations between cartographic representation and ontology, in Density Inside Out : An Inter-Disciplinary Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Title One line lacks density : A study of the associations between cartographic representation and ontology
Author(s) Lozanovska, MirjanaORCID iD for Lozanovska, Mirjana
Conference name Density Inside Out
Conference location Edinburgh, Scotland
Conference dates 6-8 Jun. 2007
Title of proceedings Density Inside Out : An Inter-Disciplinary Conference
Publication date 2007
Publisher University of Edinburgh
Place of publication Edinburgh, Scotland
Summary One way to represent and communicate density in the spatial disciplines including architecture, town planning and geography is through the map, plan or aerial photograph. These media and tools are generally perceived to be objective and analytical modes of practice. But what else do these modes of representation mediate? The paper will respond to this question by exploring notions of ontology, notions of dwelling and being in relation to lines and drawing techniques. A map or plan is an image, in addition to a mode of communication, and affects visual pleasure. As proposals of an unbuilt world and documents of existing environment, drawings contain lines of desire. The thesis is that the lines provide a corporeal framework for an imaginary projection between the viewer and a ‘real’ built environment. The paper becomes focussed on the specifics of the ‘green line’ that has represented post-war Beirut, and is typical of representation of sites of conflict.

In the plans of post-war Beirut an almost straight line running from the top to the bottom of the page is highlighted and represents a trajectory from the Place des Martyr to the Pine Forest. To descend from this metaphoric height of the map into the streets of Beirut is to confront urban density, traffic congestion, pollution exacerbated by dust, and a lack of greenery. During the war much of the fighting occurred across this marker, and since, it has been described as an empty neutral space due to the destruction of edifices on either side, and is often proposed as the only appropriate site for building projects of national significance. Is its emptiness an a priori condition of imaginary projections? Will it remain forever empty of the density everywhere else in Beirut? Who wants to dwell there?
This paper will examine the several nuances of the ‘green line’ and what role it plays between representation and defining ontological environments.

Language eng
Field of Research 129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
HERDC Research category E3.1 Extract of paper
Copyright notice ©2007, University of Edinburgh
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