Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
SPECIAL THEORY AND CRITIC TOPICS ON ARCHITECTURE AND ART: Embodied narrative cartographies. The city and architecture through literature texts and cartographi
Elective at semester(s) 5, 7, ECTS: 3
Cognitive Fields (2005/36/EU): History and Theories.
Generic Competences: Ability to search for, process and analyse information from a variety of sources using the necessary technologies, Ability to adapt to and act in new situations and cope under pressure, Ability to make reasoned decisions, Ability to work autonomously, Ability to work in a team, Ability to work in an international context, Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment, Capacity to generate new ideas (creativity), Ability to interact constructively with others regardless of background and culture and respecting diversity, Ability to demonstrate social, professional and ethical responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues, Ability to be critical and self-critical , Ability to promote free, creative and inductive thinking.

“That is the complete SPACE OF THE PERFORMANCE, with the movements, the thoughts, the received instructions of the actors, as well as the social and physical context in which they performed

Bernard Tschumi. Architecture and Disjunction



Comprehension, Analysis, Evaluation

A new approach of theoretical-practical research is created, when we understand that the human body is the main source of creating and living the space. This posture  proposes a new depiction of historical quests and literature references. New awareness of possibilities could have interesting implications in spatial urban and innovative urban researches through cartographic tools. The narrative events, described in the literature or historical texts, reveal the movements of the bodies within the urban tissues and structures. The aim of the course is to create these spatial narratives - cartographies - based on literature or historical texts that expose the latent properties of the new urban areas in crisis - architectural and spatial - while identifying new contemporary structures.


The course is based on a hypothesis: the body is the main factor of the space. Its purpose is to challenge the idea of ​​the Cartesian duality, proposing a new posture towards a more physical, dynamic and vibrant perception of the space. The body is understood from Spinoza's point of view: "everything is a body and the body is not defined by its material, but through its relationships", as the interactions between bodies are the essential element, not their ontological identity. The architectural structure of the cities is examined beyond its objects - beyond any construction notions - in order to establish the human scale through the body - and the relationships that this body manifests -. Architecture and urban planning are seen as constructions that incorporate these multi-scale processes and relationships.

Escape from Auschwitz-Birkenau. Victor Cano Ciborro, Ερευνητική εργασία 2013 ΕΤSAM

The main method that will be developed in this context of theoretical-practical learning is the cartographic narration. Cartography is regarded as a source of knowledge as part of a particular-specific embodied reality, called the situated knowledge. The use of fictional narrative graphic language can trace what a body can do in the urban landscape, analyzing each case study. Cases, for example, where the urban space of a city is transformed and restructured - liberated - by physical actions such as an escape, a robbery, or a children play. The cartographic narrative is based on literature texts explaining the free movement of bodies in the urban tissue, emphasizing the importance of physicality in the space and thus introducing new methods of interpretation, imagery and history reconstruction in modern city and architecture.


The structure of the course is divided into two distinct but cooperating parts. The theoretical input of the course consists of lectures and discussions on the narrative contents, in order to understand the importance of cartographic narration and to explore new ways of visualizing the urban landscape. Priority will be given to issues related to architectural mapping through international contemporary literature, images of non-tangible conditions, dynamic and changing intensities of the two-dimensional space, multiple scales of bodies and times, contemporary demographics and surveys of sensitive memory areas.

The experiences, on the other hand seek the experiential habitation of the space and the co-living of the urban tissue through these literature or historical texts. Students are invited to experiment and develop concepts, illustrations and events as they deepen into the reconstruction of the literature-historical references. Personal experiences, experiential physical walks and conceptual leaps through the use of narrative metaphor are the tools for creating these narrative cartographies.


The course is articulated in two exercises during the semester:

Exercise A:
Students are invited to search and select a literature or historical text with narrative references to the cities of Volos, Athens, or Thessaloniki. In this first phase, they should isolate the spatial physical events and through audiovisual images (recording non-linear video, audio, etc.) of the space they should capture their experiences while visiting the sites.

Gang Urbanism. Subaltern bodies inhabiting suburbia. Victor Cano Ciborro. Monu October 27th 2017

Exercise B:
In the second exercise, students will have to differentiate at diverse levels the multiplicity of the lived temporalities and physicalities that arise from literature works and to represent the multiple information in a modern mapping. Narrative cartography can include texts, drawings, three-dimensional representations, parametric compositions, interactive options, or any other medium that supports the complexity of a dynamic mapping.


Both the first and the second exercise could be developed in group. The criteria to be considered for evaluation are the active participation, the responsiveness to the course objectives, the visual ability and the critical manifestation of the urban tissue history.


Abrams, J. and Hall, P., eds. (2006): Elsewhere Mapping: New Cartographies of Networks and Territories. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Beckmann J. (1998), The virtual dimension: architecture, representation, and crash culture, Princeton Architectural Press.

Crampton, J. and Krygier J. (2006): An introduction to critical cartography. ACME: An International E-journal for Critical Geographies 4:1, 11-33.

Certeau, M.D. (2011) The Practice Of Everyday Life, 3rd Revised Edition Edition, University of California Press.

Hunter, V. (ed.) (2015) Moving Sites: Investigating Site-Specific Dance Performance, London ; New York, Routledge.

Lobsinger, M.L, Cedric Price.(2000) An architecture of the performance.  Daidalos n-7

Pallasmaa, J. (2014). La imagen corpórea. Imaginación e imaginario en la arquitectura, Gustavo Gil

Virilio, P., A (2000) Landscape of Events (Writing Architecture), The MIT Press, Cambridge.

Wood, D. (2006): Map Art. Cartographic Perspectives 53, Winter