Mellon Forum: Mapping

Sep 24, 2019, 12:00 pm1:20 pm
School of Architecture, South Gallery


  • Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities
  • Program in American Studies
  • Humanities Council
  • Center for Collaborative History
  • Department of Art and Archaeology
Event Description
Laura Kurgan and Matteo Percoli

From left: Laura Kurgan, Matteo Percoli. Photos courtesy of Laura Kurgan and Matteo Percoli

Innovations in geographic information system (GIS) mapping technologies have recently been adopted as a daily tool in the humanities. Interdisciplinary by definition, digital humanities create opportunities to open new fields combining visual images, graphics, figure data, and texts. Innovative responses include projects at the intersection of literature and the built environment. Graphic visualization of territories allows us to recollect stories and to locate them in the built context, but what kind of narratives are born of this technology? How do we keep this open space of potential innovation and not flatten the story into conventional modes of mapping and literal map-making? This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities introduced by mapping technologies in shaping narratives.

Laura Kurgan

Laura Kurgan is an associate professor of architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the visual studies curriculum and the Center for Spatial Research. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013). Her work explores things ranging from digital mapping technologies to the ethics and politics of mapping, and the art, science and visualization of data. Her work has appeared at the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Whitney Altria, MACBa Barcelona, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, and the Museum of Modern Art. She was the winner of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship in 2009.

Matteo Pericoli

Matteo Pericoli is a Milan-born architect, illustrator, writer and teacher. He is the author of several illustrated books, including Manhattan Unfurled, The City Out My Window: 63 Views on New York and Windows on the World: 50 Writers, 50 Views. His drawings have appeared in various newspapers and magazines, both in the US and in Europe, including, among others, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Observer, The Paris Review Daily and La Stampa. In 2007, his mural Skyline of the World was installed at the new American Airlines terminal at JFK International Airport. In 2010 he founded the Laboratory of Literary Architecture, a cross-disciplinary exploration of literature as architecture.