GIS support links

Reference links for GIS mapping discussed in the lecture today:

Cloud Studio GIS blog:

IIT CoA Data Cloug:

Factfinder2 –

Chicago Data Portal:


Assignment 4: Space, Time, Body, Approach

“The rhizome is altogether different, a map and not a tracing. Make a map, not a tracing. The orchid does not reproduce the tracing of the wasp; it forms a map with the wasp, in a rhizome. What distinguishes the map from the tracing is that it is entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real. The map does not reproduce an unconscious closed in upon itself; it constructs the unconscious. It fosters connections between fields, the removal of blockages on bodies without organs, the maximum opening of bodies without organs onto a plane of consistency. It is itself a part of the rhizome. The map is open and connectable in all of its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification. It can be torn, reversed, adapted to any kind of mounting, reworked by an individual, group, or social formation. It can be drawn on a wall, conceived of as a work of art, constructed as a political action or as a meditation. Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entryways; in this sense, the burrow is an animal rhizome, and sometimes maintains a clear distinction between the line of flight as passageway and storage or living strata (cf. the muskrat). A map has multiple entryways, as opposed to the tracing, which always comes back “to the same.” The map has to do with performance, whereas the tracing always involves an alleged “competence.”” – G.Deleuze/F.Guattari

Amidst this fragment from the Introduction Rhizome section of philosophers Gilles Deleuze + Felix Guattari’s book Milles Plateaux are a myriad of important critical questions. Here the map is not one of representation but of construction. The map constructed In this way is also a facilitator for construction, and one that is “entirely oriented toward an experimentation in contact with the real”.

To begin the final design of the bath house you are asked to “Make a map, not a tracing”. More specifically you are asked to construct a mapping of the site’s most essential characteristics that will underpin the direction of your project.  This will require you to experience the site and to translate that experience into a construction.


  • Space – This mapping must encompass some portion of the space beyond the boundaries of the park through to a proposed siting of your future bath house. Contained within this space is the physical approach to the site. In addition to the environmental and material conditions, the sites topography is of utmost importance to the spatial mapping.
  • Time – This mapping must explicitly engage with the measure(s) of temporality which make space experiential.
  • Body – This mapping must elucidate the relativity of the body to the space and time of the site.  It is the body which concretizes the abstract condition into physical experience.

In a medium, and at a scale, appropriate to the mapping you construct, combine section, plan, and experiential data into a single assemblage.  All constructions are expected to be presented at level of craft comparable to the precedent drawings.  In some respects the methodologies of this mapping are analogous to the precedent study only with site as subject.

2a_M Program Mapping

FIRE HOUSE_program mapping

Step 3.   More granular still.  At the scale of the program, the use of a building is revealed and tested.  Spaces are shaped by the activities they house, and their relationships to the site play valuable roles in the quality of the experiences.

At this stage, you understand that the design process must engage real information at a variety of scales.  Zoom in and out.  Establish your criteria for examining the the way space is used in the fire station, and test it against new criteria or data and against the criteria or conclusions you have already drawn from the site.  Layer your analysis upon itself to create rich potentials.

Just as they are within a site, the issues addressed within a program analysis should be viewed as opportunities that must be interpreted, analyzed and modeled. It is critical to see a Program as a set of ‘uses’ and ‘functions’ as opposed to a reductive list of rooms so that their inherent qualities and connections can be revealed and critiqued.  A program analysis should be used to create a catalog of possibilities – think of it as a map of the unknown – as opposed to rules for size and adjacency.  A good program study will transcend those narrow considerations and begin to reveal much broader potentials.

In the same controlled and rigorous manner you have employed thus far, let building strategies and concepts develop authentically, and begin to develop your notions for your design proposals for Engine Company 99.

– Establish methods for sorting building use.    Learn to categorize program in multiple ways, using multiple criteria.
– Learn to see a building program as a list of uses as opposed to a list of spaces, and mine those uses for their potential to become building strategy
– Develop skills for combining site and programmatic criteria into a unified building strategy
– Interrogate the building uses, and identify the key criteria for each, investigating new potentials for adjacencies in the process.
-Clearly document and describe your analysis.

In the coming days, identify, interrogate and categorize the uses of the Fire House using any criteria you are able to establish.  Some of these criteria include but are  not limited to:

-site constraints

Develop attitudes and positions for the relationship of the programmatic uses relative to each other and to the site, and test these positions through mapping, diagramming and modeling.

Develop and test multiple strategies with the objective of developing design concepts or strategies that will drive the development of your projects.

Test your ideas against the site and select the specific portion of the site that you are proposing to build on.

Uncover orders. Invent ordering strategies. With focused analysis of the relationship between activities, uses, and spaces, you will begin to gain insight into possible strategies for ordering program elements across the site. Determine how the programmatic elements relate to one another. Be particular and precise about the nature of their relationship, paying particular attention to the web of inter-relationships. Do elements relate to the human body, are they related to site, are they satisfying operational or functional issues, mechanical, or does a relationship speak to some inherent meaning? What about delight?

Develop models for representational systems that are appropriate to your analyses such as comparative studies, generative matrices, adjacency diagrams, network diagrams (tree,mesh), color coding, mapping and graphing of relationships, narrative sequences.


Due Monday, September 24th
1.   Documentation of your initial programmatic analysis in a form condusive to a group presentation.  11×17 format.   Explorations of your choosing.
2.  (1) 11×17 document documenting your specific site selection with proper diagrams/drawings to illustrate the logic of your selection.

Due Friday, September 28
1.   2D and 3D program analysis of your choosing – specific to your own pursuits, explorations, hypotheses, tests, interests and curiousities.
2.  Document multiple potential building/design/conceptual strategies for the design of the fire house.

additional resources:
1.   Praxis 8.  WORK: Program Primer.  “2 Architects 10 Questions”. Rem Koolhaas + Bernard Tschumi.
2. Opportunistic Architecture.  Lewis Tsurmaki Lewis.  “Tactics for an Opportunistic Architecture”.

Getting the Firestations

Couple bits of information to help you resolve the firestations.

  • take a look at the spreadsheet online, the coordinates are already there, however they would take some manipulation in excel to get structured right (separate columns for lat and lon)
  • instead of doing it in excel, follow the tutorial I posted friday and use the import delimited text file process it does the work for you.
  • the key in all of this though is that the coordinates for the fire-stations are based on a different projection system than all of the other city shape files, so we need to setup a couple things in order to get them to play together.  If you look at the projection tutorial from ghandi it also explains everything you need to get them to play, short of the actual projection specifications.
  • all of the dataportal shapefiles are in nad83 / illinois east which has an epsg identifier of EPSG:26971, the excel coordinates however are in WGS 84 or EPSG:4326.  When you get started go to the project settings and do two things, check enable on the fly transformations, and set the project CRS (coordinate reference system) to 26971.  Then when you import using the delimited text file you set that incoming data as WGS 84 and the program will handle the rest automagically.  FYI, WGS 84 is the most common lat lon representation and used throughout all of the online/web based mapping and gis systems such as google maps.
  • once you have it imported you can save things as shape files for future use.
  • to get back to autocad or illustrator, just do a save as for the project (not the layer) and youre off to the races!