----- Original Message -----

Brian, can you FWD Prem's post? I guess he has much more to say about this
than I.

  It would seem that if people were central, as some
  kind of participant, along with the potentials such a
  mapping of networks and spaces/times/places could
  bring to the everyday experience, that maybe, some-
  day, the end-use could be this circumnavigation of
  a city via a handheld PDA -- to get there will require
  a lot of people, a lot of information, a lot of resources
  for databases, and it could change the nature of how
  a city works, even, or places, if intra- and extra- and
  inter-nets can be seen as they exist in public, in
  private, and other exchanges - maybe even through
  some infrastructure which facilitates this, and work/
  jobs, literacy/skills, exchange/markets/commerces,
  cultures/vantages/relations.


not sure if we are driving the donkeys in the same direction, we did this in
Ahmedabad in '99-00, had Christopher Alexander's 1970s studies (with the
School of Planning in ahmedabad) handy, in original, so it was easy. Also,
we have a lot of micro-economics ($100 and less stakes in urban properties,
the going rate for street side shops where I live in Delhi),
proto-capitalisms (religious authority as organising principles in the city,
for example, in the way sewage flows between hindu and muslim areas), the
Architecture of the city expressed as non-visual, non-frontal, needless to
say; structurations. I was proposing Ape Cities, or cities that form without
a second-order (say 'professional') action, and do well; I was proposing
_crisis urbanisms_, or cities that operate by breaking down and then
continuously braking down; where molar actions of a lot of people, and a lot
of people operating on a number of information flows determine the shape(s)
of the city. We were thinking of attaching GPS devices to packages of raw
food, cloth, coke, and perhaps even contraband; to track how it traverses
the city, is packaged, processed, consumed... Ahmedabad is in a security
zone, so we couldn't do this.

I suppose you remember Grapheme, it'd do this (I have a copy in Java, was
thinking of upgrading it for some exercise this semester, which fell
through).

We also studied opacities in the city: it is one thing to say cities are
made of conduits, and pathways; another to say architecture produces
resistances within the city - the planner dominated municipals couldn't
understand this, but we were able to demonstrate fields of the Gaze, and
counter-perceptions when it came to opacities in the city; were able to say
"if carnage happns in the city, it will happen because of _this_ and this
planner's acts, because these opacities are created" were able to say "do
not indiscriminately mix land-use, especially not between religious and
income groups, certainsly not with income groups" - and the carnage, when it
did happen, occured where we said it would.

So it would be interesting for me to look at EMF maps of the city,
cell-phone maps (in india each company gets about 6mhx of bandwidth), vector
and strand maps and see if the urban structures can be dissolved, or at
least, made less optical. Was hoping to continue with the exercises in
Delhi, pundits and various brahmins permitting. Looks difficult, people
still prefer a residual colonial language - put it down to authority
addiction. Language as symbolic power. They think mixing anyhow is
"democratic", here, applying the same colonising reasons as the british,
1857-1911. and then go win court cases, with arguments based on colonial
reason.


  It is a question I do not know how to approach as of
  yet, and am trying to with 'electromagnetic education'
  yet it is not yet clear how to get from nothing to a more
  substantial something, it would seem to involve a lot
  of people, from various perspectives, and some kind
  of structure in which to collate the common goals as
  part of, maybe, a larger initiative in information flows,
  (economic, infrastructural, power/communications
  even). I do not know yet want to learn more about it.
  Brian


anyway, so i come at informatics from very contextual starting points, for
me these are just extensions of my On Typologies/Mapping Heterologies
studies, the technique. I'd say you should look at the social networks
(perhaps on Google, or touchgraph.com) of the three links. There is a lot of
serious PhD research in the US, UK and Australia. Some of it is truly
interdisciplinary (as contrasted with Architecture + Sociology; or Gender +
Architecture scams we have seen for a long time).

the AIA has been giving monies to neurosciences research in Architecture, i
think at the Salk institute -- some of those initiatives are also
interesting. Perhaps not the projects themselves, but the broad tendencies.

but as it said, most of your proposals, others on this list will better
answer. i have quite a small agenda.