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#MentalMapping #VisualRepresentation  #NewYork

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Maria has created a hand-drawn mental map (measuring 1m x 3m), that transcends a mere representation of Coney Island, instead offering a personal interpretation that unravels the area's challenges, potentials, and unique scenarios. This dual-directional map, read both from top to bottom and vice versa, initiates its narrative from the top-right corner, symbolizing Manhattan as the remote island and the origin of the subway crowd bound for Coney Island.

Two distinct paths unfold upon leaving the train—one of amusement and the other of uncertainty. The 'fun part' leads visitors to amusement parks, beaches, events, parades, and fireworks. Conversely, the path of uncertainty reveals the authentic Coney Island, supporting the amusement area. Diverse scenarios unfold, portraying the area's unique character. Close to the Creek, alternative activities like barbecues, outdoor film screenings, and communal meals showcase a distinct appropriation of space prompted by poverty, unemployment, and limited education.

The sports facilities become a hub for residents seeking alternative daily activities. The waterscape, occupied by abandoned wreckage, faces accessibility and flood risks, necessitating protective measures. At the bottom layer, the history of Coney Island lies buried, preserving the significance of its amusement area. The mental map unveils social issues requiring architectural interventions, including educational opportunities, community-life-related programs, and the development of collective spaces to foster a deeper sense of community. The vision extends to shifting social life towards a new network in the high-potential area of the Creek and its waterscape territories. 

13 June 2015
@ Sint Lucas,  KU Leuven, Ghent, BE

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