European Visual Traditions and Urban Design

9 December 2021, 5pm (CET) Link

Katrin Albrecht (University of Applied Sciences OST – Switzerland),The Image of the Street. Representation and Perception of Street Spaces

In the emergence of urban planning as a scientific and artistic discipline, the creation of an independent body of illustrations played an important role. Authors of handbooks, scholarly books and journals were instrumental in the process of codification and dissemination of visual material.

The elaboration of publications on urban planning at the turn of the 20th century coincided with a series of technological and medial developments that fundamentally changed the recording and perception of architectural, urban and landscape spaces. New image media such as photography, new papers, tools, machines, and printing processes, as well as new reproduction techniques revolutionised the production of illustrations and quickly made them a practicable instrument for conveying information and knowledge.

Illustrations produced for documentation, analysis and planning purposes significantly influenced theoretical and practical discourse. They led to new modes of expression and thus to changes in established habits of visual perception. In the context of city expansions and increasing traffic problems, the street came into focus as a central element of urban planning issues. Spatial qualities attributed to streets and their significance for urban development can be traced in historical representations.

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