Perth city at night. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perth#/media/File:Perth_at_night_in_2013.jpg

Perth city at night. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perth#/media/File:Perth_at_night_in_2013.jpg

Part 1:  Finding Perth City

Making a figure-ground diagram of Perth

This is part 1 of my Perth Redesign project. An experimental project for defining how Perth City, Western Australia can be read. 

In this section we will create a figure-ground diagram of Perth. In addition, we will also determine the specific perimeter of the project.

To begin understanding Perth City, lets have a look at the map.

 

 

The google map provides a good baseline in terms of the geographical location.

However, simply using all the data provided in google maps would be complex. To make effective design decisions we should quantify key aspects of the city. By creating tangible data points we'll be able to make more informed arrangements.

In the famous "Nolli's Map of Rome", the city of Rome is described in two colours. Black and white. Black for buildings, white for circulation.

 Nolli's map for rome, 1748

Nolli's map for rome, 1748

Nolli's map for Rome is analysed in Collage City by Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter. They note how the simplification of the city highlights the relationship between the buildings and circulation. In addition, public spaces are also included as white space. White space then indicates to the public all areas they can freely access.

In essence, black = private space. White = public space. Simplifying a city to two tones helps to easier understand the city.

Using this knowledge, let us then create a black and white diagram of Perth City.

 my map for perth city. 2016.

my map for perth city. 2016.

Great. Now we have created a new read of the city let us describe what we have.

  1. There is a concentration of the city that predominates in the centre of the city.
  2. The defined City of Perth seems only to encompass a small strip.
  3. The city reads left to right along this small strip

To make a design of the city, this project will now hone in on the 'city proper'. The strip of 3 rows that is formally considered "Perth".

 Perth Figure Ground

Perth Figure Ground

Looking at this black and white image (Formally named a 'Figure-Ground Diagram'), we have now reduced the city to its essential parts.

Yay! This concludes Part 1:  Finding Perth City.

Let's pose a question. Can we further reduce the city?
Find out in part 2! [insert link]