Mapping the Beautiful Everyday Journey

Cycopaths: The Future of Urban Mobility

Project Leaders: Roberta Marcaccio, Ellen Hadden, Astrid Bois d’Enghien

Number of participants: 20

Duration: 3 days


Transportation is changing. From self-driving vehicles to travel on-demand, automation and the sharing economy are leading to radical shifts in mobility that promise to deeply transform our daily commutes. Whilst significant attention is consistently paid to the application of new technologies driving this shift, little consideration is often given to their direct implications for urban design. What is the impact of these new technology-driven modes of transport on our cities? Are these new technologies simply optimising transfers and making the most of our existing infrastructure or might their introduction prove as transformative as the construction of motorways and inner-city ring roads, which were introduced to serve the car in the last century?

The mass production of the automobile generated a motorway building frenzy that inflicted cities across the world: Paris had its Périphérique and Rome its Grande Raccordo Anulare, while Robert Moses carved freeways through the Bronx at will. Back in the UK it seemed that every British town of the era was desperate for a gleaming ring road. Glasgow, Coventry, Birmingham and Leeds—the self-proclaimed ‘Motorway City of the Seventies’—all had one. Thanks to the invention of the car, the ring road became the enduring leitmotif of modernity. Through an exploration of current and emerging trends in transportation, this workshop will speculate on potential shifts in city design that might be the consequence of increased mobility.

Taking the bicycle as a primary vehicle for investigation, this 3-day workshop will consider alternatives to the narrative of ‘speed/efficiency’ that is currently regulating London’s transport system, and deeply investigate how the way we move affects our experience of space.

To this end we will map the visual, psychological and sensorial experience of London’s cyclists, analysing their movement in relationship with notions of ‘beauty’ and ‘pleasure’. Our methodology will draw inspiration  from previous experiments from the 70s which analysed the impact of the altered perception of space allowed by the car on the perception and production of architecture.


Day 1 – Observing & Collecting

Discussion on the future of mobility and transportation, identifying the shifts in behaviour that are resulting from emerging technologies. 

Presentation by the workshop leaders on movement mapping techniques and emerging mapping tools followed by site visits to observe spatial characteristics in the light of a visual, sensorial or psychological experience.

Day 2 – Translating

Group tutorial feedback sessions on site findings and outcome aspirations. Following discussions, each group collaborates on the production of a collective map/ artefact/ device that addresses the experience of cycling in London. 

Day 3 – Disseminating

Continuing on from Day 2, groups collectively work on maps and artefacts followed by informal presentations on each other’s findings and developed mapping techniques.