The purpose of this book is to explore the critical uses of maps in design, and it introduces the concept of operative mapping as its cornerstone. The concept is rooted in an understanding of mapping as a design tool. Maps don’t merely inform; they propose. They don’t offer a neutral representation of reality; they construct reality in a particular way. In that sense, cartography is a propositive discipline, and not simply a descriptive one. This book studies the different kinds of operative relationships between maps and design practices, and it outlines pathways for an in-depth exploration of this relationship.
Through the concept and the practices of operative mapping, as they are presented in this book, we can establish a dialogue between what exists and what is yet to come, thus promoting engaged and innovative design focused on the substantive and symbolic expansion of the milieu.