Master of Architecture Thesis at the University of Waterloo
As Galileo peered through a lens to see the twinkle of the Jovian moons, and Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek did the same to study the tremulous basis of all life, so the fabric of threads we weave across time and space – the vast net of relations that bind and separate us – is visible only through a lens.
Footprints in the snow and the weathered stone steps of buildings hint at the shape of these threads, but the coming of spring and the hardness of stone limit our observations. The Global Positioning System (GPS) now provides us a lens to see the path that individuals, families, and communities take in space-time — their worldlines.
When millions of GPS signatures are collected from hundreds of individuals, heritable patterns emerge that embody particular individual’s ideas and practices, as well as those of the society and the environment in which they operate.
Besides providing a tool to test assumptions about how space is used, I argue in this thesis that by allowing us to glimpse a terra incognita mapping worldlines also provides a unique perspective on our spatial relationship to one another.
This Masters of Architecture Thesis was accepted on August 2013 by the Review Committee.
A mixed-media story about discovering my self in space and time
In Grade Six I calculated it would be 12 years until I was free: I would be done with my formal education.
From then on I kept a list of places I would travel to when I was free: Nubian Rock Churches, the Trophy of Augustus, Lake Turkhana, Mount Erebus, Eldorado.
Fast forward 12 years and I am finished school: the Year of Travel began a few weeks ago in London, England.
Since arriving in the UK, I have made my way northwards. On the way I have walked Hadrian’s Wall, the pilgrims route to the Holy Island of Lindisfairne, and the windblown heaths and bogs of the Shetland Islands.
Yet, despite 12 years of planning, I have decided to return home after only a month. Something inside me has changed. I felt it first on Lindisfairne when I was looking out over the tidal flat one misty morning… but since then it has continued to grow. My spirit for adventure is not quenched… but I am drawn home. I will continue “The Year of Travel” from there.
Within days of being back I find myself walking and cycling through my neighbourhood, past places I have been to thousands of times before. I go out at night; savouring the solitude and quiet. I move through a very familiar environment, but see it with new eyes; the eyes of a traveler.