Engineering Society

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Social Engineering in the Amsterdam Metropolis

Power through asset mapping

In a recent article in commarts, John Emerson is describing how asset mapping and visual media can help in building stronger communities and establishing a solid foundation for challenging the status quo.

What is power? It’s an abstract dynamic, an engine behind the visible world. Power can be found in relationships, in the flow of resources or information, in signs, symbols and ideas or built into the environment. There’s no doubt that visual media has the power to influence an audience, but visual media can also be used to visualize power itself. Visualizing power is a way of interpreting and understanding it. And this understanding can become a basis for challenging it. Design can be used to describe and locate power, to pressure those who hold power, and ultimately to facilitate and generate power by bringing people together.

One striking example Emerson is putting forward is the recent opening of the Highline in downtown Manhattan. He is describing how Friends of the Highline effectively employed charts and visuals to create community support, raise funding, fire the imagination of the people und ultimately cultivate political power and support for the realization of the project.

Image © 2004. Field Operations with Diller Scofidio Renfro. Courtesy the City of New York.

Image © 2004. Field Operations with Diller Scofidio Renfro. Courtesy the City of New York.

via thehighline; photo Iwan Baan

the highline is open; photo Iwan Baan

via inhabitat

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Filed under: Architecture, International Practice, Social Engineering, Theory, , , , ,

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Engineering Society

Social engineering is a controversial and highly politically incorrect term. We know. The practice of engineering societies is associated with colonial and apartheid repression and oppressive rule. We despise. In our brave new world in which colonisators, colonials and postcolonials battle for identity and space social engineering might be more complex, but nevertheless just as present. We REclaim.


Engineering Society is the publicationplatform for recent developments in social engineering and the interdisciplinary university program 'Social Engineering in the Amsterdam Metropolis!'


Social Engineering is een controversiele en politiek incorrecte term. Daarvan zijn we ons bewust! In de alledaagse praktijk is de maakbare samenleving vaak verbonden met apartheid, onderdrukking en tyrannie. Dat verafschuwen we! In onze brave new world waar kolonisatoren, gekoloniseerden en post-kolonialen strijden om identiteit en ruimte is social engineering misschien complexer dan ooit, maar minstens zo actueel! Point made!

Engineering Society is het publicatieplatform voor actuele ontwikkelingen omtrent de maakbare samenleving en de interdisciplinaire minor 'Maakbaarheid in de Grote Stad!'

Office for Social Engineering

The Office for Social Engineering is a foundation based in Amsterdam and a joint-initiative by Partizan Publik and Martijn van Tol, Lecturer at the Political Science Department of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and radio journalist at the wereldomroep.

Office for Social Engineering is een vanuit Amsterdam opererende stichting en een gemeenschappelijk initiatief van Partizan Publik en Martijn van Tol, docent politicologie en internationale betrekkingen aan de Faculteit der Maatschappij en Gedragswetenschappen van de Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) en journalist voor de wereldomroep.

Contact
Tolhuisweg 1
Amsterdam The Netherlands
T +31 (0) 20 5535173
F +31 (0) 20 5535155
E maakbaarheid [at] partizanpublik [dot] nl


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