Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Reviews
A couple of reviews of my recent books have appeared in the journal Cartographica over the last couple of months. 

Firstly, Kenneth Field wrote a thoughtful and generally positive review of the edited book Classics in Cartography. As he noted:

"Classics in Cartography is not only a supremely constructed book in its own right but does a fine job of representing the high calibre of papers published in Cartographica over the past 48 years. It provides an insightful read and should also be a staple for students of cartography and GIS. Given the wealth of classics that didn’t make the cut, maybe there is opportunity for a second volume? As Pink Floyd did: The Final Cut?" (Source: Cartographica, Vol. 47, No. 1)

A second review, this time for Code/Space, co-written with Rob Kitchin. Here Gwilym Eades is rather more critical of the framing of our analysis of software in his review. As he says:

"Code/space represents a valiant attempt to usher the field of software studies into being. Rob Kitchin and Martin Dodge’s co-written book succeeds in this self-proclaimed mission in many ways. My main hesitations about this book, however, revolve around limitations to the mission of software studies as a newly emerging field and not around the soundness of the methodology Kitchin and Dodge use in their comprehensive survey of the manifold effects of code on everyday lives in the modern world. While that methodology is indeed rigorous, its rigour exists within a flawed theoretical framework." (Source: Cartographica, Vol. 47, No. 2)

Other recent mentions of Code/Space include a complementary post by David Beer on his Thinking Culture blog. While our underlying concept of 'code space' also seems to be picking up traction, in part, following a LIFT Conference talk given by James Bridle entitled "We fell in love in a coded space".

Friday, June 01, 2012

Infra_MANC Exhibition Catalogue

We've had a printing done of a 2nd edition of the catalgoue from our recent Infra_MANC exhibition. One hundred copies are available for £10 each. Twenty-five are on sale at the RIBA Hub in Manchester and a further 75 will be available from the Manchester Modernist Society's online shop ( The catalogue is 200+ pages full colour, professionally printed with spiral binding. It contains 4 x 7500 word fully referenced and illustrated essays looking at the following four infrastructures of post-war Manchester.

One of the chapters in the Infra_MANC catalogue was partially based on the diligent research regarding the Mancunian Way conducted by James K. Thorp for his architecture degree. He has now put the full text of his 2010 thesis Highway in the Sky: A Socio-Technical Analysis of the Urban Motorway online. Its a really effective description and interpretation of this iconic piece of Manchester's infrastructure. 

Another smaller but intriguing aspect of researching the exhibition was the possibilities of relic spaces under Manchester from the unbuilt Picc-Vic rail tunnel in the 1970s. One of these, that we exposed in the exhibition, was a void under the Arndale shopping Centre. This has now been covered in a short article in the latest issue of Subterranea (April 2012, page 54-55). To find out more about what the Picc-Vic tunnel would have been like if it had been built you'll need to buy a copy of the catalogue!