Berkeleyan: A newspaper for faculty and staff at UC Berkeley
Berkeleyan Home Search Berkeleyan Berkeleyan Archive UCB News UCB Calendar

This Week's Stories

Regular Features:

Representation of Places

Before architects and city designers can begin making changes in the physical environment, they must create representations of their designs – from two-dimensional maps, water color paintings, charts and diagrams to computer models.

In “Representations of Places: Reality and Realism in City Design,” published this month by University of California Press, Peter Bosselmann, professor of urban design, asks how the experience of cities can be adequately represented and how representations affect design and construction.

For professionals in the field, the book’s discussion of relationships between new technologies and strategies of visual communication is particularly timely.

“Representing the experience of urban places means showing conditions as they are perceived by the human senses, chiefly vision,” Bosselmann writes in the introduction. “Animation for special-effect cinema, sketches, photo montage, watercolor painting or computer-generated eye-level views – all these are better understood than conceptual representations, and for that reason some professionals have searched for ways to combine the conceptual method with the vibrant and empathic experiential method.”

According to urban planning professor Allan Jacobs, the book “demystifies urban simulation” – which uses such tools as computer simulation and “virtual reality” to represent urban spaces – and “places it in an historic context.” One chapter is devoted to the ethics of simulation.

UCB Home
Copyright 1998, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
Comments? E-mail