"The theme of the lecture addresses a question: how can we design spaces in the city which encourage strangers to cooperate? To explore this question, I'll draw on research in the social sciences about cooperation, based on my book, and relate this research to current issues in urban design."
(Harvard Graduate School of Design, 28 February 2012)
"London is one of the great living palimpsests of our time. Its layers of history and its constant energy to re-invent itself fuels this vast grey magnet. I was spurd on by the great Map Makers of London's past - John Roque, Greenwood and Phyllis Pearsall (the originator of the A-Z). Informed by my own insights and knowledge, I combined further research on the Internet and through writers such as Peter Ackroyd and Ian Sinclair.
The resulting map, a spoof of the historical ones of old, would challenge the first impressions of its viewer; touching on the Capital's vastness, its secrets and its undercurrents. With this process in mind, I began to edit the information, keeping what I felt were historically important, interesting, relevant and amusing. These fantastical additions and epithets are purposefully innocent and acidic, trivial and serious. The Map is as much about the personality of its viewer than it is about of my own. In other words it acts as a mirror.
Britain is a collection of islands and it undoubtedly forms part of our identity. This provincialism; the centre of many industries and in particular the London Centric Art world and its rise again to a world city status add to its identity as an icon, separated from the rest of the country. I wanted to perceive London as another one of these 'islands', and so when mapping the coastline around its Borough edges I was happy to discover Carshalton Beaches coinciding with this border."
Fig.1&2 Stephen Walter, "The Island"