Goethe-Institut Barcelona – Participatory Mapping Platform


For the Goethe-Institut Barcelona and in conjunction with Moritz Ahlert, I developed an interactive mapping platform in the context of the »Psychogeographic Mapping of Mobility« project. The project is a hybrid of participatory urban research, mapping and intervention which aims to spatially investigate the social changes of the Gràcia neighbourhood and its surroundings in Barcelona in recent years.

I developed an interactive mapping platform, on which residents can map visible, invisible or hidden transformation phenomena of their neighborhoods. The participatory online-platform, works as a spatial live-online-archive – visualising a collective and unconscious perspective of the neighbourhood. The title of the map »Hands on – hand up – hands off!« refers to civil involvement, activist attitudes as well as urban conflict in neoliberal housing and investment markets. It refers to the power of bottom-up-strategies to design the city in a more inclusive way, but also to right to city movements and the struggle with authorities.

The platform has a highly subjective approach. The collected data is very biased. The aim is not to show a representative data collection, but to give people a possibility to directly share stories and experiences with others. This subjective approach is underlined by the selection of emojis – only finger and hand gestures – which are used to express one’s emotions concerning the urban transformations processes at work.

The platform aims to raise a few questions about our understanding of objective and scientific statistical data collection and representation models in urban contexts.