inspiration     Jun 09 2014

Time and Place: Genus Loci

By Jon Schramm
Designer, Mapos LLC

Originally my plan was to do a photo exploration around the Bowery. I wanted to turn my lens onto the place Mapos calls home: the Bowery, a neighborhood straddling the LES, Chinatown, and SoHo.

#bowerysunset @supadupafly

By exploring the area surrounding our office, I hoped to frame the work we do; to provide additional background and context. Is there an element to the Bowery that drives us, that informs our research? The world around us constantly informs our decisions. In a fast paced and diverse city such as New York, we are constantly receiving feedback. Instead of trouncing around myself, I decided to use a collective lens to situate Mapos within the world around it. The following is a curated look at the Bowery through various hashtag filters.


Keep in mind that this is how one use group, Instagram users, sees the #Bowery. Is it accurate, can we trust or learn anything from these results? As designers, specifically as architects, we design for a place, for a specific use. We have to be in tune and aware of the places we are designing for. We design for the now but also for the future. What kind of place is the Bowery? Can a simple hashtag capture the constant flux contained within one neighborhood?

A walk through the Bowery is an sensory mashup. Grand St fish stalls. Horns. A soccer ball. The waving of a traffic guard. Bike Lane. An industrial sink on the sidewalk. Is this collection a way to understand a place? What is the Bowery to everyone else?