City
Lenses

Toronto-based psychogeographic running and reading group.

We read books and then go for a run.

Our goal is to use a literary and physical lens as a starting point for the critical exploration of our urban environments.

2012 season

CityLenses reflects the city

CityLenses reflects the city

The city is a result of human beings converging, and the resulting environment reflects back at us. In the first run of 2012, we take a look at feedback, reflection, and emergence. How do we change the city and are changed by it? How do we identify opportunities for intervention, or can we at all?

We will be reading the works of Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities part 3 (Chapters 13-16) and Heinz von Foersters’s Ethics and Second Order Cybernetics.

You can sign up for the run here!

2011 season

CityLenses runs through Breach

CityLenses runs through Breach

The borders between different images of the city are built, legislated and emergent. We exist in our city as both its maker and its product, constantly rewriting the city to ourselves while desperately limited by its influence.
China Mieville’s book, The City and the City, explores the creation of city borders and their maintenance through education, convention, legislation, and fear. We’ll run a route exploring psychological borders: where is it comfortable, where is it not, what do we see, and what do we skip over? Is the city we see really our city at all?

City Lenses runs through walls

July Sat 2011

City Lenses runs through walls

Boundaries around public space and private place are a primary material consideration when working with designing movement within the city. Walls and windows, barriers natural and artificial define these boundaries both physically and metaphorically, weaving themselves in to our understanding of the city and what the city can do as a porous system.
This run will look at the space between spaces, understanding how it can facilitate movement and creation, and where we can move outside the boundaries the built and psychological environment provide us.

City Lenses runs The Image of the City

June Sat 2011

City Lenses runs The Image of the City

Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City is an analysis of city form and function, formulating a theory around its design and development. Lynch’s analysis was around LA, Boston, and Jersey city: let’s apply what he’s learned in understanding Toronto.
This 5-6k run will take us through the paths, edges, nodes, landmarks, and districts of our city, and we’ll see where Toronto fits in to and challenges our model of what a city is.

City Lenses runs the Invisible City

June Sat 2011

City Lenses runs the Invisible City

We’ve read Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, and will be running through a variety of different neighbourhoods and zones, starting at one of Toronto’s oldest streets.