The wall is of key importance for doing project management in Urban Design. It rises to an epistemological space in the practices of adhering all kinds of material in a – initially – non-hierarchical order. This allows not only the project manager, but also the all people who relate to the project to performatively meander through the heterogeneous materials of the project. The wall opts for a synchronicity of the non-synchronous. It allows the project manager to arrange heterogeneous documents in their polyvalent materialities on a par, give an overview and thus create a span in between different versions of space. This all aims towards enabling the possibility to experience some knowledge through the mode of differentiation and the mode of analogisation without the reductive effects of focusing on only one mode of knowledge production in a document analysis. This understanding of the wall as a diagrammatic tableau allows to explore and open up new relations and thus understand something about the documents themselves. It is not so much a question of reading a lot of documents from one perspective, but to grasp and render visible different modes of noting reality in order to figure out what kind of vectors, motives are included in them, what kind of practices and potentialities they entail and which re-arrangements might be possible. In this view the arrangement of documents on the wall not only fulfils the challenge of re-arranging visibility regimes of spatial practices, but itself enacts a practice of assembling and arranging, which represent a specific situation in research. On the negative side this kind of work is the fact that it produces a tsunami of complexity and a detour towards all project management milestones and goals. This disadvantage is its advantage: the wall as “learning surface, which enacts inconsistencies and multiplicities” is the only way to avoid succumbing to all to easy narratives and closures of processes, and disassemble already closed teleologies in an open structure of newly reassamblable singularities. Speaking with John Law, coming very close to the wall, taking your eyes to a detournment, up- and rehanging of single pages and even the routinely passing by – all these practices are modes of relationaly accessing an epistemological space of a specific arrangement of documents.
Why can a wall representation not be replaced by a Power Point Presentation?
Because only the wall representation allows for grasping the spatiality of the representational space in its totality (as it is accessible) as well as its relationality.