Ungers, Morphologie City Metaphors
First published in 1982, German architect Oswald Mathias Ungers’ City Metaphors juxtaposes more than 100 various city maps throughout history with images of flora and fauna and other images from science and nature. Ungers assigns each a title–a single descriptive word printed in both English and German. In Ungers’ vision, the divisions of Venice are transformed into a handshake and the 1809 plan of St. Gallen becomes a womb. Ungers writes in his foreword: “Without a comprehensive vision reality will appear as a mass of unrelated phenomenon and meaningless facts, in other words, totally chaotic. In such a world it would be like living in a vacuum; everything would be of equal importance; nothing could attract our attention; and there would be no possibility to utilize the mind.” A classic of creative cartography and visual thinking, City Metaphors is also an experiment in conscious vision-building.
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