Gabriela García de Cortázar Galleguillos

Getting There

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Pier Vittorio Aureli

This thesis argues that moving in modern London is impossible without the knowledge provided by commercial, everyday, objects such as maps, guides, signs and views. Walking in London is impossible without the London A to Z (a streetfinder with precedents that go back to the 1700s); using the Tube, impracticable without the vision of the whole provided by Beck’s Tube Map (1932) and the signs in every station; driving through London, unfeasible without street signs (such as those systematised by Kinneir and Calvert in 1958), finding anything in the city, not viable without the general meta- knowledge provided by the implementation of the postcode (1959, a solution for another problem that has finally come to rule every aspect of British life). The thesis thus argues that knowledge of the city cannot happen without these objects, because they offer something experience does not provide: an absolute knowledge of the whole.

Gabriela Garcia de Cortazar Galleguillos (1981) is an architect from the University of Chile (2006), and MA in Architectural History from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2010). She has worked as an architect in Chile, has taught both in Chile and the UK, and has exhibited in Santiago, London and Rome. She is currently in her third year of her PhD at the AA.

Image caption: Ways of getting there (clockwise): A to Z, Bacon’s New Map of London, Tallis’ Street View, Cruchley’s Map of London, Cross’ London Guide, Map of London.