Brentford Biopsy - Christian Nold with Daniela Boraschi, 2008

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This is a list of all the available activities that can be used on the workshop days. All the activities involve printing maps and from the large format A0+ printer that can be scribbled on and then scanned again for a continuous participatory workflow.

Over the last five years, Christian Nold has developed a range of participatory mapping tools and methodologies that focus on our personal emotional relationships with each other as well as our environment. The Bio Mapping tool combines a portable lie detector with a Global Positioning System to create emotional maps that enable people to see their own reactions to the local area as well as those of others. These tools allow individual self reflection which extends towards communal representation of an area. During the Brentford Biopsy those tools as well others developed with Daniela Boraschi will be used in workshops with local participants to gather data for a new perceptual map of Brentford.

This tool explores new ways in which individuals can make use of the information gathered about our own bodies. This activity involves people going for a walk in the local area strapped to a portable lie detector and GPS. On their return, they can see an emotional map of their journey, talk about what happened to them and annotate their journey in Google Earth.

This activity involves people walking in a closed area from the project base while blind folded and deafened. One person leads the other, who is recording their sensory experiences in textual form in relation to particular locations. On their return, they enter these observations onto Google Earth for sharing.


This activity involves collecting texts about the local area. These could be articles from local newspapers as well as local websites and then feeding them into the Affect Browser website. The software creates a tag cloud of the emotive words being used and gives a sense of how a particular texts is positioned in relation to Brentford.

This activity involves people going out to particular local areas and measuring the decibel levels in conjunction with their subjective emotional response to this sound. Noise is a good way of talking about technological polluters such as cars and planes.

This activity involves people going out into the local area and interviewing or surreptitiously recording people’s conversations with the aid of a mobile phone or voice recorder to get a sense of what the local concerns are.

This is a series of drawing sheets with challenging questions such as: “Draw the most dangerous people in this area”. Drawings are digitalised and used to compose human representations of local realities.


What are the local issues? How are they connected? Where are the pressure points? This involves a group of people brain-storming on the issues and challenges of the local area
which will be used to draw issue networks that connect people, places and concepts.


This activity involves creating visual marks and symbols to represent Brentford specific landmarks and issues. For example, designing an icon for the local incinerator or local politicians.


Watermans is the base for all the project activities. The address is:
40 High Street Brentford TW8 0DS

The best way to get here is to take the District Line Tube towards Richmond and get off at Gunnerbury. Then take either the 237 or 267 bus in front of the tube to Watermans which is a bus stop all by itself.

Google Map link here

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