Figure-ground is the representation of space, often urban, that uses a fill or poché to show the relationship between built structure and fabric.
When I start a project, my first task is to look at the extending urban structure which the site is a piece of. Setting up a figure-ground map is a simple and pretty much straight forward exercise, it will help me state the obvious clearly as well understanding the site’s main patterns.
With the figure-ground map drawn, I can start taking more specific approaches to the analysis of the site. Mapping the road structure and the relation of the fabric and the river.
The latter mapping presents the exact amount of information, yet by reversing the background we can achieve two different analysis. The black background example magnifies the urban structure, whereas the white background enhances the body of water.
This mapping set is part of a major set of drawings produced for the National Discovery Museum project, for the Infrastructural Morphology studio ARCH 201, UC Berkeley, 2008.