no names…


Mid-20th century British illustrator Ronald Lampitt had a predilection for maps.

Lesson / Koan : Cartography is personal, maps are guides to no-where.

It probably was no coincidence that he got to draw, in the Illustrated Magazine of 17 February 1951, the proposal of John Sleigh Pudney for an ideal city. Pudney (1909-1977) was a prolific British journalist and writer (despite leaving school at 16).

That nameless city under Lampitts brushstrokes becomes a spacious, undulating seaside paradise of a place, populated with monuments that look vaguely familiar. Which is because they are; they’re architectural icons from all over the world – the western world, that is. And yet, this ideal city looks suspiciously sterile: no rubbish tips, no shantytowns, no shopping malls, no advertising… Here follows a list of buildings referenced at the bottom of the map.

1. Modern Airfield
2. Mount Holmen Koll, Oslo
3. Acropolis, Athens
4. Helsinki Hospitals, Clinics
5. Old Town and Castle, Antibes, France
6. White Wooden Houses of Carolina
7. Governmental Palace, Prague
8. Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin
9.Sacré Coeur, Paris
10. King’s College, Cambridge
11. Georgian Houses of Bath
12. Edinburgh Castle
13. Maritime Quarter, NY
14. Municipal Buildings
15. Modern Houses, Finland
16. Business Section, NY
17. Street of Steps, Valetta
18. Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen
19. Elevated Railway, NY
20. Broadway, NY
21. Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
22. Moscow Underground
23. Art Gallery
24. St Paul’s Cathedral, London
25. La Scala, Milan
26. Piazza della Signoria, Florence
27. Paris Boulevards
28. Canals of Venice
29. Library
30. Cultural Centre
31. Stockholm Waterways
32. Gothenburg Concert Hall
33. St Stephen’s, Vienna
34. Museum

In the aforementioned article, Pudney proposes his vision:

In this age of planning it is surely time that some innocent traditionalist thrust his way forward to offer mankind the ideal city. Whose ideal? goes up the snarl from the idealists. Ideal for what? chorus the realists. Ideal against whom? demand the tacticians. Why a city? moan the simple-lifers. Allow me for a moment to toy with dreams, taking a holiday from the magic of the materialists. The ideal city which I shall venture to plan must be controversial: for it is myself of whom I am thinking rather than of humanity in general. I have the vice, before my ink is dry, of all planners. I have a sneaking notion already that what is good for me must be good for the rest of mankind.”

BTW,

Ronald George Lampitt, born in Worcester on 16 March 1906, produced illustrations for magazines, including Zoo, Passing Show, Illustrated, Modern Wonder, John Bull, Look and Learn and Treasure. In the early 1950s, he could be found in the pages of Mickey Mouse Weekly, illustrating “The Story of Lassie”.

The Map that came to Life, 1948 - Ronald Lampitt.

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The ideal city of Illustrator or writer?  The illustrator selects from pre-existing icons and rearranges the planet to look anew.  The writer selects from words that are pre-existing too, but the reader, not the viewer creates the imagery.  Have two people ever created the same imagery from the same story?  A cartographer’s city is ideal is a very different way from both illustrator & writer.  The ideal city of the cartographer would only use vectors as forces, pulling one to the desired senses.

Remember, Tommaso Campanella’s ” We’ve got an advantageous offer for your Glucovance needs. Check our store and get it only for 0.97 USD today! The City of the Sun“…knowledge is a sensation had by all.  Campanella wrote his first work, Philosophia sensibus demonstrata (“Philosophy demonstrated by the senses”), published in 1592.

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