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Research Work + Teaching

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Imaging the City- Understanding Information through Creative Mapping


As part of my research, Amoroso advocates new modes of representations as an integral part of her design concept delivery. She examines the application of digital media in the creation of new urban form. The “hidden” urban data is visualized into the multi-dimensional through new modes of representation in order to render a new spatial understanding of the city.


Through a creative mapping process, Amoroso creates new portraitures of the urban realm based off of geo-data.  Some of the forces visualized include socio-political aspects, such as the dynamics of real estate values, public surveillance, crime rates, and building envelopes. Others take shape through indicators such as air quality readings, density patterns, global patterns, and elements that affect the city structure. The research delivers a critical insight into cities of today, and to understand their premise for future design. This mapping system is intended as an alternative to the mainstream spatial representations of the contemporary city, a re-visioning and rethinking of mapping and urbanism for the 21st  century. She investigates how can the abstract forces shaping urban life be rendered artistically, spatially and informatively in the form of alternative 'maps' which represent the urban invisibles, and are not usually accessible to routine professional expertise (such as the urban designer or architect) or the ordinary urban dweller?  In what ways do the new visualizations provide deeper insights into the city than conventional maps are capable of revealing?


Nadia Amoroso is considered a "thought leader" in this space and has presented at a number of universities and conferences speaking about the importance of mapping and understanding geo-data through powerful visualizations.







Nadia Amooroso is also an Adjunct Professor in Practice. She has been teaching both graduate and undergraduate studio courses in urban design and landscape architecture for over 12 years. She also teaches courses in visual communication and mapping design. She has taught at Cornell University, University of Toronto, University of Arkansas, University of Oklahoma. She lectures and participates on design juries internationally, including FIU, The Architectural Associate, Harvard's GSD, and the University of Michigan. Amoroso believes in a positive student – instructor relationship, one that fosters respect, intellectual discourse and mentorship. She believes in a dynamic and interactive teaching environment that allows students to discuss their design development. She believes it is important to discuss and critically review urban systems, urban cultural dynamics, city trends, environmental impact, and the importance of clear and powerful visual representations. Nadia has also participated in a number of graduate thesis examination committee and final design juries.


Nadia regularly speaks  about her insights and research on creative mapping and effective visual representation of spaces at academic institutions and conferences.


Winter Stations Competition with University of Guelph, Landscape Architecture  

Working with the University of Guelph’s landscape architecture students, as an advisor and coordinator for this project, I assisted the students with the ‘Rising Up’ design concept. This concept stems from issues of climate change, the rising water levels of the Don River, and the relationship between humans and the environment today. The team felt that “humans no longer see themselves as a part of nature, but rather above nature.” This concept is also associated with the theme of environmental riot.

Toronto’s Don River depicts this conflicting relationship, where increased urbanization has paved over the much of the watershed’s natural systems. In response, flooding has become a frequent occurrence, threatening the city’s infrastructure and the lives of the residents. Inspired by the topography of the Don Valley, RISING UP invites users to experience nature’s threshold.

Samples of Student Works

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