Milano master-class

22. Toward Less Directive Trails

#lesson1 #liberty

I wanted to interject about something that, although perhaps not a contradiction, may be a difference in approach: between exploring a city, which includes forms of wandering, drifting, and loss, to gain a deeper sense of all the city’s nooks and crannies that lead us to change course, to go in one direction, and then in another; the work of creating an understanding of a city that we then translate into a concrete itinerary; and finally, the people who will use this trail or itinerary and who may not want to follow a pre-determined point of view, but instead would prefer a “partially directive” or “non-directive” guide, to use the language of the social sciences.

In my opinion, there’s a lot to think about in terms of designing trails as frameworks for exploration and guides to a city, but without these frameworks being completely directive. Instead, they would allow walkers to come and go from the path, without abandoning their general outline, since what a framework offers is a narrative/collection/etc. The people designing Metropolitan Trails are generally people who, free from dominant perspectives, have explored cities in detail, and they tend not to be terribly directive. We don’t necessarily need to plan overly directive experiences for people interested in taking these trails.