Map Office is an architectural research practice founded in 1997 by Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix. Their work interrogates the spatial consequences of mobility, and of systems of production and distribution, on the contemporary city. They are based in Hong Kong and much of their research is also located in the region. Dealing with issues of urban and regional planning, they combine methods from architecture and the visual arts, producing maps, drawings, books, exhibitions and installations. Through documenting and analysing the informal appropriations and subversions of space by migrants and the urban poor, or the particular physical and social geographies of port areas, they act as spatial agents making visible otherwise overlooked citizens, processes and exchanges. They also run Map Book Publishers, publishing their own research as well as specialising in contemporary Chinese artists and architects. This provides a useful insight into contemporary Chinese culture for the English speaking world.
Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix, 'Breeding Dust', in Urban Ecology (Hong Kong: Map Book Publishers, 2005).
---, 'Pearl River Delta', in Mobility, ed. by Francine Houben and Luisa Calabrese (Rotterdam: NAI Publishers, 2003).
HK Lab, ed. by Laurent Gutierrez, Valérie Portefaix and Ezio Manzini (Hong Kong: Map Book Publishers, 2002).
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