This paper critically addresses modes of graphic representations of the city prevalent in architectural discourse, while seeking new ways to make visible the complex weave of movements that form the contemporary urban condition. The architectural conventions employed in transitioning from situated experience to drawing favour the static, while omitting certain fundamental aspects of that situated experience. Through these gaps the inability of normative modes of representation to communicate the kinetic is made clear. Using Edinburgh, birthplace of the kaleidoscope (Brewster) and the panorama (Barker), as a site of investigation this paper examines the discrepancies that appear between matter and appearance (Bergson) within the modalities of urban representations. Moreover, it attempts to reassess the productive agencies of both space and drawing that are lost in the translation from actuality to representation. To this end, and drawing on previous experimentations with notation, the paper introduces the author’s installation Kaleidoscopic City, a representation of a part of the city of Edinburgh first presented at the Plenitude and Emptiness Symposium on Architectural Research by Design (2013).