Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mapping Places and their Cultures

I've always been interested in how we use maps to convey how places work or their offer of services and I am always on the lookout for new ways of doing so.
Today I read a great blog on the Atlantic Cities site by Eric Jaffee (address below). His post is on how classic maps, such as those for transportation systems, can be adapted to map other aspects of place and its components. The one that particularly resonated with me was a map created by designer David Honnorat on the "Best Movies of All Time", shown below. 
This map entwines 20 "lines" of classic cinema and features a line of "universally acclaimed cinema" at the heart of the map with " stops" at some great movies like The Godfather II, Star Wars, and Citizen Kane, which is connected to other lines that carry other genres ranging from from romance to gangster to animation.
This has got me thinking about the use of such graphic tools and how they might be adapted to map other kinds of offer or services of places. So watch this space for my future posts on place experience maps.
The Best Movies of All Time Map
Designed by David Honnorat.
Eric Jaffee's post can be found at:

Friday, 23 November 2012

Before You Die of Regeneration - Capturing People's dreams and Ambitions

Today I read a great post on the Sustainable Cities Collective about the "Greenbuild 2012" conference recently held in the US, specifically on the presentation by Candy Chang. Candy is an artist, designer, and urban planner, who explores making cities more comfortable and contemplative places. She is a TED Senior Fellow, an Urban Innovation Fellow, and was named a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine. 

By combining street art with urban planning and social activism, she has been recognised as a leader in developing new strategies for the design of US cities. She spoke eloquently on inspiring change to our built environment through very small actions like small space improvements, community gardens and creating spaces for events. 

Candy also created a "Before I Die" wall outside the conference centre. This wall shows people in neighbourhoods how many of their neighbours dreams are actually alike and that they share common desires and ambitions. The concept of creating walls of this kind has been implemented in projects as diverse as South Africa, China and Brasil. its a great way to bring people together, to get them talking and to understand what they want of their lives and the places that they live in.

This seems like a great tool to use in my practice of place making and branding and i am looking forward to trying it out.