Conceptual Cartography

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DESGN-614

This is a Graduate Design elective.

Mapping one's surroundings is a primary way in which humans understand the world. By breaking down and organizing information, we can both expand upon and structure our realities. In Conceptual Cartography, students will mine the human impulse to translate experience through mapping - whether it be through the paths we travel, the food we eat, the memories we keep, or the location-specific stories we tell. Students in this interdisciplinary class will explore the act of visualizing information and data through an in-depth study of an array of mapping techniques and presentation methods, all from a basis of conceptual thinking. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate and deconstruct the meaning of symbols, text, materials, and actions, and the ways in which they can be combined to communicate meaning. The course will survey conceptual art and design practices that embody the concept of mapping, from historic projects by the Situationists to current trends and online networks. We will look at the work of artists, designers, scholars, and writers such as Aaron Koblin, Paula Scher, Edward Tufte, Tony Buzan, Rebecca Solnit, Saul Steinberg, Guillermo Kuitca, Joyce Kozloff, Alighiero Boetti, Simon Evans, and Jennifer & Kevin McCoy. Anticipated guest lectures will include artists such as Tucker Nichols, Lordy Rodriguez, Jenny O?Dell, Val Britton, Amanda Hughen & Jennifer Starkweather, and Kate Pocrass. The course will look at 2D and 3D materials and interactivity to explore the myriad methods in which one can convey data visualization through an artistic lens. Each student will complete three personal projects, culminating in an exhibition at the end of the semester. Students from all disciplines and with all ranges of experience are welcome in this class