Studio 2: Bending Geography

Assignment Description:
Find a map of one of your town, city or neighborhood and see how much you can remove from it (such as secondary streets) and how much you can abstract features such as parks, rivers, roads and train tracks by using simple geometric forms: squares, rectangles, triangles, circles and simple lines. Can you accomplish this without your map losing its recognition and function for navigation? What does the result look like? You may be surprised how beautiful the neighborhood looks in a simplified graphic form.
Actual Mumbai Map:
The red box shows the area that I’ve focused on, which is South Mumbai.
Final Depiction of the Architectural Landmarks of Mumbai:
I chose to focus this assignment on my hometown, Mumbai. The above is a map of the popular architectural landmarks of the city. I chose this aspect of Mumbai particularly, because unlike other cities, Mumbai is very unorganised, hence these heritage sites serve as landmarks for the city goers. These architectural wonders serve as the foundation for the city. I observed that all of Mumbai’s architectural landmarks are clustered in South Mumbai, hence I chose to focus only on this area. These landmarks are extremely popular, and each distinguishable from the other just by their structure and form. That is why I chose to depict them as a silhouette and have placed them on the map according to their actual location, hence giving the viewer a visual cue about their location in Mumbai. Since these structures are not always 100% recognisable by every population, I gave a legend on the top left corner of the map.
This exercise taught me how a single geographical location can be depicted in several different ways, and how even though maps aren’t always accurate in terms of scale, they give the viewer a lot of information about the characteristics of a location. The careful and intentional omission, simplification and addition of features is what helps convey these characteristics.

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