The carpets represent different maps of Hutong areas in downtown Beijing. Each area is approximately one square kilometre and has a population of 30,000, marking incredibly dense living areas. Each area has been isolated and presented as an autonomous town within the big city, and is embroidered by hand with the same technique of the propaganda slogans on large fabrics used by the communist party during the seventies. Since 2009 the carpets have been shown to the Hutong dwellers, through simple street events, they are hung up on ropes, wires and threads commonly used by local Beijing residents for their clothes to dry.
London tube map
“The tube map is something we all take for granted and rarely consider its origins. Ever wondered who came up with the seamless (but maybe not geographically accurate) design? Well, it was a chap called Harry Beck who was hired to redesign the map in 1931. Some could compare Beck’s approach to the London Underground to Steve Jobs’ vision of computers: ‘what do people need and how do we make it simple?’ as he ditched the curved lines and natural bends and implemented a simple grid-like system making the map easier to read. His first design (above) was rejected leading him to design a map very similar to the one we now know and love. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The London Transport Museum is hosting a season of talks and events discussing the evolution of the tube map, contemporary art, a Piccadilly Line walking tour and much more. Be sure to check out the exhibition and to book quickly so you don’t miss out.” Carly-Ann Clements, Time Out
Hand cut web of streets
Artist Karen O’Leary depicts the city with intricate hand-cut webs of positive and negative space. The network of streets are left as lines, while water and land are cut away to leave the irregular shapes.
She traces the graphic maps of cities, transferring to a heavy weight water colour paper. She sells these maps on her Et.sy site, Studio K.
“I love the idea of a completely familiar object made new and even more beautiful. I was tired of seeing the Manhattan subway map and decided to create a new image. I’m not really creating a map, it’s more of a graphic image borrowed from a map.” - Karen O’Leary
Mapping the city
Check out this incredible hand-drawn map of London by Jenni Sparks. The giant map depicts the city’s neighbourhoods and highlights specific shops, theatres, pubs, local markets and generally cool places to discover in the city.
It took her over 100 hours and two months of solid “endurance drawing”. The map was commissioned by Evermade that wanted to create a map that reflects the London that people from the city are loving in 2012, a change from the usual tourist attraction maps.
You can get one here in different sizes for £ 130 or £ 75.