Saturday, October 23, 2021

Stranded in time with design-inspired maps

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Written by By Eyob Maynard, CNN

Drawing inspiration from the British South Downs, New Design USA founders Maarten Baas and Richard Deacon decided to give one of their 60 spaces, at RISD Art Prize this year, a truly magical twist.

As well as the two brothers’ usual design and academic expertise, the spot is based upon the work of the late British artist JMW Turner.

“(Turner) created something which, by his own admission, was never meant to be an art, he was trying to create the perfect landscape,” said Maarten.

Design America in Tucson has this summer become the center of many creative endeavors from the Internet Archive to Adobe Illustrator.

“But in 2007, The South Downs was chosen by The National Trust as a new national park … and there is a huge community of hikers, cyclists and walking enthusiasts here,” added Deacon.

The map, which is comprised of 1,800 glued and drilled sheets of stiff wax, is stamped with the person, family and landmark that it represents. Each feature is in sharp contrast to the other and encourages users to interact.

This may mean presenting the visitor with a further 50 maps and dedicating another 24 hours to each location or simply unfolding the creation.

On one level, the work is an instant comment on the digital age, a concept that the pair have always been very aware of.

“We spoke about (the digital age) quite a lot with these people who came here to the exhibit. We don’t want to complain about it or not be optimistic about it. The Internet is not what it used to be,” said Deacon.

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