As a child growing up near to Liverpool, I remember being fascinated by the scale model of the city centre which was on display in the municipal offices. The experience probably had a greater impact than I realised as I have since spent most of my working life either looking at or preparing maps and plans.
What happened to the model? Well, following the massive redevelopment of the city centre, the old model was refurbished to bring it up to date with the changing times, which probably goes to show that even in this digital age the lure of a physical model still endures. It also demonstrates the importance of the visual as a means of transmitting information, ideas and emotions. As can be seen in the image, it is also a statement of the future (see yellow areas for proposed development), as much as the present
The focus on plans was therefore an obvious route for this website, but there was also a challenge to see what else a map can transmit. The renowned blogger Hugh Macleod, author of “gaping void” referred to his drawings as social objects, meaning that their intention was to provoke a reaction and debate. The sketch provokes a reaction which he then discusses in more detail. From a start drawing sketches on the back of business cards, to what is now GapingVoid culture design group, shows that his intuition was on point and that the power of images and design in general is more important than ever.
We don’t pretend to reach the levels of engagement of GapingVoid, but hopefully, we can provide some attractive images and content for discussion.