MAPPING THE DAYTON COMMUNITY: GEOVISUALIZING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH DESIGN
Mapping the Dayton Community: Geovisualizing Relationships through Design
11' x 14' (base layer); digital print on Belgian linen; graphite; letterpress printing
This project begins with the initial research of mapping the Dayton community to make evident the existing networks that create the contemporary culture of this place. The interdisciplinary social research aims to investigate how or why pockets of downtown Dayton struggle economically while tying in the current efforts of those who contribute to its revival. It seeks to educate others on how the people of Dayton are working together to sustain this community while exposing areas of needed relationships. The final map aims to engage and inform the public on ways one can insert themselves into the community; celebrate the rapport between people and place; promote local endeavors; reveal places in need of food access and further serve as documentation of place in an effort to preserve information.
I will be working with local historians and community organizations to gather information on food accessibility and local networks of economic exchange. I will then employ cartographic practices to communicate the information through graphic mapping. I plan to explore ways of visualizing Dayton’s human networking system in an effort to communicate to the public the areas of needed social relationships for a healthier economy. The cartographic explorations combine these efforts and ideas into one point of reference.
This kind of social research will forge lasting positive economic impact in the Dayton community as it elevates interest in this city through the visual representation of human connection and support. It will also reveal ways to strengthen food access within areas of despair. This research captures Dayton, Ohio today and the people networking to keep it economically viable while showing areas that are in need of stronger connections to resources. This social mapping project will emphasize mapping as both a means for understanding how the downtown Dayton communities access and share resources and will serve as a tool for empowering communities to better place access to these resources. The field of graphic design is addressing concerns around the role and process of what we do and why. The common misconception of graphic design as simply advertising ephemera and campaigns has stemmed a movement to educate about the role of design in the twenty-first century. This project not only contributes to the redefining of graphic design but it brings to the foreground the heart of the matter— food security and economic inequalities. The designer who creates “meaning” is the designer who harvests “meaningful” results.
SIDENOTE: The performance of letterpress printing during the exhibition was about the preservation of an antiquated technology that is essential to the field of graphic design and my research.