Mapping St. Louis
Mapping St. Louis is an accordion book noting the social and racial conflicts in St. Louis, Missouri, with emphasis on the weeks following Michael Brown's wrongful death in the City of Ferguson. I was inspired by the Situationist International's psychogeographical maps, which record emotions and behaviors of individuals drifting in an urban setting.
I asked three residents of St. Louis County to map their routes in the city, then combined the maps with photographs and an essay on mapping. The photographs and notes are generously provided by photojournalist Tim Tai.
The maps reflect the authors' concerns for personal safety, assumptions and general confusion in their surroundings. They provide personal context for understanding research by scholars like Mindy Thompson Fullilove and Jane Jacobs, who ask, respectively: How do broken connections in a city harm public health? (Health, here, includes mental, physical and emotional.) Why are side walks crucial to the natural vibrancy of a city? (Read: It is important that members of a community feel safe and empowered walking down their streets.)
Mapping St. Louis was an Adobe Design Achievement Awards Semifinalist in the 2015 Social Impact Design category. Dimensions: 49x21 inches.