Fat Map

: landscape of gluttony

Type:       Academic
Details:   Harvard Graduate School of Design, Mapping: Geographic Representation and Speculation

               In collaboration with Miriam Alexandroff & Martin Fernandez
Date:      Spring 2016
Critic:     Robert Pietrusko

          The Fat Map drawing machine re-imagines the city of Boston as a landscape of gluttony. This landscape of caloric vice is punctured by areas of relief due to the exercises performed by GSD students. Exercise - particularly the acts of walking and running - are experiences that involve making tracks across the landscape. The drawing machine seeks to represent this experience of marking the city through various types of movement. The 7 settings represent activity types reported by students and allow one to control the quality of the motion of the machine. This ranges from the tight, controlled motion of the “Meditation” setting to the looping, meandering motion of the “Run/Cycle” setting. This act of drawing takes place on a scaled landscape of Boston that expresses, through changes in elevation, a topography of health and consumption. The lower elevations are clusters of unhealthy retailers (fast food, bars, etc.) while the raised portions - representing areas conducive to a healthy lifestyle - puncture this terrain of vice and force a relief on the drawing plane. Below this experimental drawing experience is a map visualizing GSD student exercise points. Represented as a topography of bars, the 7 varying heights communicate 7 intensity categories extrapolated from students’ “exercise” data. This image acts as a mirror to the map in motion above expressing the quantitative values reported.