The Detroit Post-Map

Detroit, MI, 1996

How does the way a place is represented affect its projected future? How can one incorporate into a map both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the city, as well as the experience of numerous individuals? Can a "subjective" map allow us to see certain conditions more clearly?

The result of our collaborative effort is The Detroit Post-Map, a city map inscribed with images of Detroit's places and annotated with the voices of its citizens. This work proposed an alternative to the traditional and limited tools of urban representation by combining the view from the street with the view from above.

Approximately 8' x13' and double-sided, The Post-Map is constructed of hundreds of handmade postcards coupled by metal rings. Curtain-like, it hangs from a rod and moves gently with the air.

Partners: Christina Bechstein and our students at the University of Detroit Mercy