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Human World as cover for an India China Institute publication.

Many years ago (2001) I have made a collection of world maps where political and cultural information were displayed on a demographic basis. It came out what it is now the conceptual world picture that frame our office’s work. The project was titled Human World. The idea is that demographic boom is the frame in which contemporary society must be understood today. I have started to develop this work in the summer before 9/11. I believed that we were looking upon the world with the wrong lenses. With the wrong tools.

The first world map I have made was Internet users (2001). In this map each country was proportionally enlarged to the people connected to the net. The blue of the ocean was representing people non connected. I wanted to visualize how many people are actually connected to the net, how many people are able to produce, share and consume information. Today’s world is is a demographic world. People are able to communicate in real time even without spatial continuity. Each of us contributes to the production and consumption of the world broadcast. Each of us is a micro media. Accesses are the new boundaries of today’s world. The issue is who’s connected and who’s not and where the information out there is coming from.  I have made many projects that where exploring this paradigm, speaking of the world as a human factor, and that’s what I am still doing.

Human World is a representation of the word from the point of view of the population. Each state is proportionally enlarged to their respective inhabitants. I have being showing issue like “how many people lives in democratic countries” or how many people lives in countries where the death penalty is enforced. In order to do so, I have “hacked” Alighiero Boetti‘s work. I wanted to update his world picture made of physical boundaries in order to introduce the human dimension.

I was asked to give the permission to use this map as a cover for a publication of the India China Institute at the New School, NYC. It made so much sense for the me to let the use of my work for this kind of publication. As architect I wanted to raise what I consider the main issue related to our times and use a picture to say that “times are a-changing” and to stop talking about the style of the chairs we keep designing. It is time to challenge our work as an idea of society and not as a formal principle.


Related posts:

  1. Human World
  2. Human World @ “Modernità Debole e Diffusa. Il Mondo del Progetto all’Inizio del XXI Secolo” by Andrea Branzi
  3. The Dreaming Wall and Human World in Architectural Design N.6 Nov/Dec 2005.
  4. Human Camouflage: Shifting the Disguise From a Military to Civilian Purpose.
  5. Human World @ Empowerment. Cantiere Italia.
  6. The Dreaming Wall Featured in ‛Design Like You Give a Damm [2]’ by Architecture for Humanity.
  7. HOTELLO, the Pop-up Office and Hotel Room, is Aired in the German National TV Program “Wissen vor Acht” in ARD Channel.
  8. We’ve been nominated as one of the five finalists of the CURRY STONE DESIGN PRIZE a New International Design Award for Humanitarian Innovations.
  9. Design for Eternal Youth. An Article Published in Domus 959 / June 2012.
  10. AZADI आजादी آزادي



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrzej Rusztowicz 30/12/2011 at 17:15

It’s nice to see my native Poland in its own colors, before it joined EU ;-) The Union would be quite a bit bigger now (2011). However, I believe this map would be even better if it was centered around China and India (Americas wrapped over to the right-hand side)

2 scarponio 31/12/2011 at 00:06

Dear Andrzey,

Thank you very much for you clear comment. I understand what you mean.
In my view, a map of the world is an idea of the world. My point is that, in our times, our world should be represent by its people: seven billion technically able to “friend” to each other. All I wanted to say is that political and cultural informations should be displayed on population basis.

And after all I am still an on European, it is easier to crop lands from where we stand. Do not forget that the world maps as we know it today are an European invention. To apply the same logic to an other geographical context it would not make sense for me. I think would be more interesting to find other ways then then an European mapping logic. Don’t you think?


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