Infographics, Notebook

Archie Archambault’s maps

Notebook: 12 November 2015 | INFOGRAPHICS


Archie Archambault describes himself as a designer and inventor. He’s an American who lives in both Portland, Oregon and Brooklyn, New York. He makes his own special ‘mental diagrams’ of cities – simple but rather beautiful maps that he prints by hand on a 19th century letterpress printer. Whereas a traditional map will be full of information, Archie strips away any unnecessary detail so that the map becomes a series of districts defined by circles and linked by straight lines – much in the same way that a resident would picture it – a mental map that comes from the his head through his own city wanderings and from the heads of locals. You can look at Archie’s maps here on his website. Most of his maps are of US cities but he’s produced one of Amsterdam that reduces the ring of canals to simple concentric circles.

131202_EYE_amsterdam map.jpg.CROP.original-original

He’s never been to London and so he’s never had the opportunity to walk its streets and travel on the underground to map it, but if he did I reckon his starting point might be three large circles in the middle to represent the West End, City and East End, with the river running beneath and then the whole lot surrounded and riddled by a myriad of smaller circles, one for each of London’s neighbourhoods. And dotted here and there would be green circles to represent all the parks. Now before I get carried away, there are a couple of good articles about Archie Archambault that are worth a read. This one’s from Fast Company and there’s another from the online US magazine Slate.

If Archie ever makes it to London then I’ll look forward to perusing his map.

If you like maps then you may enjoy reading my post The Navigator describing how we managed to get from A to B before the days of sat nav.