Atlas of Athens: A Visual Literacy of Place

2013–2016 /// MFA Thesis
Book Box : 26 in x 32 in : Reclaimed wood, used door hinges
Map : 10 ft x 2.5 ft : Acrylic on canvas, embroidery floss, push pins, cork
Legend Flash Cards : 4 in x 6 in : Digital print on 100% PCW environment smooth
Printed Book : Book digitally printed on 100% pcw environment smooth, cover is a USGS Athens, Ohio Quadrangle, 2002



Atlas of Athens: A Visual Literacy of Place is a case-study that visualizes the network of people working together in Athens. Atlas of Athens came about through the recognition of how I changed my own behaviors due to the interaction with the people and the culture of this place. This research project is an effort to convey the connections that strengthen the economic health of this community and how place affects the individual. It suggests the value of strengthening the relationship between design, humanity, people and the environment.

The results of this research demonstrate that support for direct, first-hand relationships and local economic networks and how they affect human patterns of behavior and foster positive change in small communities such as Athens. More importantly, this research is showing how people connect with one another and how they connect resources to the people. This allows for a larger audience to learn ways in which they can insert themselves into their community in an effort to benefit their individual life as well as the community at large.

Mapping out economic networks in an effort to reveal the interconnected nature within systems is a driving force behind this project. Making these relationships visible through art and design is one way of communicating these complex connections. I can expose visually what is working and what is not.

Experience has taught me that through direct relationships and interactions of support, people tend to care more about their part in the whole. It has shown me that we are interdependent. We do make individual choices but they are not made in isolation. Our everyday decisions affect those around us as they also create patterned ways of living — patterns that build the social and cultural environment that surrounds us.
How are you connected to this place?