Blind Maps and Blue Dots
The PhD research Blind Maps and Blue Dots investigates three mapmaking practices – the Blue Dot, the location function in Google Maps ; the Strava Global Heatmap, a world map showing the activities of users of a fitness app ; and the ‘Situation in Syria’ maps, a regularly updated map of the Syrian conflict made by an Amsterdam teenager – to unravel the disappearing distinction between producing and using of visual information.
Joost Grootens is a graphic designer, educator and researcher. His studio SJG designs books, maps, typefaces, spatial installations and digital information environments. Grootens was recently appointed Professor of Artistic Research at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen. He leads the Master programme Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and is a university lecturer at Leiden University. Grootens studied architectural design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam and obtained his doctorate at Leiden University. A public edition of his dissertation Blind Maps and Blue Dots : The Blurring of the Producer-User Divide in the Production of Visual Information was published by Lars Müller Publishers in 2021. Grootens’ research addresses the transformation of the fields and practices of graphic design and mapmaking resulting from technological changes in tools to record, create, edit, produce and disseminate visual information.