This thesis approaches the subject of cartography as a designed object with the intention of exploring its principles and effects on society while proposing an alternative design based on subjective data. The primary question this thesis aims to answer is ‘How might the virtues of an inaccurate map better represent a varied community’s identity and needs?’
This question is explored through three sections, each designed to answer one of the following three sub-questions: Why are maps never the ‘truth’? (Deconstruction) What is the best way to graphically represent a soft border? (Reconstruction) In what situations can an ‘inaccurate’ map succeed where an ‘accurate’ map fails? (Reflection)
The first section (Deconstruction) approaches the cartography discourse from a primarily theoretical point of view, exploring the psychological and anthropological aspects of existing maps. It aims to disassemble the coded design and expose the fallacy of map as truth to better understand how the map can be rebuilt for the better in certain contexts.
The second section (Reconstruction) explores an alternative form of mapping based on inaccurate data from empirical research projects, analysing trends in the data and developing a concept map that supports and visualises the principles of the thesis. This section builds upon the theoretical conclusions from section 1.
The third and final section (Reflection) looks back upon how well the project in Reconstruction fulfilled the principles of the thesis, and looks forward to how this method could be integrated and developed into existing and potential real-world processes.