I’ve been interested in the concept of psychogeography since I saw this TED talk by Ari Venetikidis in 2012.
He talks about the different ways we perceive our neighborhoods and the spaces around us. You can see these differences when you ask someone to draw you a map of how to get to the corner store, for example. We perceive direct paths as straight, when in fact the street might have twists, turns, and angles in it.
I explored this a little with my Draw Your Neighborhood project, but when I was asked to guest lecture at a Georgia State graduate school class, I decided to base part of my lesson around the concept. I asked the students to draw the Atlanta interstate system before I started speaking. Afterwards, I made a composite of all of their interpretations to look at how we commonly perceive the interstate.
This is interesting to me because, while I-20 moves across the width of the Atlanta perimeter, it actually takes a huge dip on the East side. I-75 and I-85 spend a lot of time as one interstate (the connector) before splitting in the south or north. I wanted to see if the students would perceive this.
Take a look at the final composite:
Check out some of the student sketches here: