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Maps, Mapping and Mapmaking


Admission requirements

There are no admission requirements for this elective course.


The course will address the making of maps from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The course is created for all departments and artistic disciplines.

Collectively, seminal texts on cartography will be examined and each participant will create, record, edit, produce and distribute an individual map project that will be discussed during the sessions. Students are open to explore alternative digital and analog tools to produce their map.

Each session will be concluded by a public lecture on topics like atlases, Jacques Bertin, critical cartography, forensics, Google Earth, GPS, post-representational cartography, self-tracking and surveillance.

Themes and lectures: Themes and Lectures

Course objectives

The objectives of the course are to gain a theoretical understanding of the production and use of maps.

Learn how to make a map from the collecting of data, to editing and transforming this data into a map, to the producing and distributing it in print, online or otherwise.

The final outcome of this course will be a map.


Dates, times and locations

The lectures/workgroups and the exam take place at KABK and online:

Wednesdays from 13.00-19.00hrs.:

1 Wednesday 30-09-2020, 3 hours classical and 3 hours individual (room PA.011)

2 Wednesday 14-10-2020, 3 hours classical and 3 hours individual (online)

3 Wednesday 04-11-2020, 3 hours classical and 3 hours individual (room PD.210)

4 Wednesday 25-11-2020, 3 hours classical and 3 hours individual (online)

5 Wednesday 09-12-2020, 3 hours classical and 3 hours individual (room PC.214)

Mode of instruction

Lectures and workshops

Assessment method

The evaluation of the student will be based on the student project.

The project will address on the one hand critical competencies like the understanding of the broader context in which the map operates, both in a political/societal sense and a theoretical one. The project will also deal with organizational and communicative competencies of making large data sets manageable and understandable for others.

The creative competency of the course lies in combining these critical and functional aspects of the map. How to express the political position of the mapmaker while making a project that is open enough to empower the map user.

Reading list

List the required readings:

Bertin, Jacques, Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams Networks Maps (1967; Redlands: Esri Press, 2011).

Blauvelt, Andrew, ‘Tool (Or, Post-production for the Graphic Designer’, in Graphic Design: Now in Production, eds. Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton Ellen (Minneapolis: Walker Art Centre, 2011), 23–31.

Caquard, Sébastien, ‘A Post-Representational Perspective on Cognitive Cartography’, in Progress in Human Geography 39, no. 2 (2015), 225–235.

Crampton, Jeremy W. and John Krygier, ‘An Introduction to Critical Cartography’, in ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 4, no. 1 (2005), 11–33.

Drucker, Johanna, Graphesis. Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014).

Harley, J.B., ‘Deconstructing the Map’ (1989), in The Map Reader: Theories of Mapping Practice and Cartographic Representation, eds. Martin Dodge, Rob Kitchin and Chris Perkins (Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2011), 56–64.

Kitchin, Rob and Martin Dodge, ‘Rethinking Maps’, in Progress in Human Geography 31 (3) 2007, 331–344.

Kurgan, Laura, Close Up at a Distance. Mapping, Technology, and Politics (New York: Zone Books, 2013).

Lupton, Deborah, ‘Self-Tracking Modes: Reflexive Self-Monitoring and Data Practices’, paper for the ‘Imminent Citizenships: Personhood and Identity Politics in the Informatic Age’ workshop, 27 August 2014.

Offenhuber, Dietmar, ‘Maps of Daesh: The Cartographic Warfare Surrounding Insurgent Statehood’, in GeoHumanities 4 (2018).

Parks, Lisa, ‘Plotting the Personal: Global Positioning Satellites and Interactive Media’, in Cultural Geographies 8, no. 2 (2001), 209–222.

Weizman, Eyal, Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (Brooklyn: Zone Books, 2017).

Zuboff, Shoshana, ‘Google as a Fortune Teller. The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism’, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 March 2016.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. Please apply before 7 September 2020.
General information about uSis is available on the website


Lecturer: Joost Grootens

Coordinator: Emily Huurdeman


Joost Grootens is a graphic designer, researcher and educator. His studio SJG designs books, maps, typefaces, spatial installations and digital information environments for publishers like Lars Müller Publishers, nai010 publishers, Park Books, Phaidon press; educational and research institutes like ETH Zürich, Future Cities Laboratory Singapore, KADK Copenhagen, TU Delft; and museums such as Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Van

Abbemuseum Eindhoven. Joost Grootens leads the masters programme Information Design at Design Academy Eindhoven, and is a university lecturer at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University. Grootens is a mapping tutor at KADK Copenhagen and Professor Information Architecture at ISIA Urbino. researching the blurring of the maker-user divide in current map making practices.


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