February 18–March 25, 2014
(6 weeks)

Who are you? That's the question personal mapping attempts to answer. This class will introduce students to a battery of cartographic, data-visualization, and ideation exercises to give them an introduction to personal mapping.

Every Home I’ve Lived In by Rachel Christensen. From Personal Mapping 2012 workshop led by Namdev Hardisty.

Students will create visual maps that shed light on themselves and each person’s experiences, convictions, and relationships while at the same time, allowing others to connect to their own story. Using the “collection” as a basic building block, the class will investigate various data collection and visualization methodologies, look at the contemporary world of personal mapping, and get an introduction to entry-level personal data tracking and analysis apps.

More details and financial assistance information at MCAD Continuing Education.


Schedule: Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm
Instructor: Namdev Hardisty
Non-Credit Tuition: $228.00

Registration opens January 6th

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1. I don’t know what Personal Mapping is; should I take this class?
If you’re an artist or designer who’s interested in mapping, data visualization, or infographics but you don’t yet have any experience this class is for you.

2. Do I need to know any software to do the projects?
No. In fact, you’re encouraged to do the projects in a way that makes sense to you. Last session saw people working with Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe Illustrator, iPhoto, and common office supplies. I welcome any and all visual art practices.

3. Have you taught this class before?

4. How will the class be structured?
The first class will consist of a lecture on artists and designers that use mapping in their work, an introduction to data-collection apps, and an assignment.

After that, each class will consist of a short group discussion followed by work-time and individualized instructor feedback.

5. Is there homework?

6. How much homework?
Well, that depends on you.

7. Ok, so how much homework should I do?
Good question. Here are my expectations of what you should be able to accomplish based on how much work you do.

1 hour or less: You’ll get an introduction to how artists and designers use mapping and data-visualization and some experience with data-collection apps but little hands-on experience and little-to-no feedback.
2–4 hours: You should be able to get a finished project out of the class and some good experience. Not a portfolio piece by any measure but something coherent and complete that you can build upon later.
5–10 hours: A solid project, possibly portfolio-worthy.
10+ Hours: A portfolio or final piece.
30+ Hours: Wow, you’re about to make my semester and you should get something amazing done.

8. Anything I should remember?
Yes, quality and quantity of feedback is dependent on what you can get done outside of class so if you put in 5 hours of homework I’m going to prioritize your project.

If can’t to do homework and are still interested in the class expect a more casual experience that’s about getting exposure to new ways of working.

9. What if the whole class does 5 or more hours of homework each week?
That’ll be an awesome problem and I’ll figure out a new plan to keep the quality of feedback up.

Have you checked out the rest of our Spring 2014 classes?

10 week courses in typography, experimental-image-making and portfolio development for beginning and advanced-level designers.

Find them all here.