Mapmaker Manifesto

2014 Istanbul Design Biennial
Creative direction, curation, web design, writing

During it’s open call, the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial called for manifestos, and then asked the selected artists and designers to bring their manifestos to life.

The Mapmaker Manifesto calls on us to be critical of our data, and to empower each of us to become mapmakers. It manifested as a gallery of as many kinds of maps as I could fit into the project’s tiny room at the Biennial.

This project was completed for the one and only Stamen Design.




Speak in pictures whenever possible.
Structure your data, but be sure to leave room for the unstructured.
Mate function and form in equality.
Transform the ambiguous, obscure, and complex into beautiful, engaging, and accessible.
Represent data with accuracy.
Remember it is made by humans and subject to inaccuracy.
Let the data say what it wants to say.
Respect the message.
Strike a balance between the literal, the abstract, and the artistic.
Know when to show the dots on the map or just the dots themselves.
Make your own map. Share it.
Make your own data. Share it too.
Remember why you are making the map and who you are making it for.
Remember that everyone is a mapmaker.
Remember to make maps together.


Design your life like you’d design a map.

  • Mate function and form in equality.

  • Represent data with accuracy.

  • Remember that data is made by humans and sometimes inaccurate.

Live your life like you’d follow a map.

  1. Determine You are here.

  2. Observe what is around your location.

  3. Decide where you want to go and your mode of transportation.

  4. Go!

  5. Change direction if you change your mind.

  6. Archive the map when it doesn’t work anymore.

  7. Don’t listen to the computer if you disagree with it.


Open Cannabis Project