Today we were introduced to the new orientation 20161013_163709theme and map making brief. Ewan’s talk made us familiar with the definition of orientation and how easy it is to follow directions and still not have a clue where you are, only that if you follow the directions you will hopefully end up in the right place. There is a difference between orientation and navigation. We use many tools and ways to orientate ourselves, be it through landmarks and the sun, google maps or satnav, or asking people around you.

Another interesting take on ‘orientation20161013_163718‘ is social orientation and the way people interact with a group and take up different roles. Also, depending on the needs of the user, people will orientate themselves differently and choose different travel paths. A good example of this is museums which have to be designed for every type of user including kids, the elderly, the blind or deaf, anyone who doesn’t speak the primary language of the museum, people wanting to do serious research and people who just want to get out of the rain. Each one of these people will want to look at something different, only look at a specialised exhibit or make a beeline for the gift shop, and everyone needs directions or a way of sorting their way through the building, staying orientated and finding what they want. Floor plans, arrows, simple layouts and strategically placed helpful staff all help us achieve this.

When it came to brainstorming ideas for my own map, I remembered an article I read recently about how a fitbit had recorded a break up. By looking at the heart-monitoring application of the fitbit, you could see how the wearer’s heart rate fluctuated naturally throughout the day but then spiked and stayed high from late afternoon onwards,  when he was dumped by his partner.20161013_163730

My idea is to create a map of all the journeys one person makes in one day and how their heart rate fluctuates over that time.I mapped one of my own days and listed possible everyday events that would make my heart rate spike or settle i.e brisk walk to uni, having to do a presentation, being relaxed at lunch, going to boxing, feeling excited to meet up with a friend but then collapsing in a heap to chill out and watch a movie.

I like the idea of making my final model 3D and the plan at the moment is to make a basic 3D model of the city – little block buildings –  and then to add a 3D line that looks like the beats on a heart monitor, of my journey. The line would get taller and more erratic to imply a heightened heart rate.

I realise this may be a lot of work and I’m not sure which materials I would use yet but I believe I can manage my time well enough to come up with an effective final map that I am please with.